What Are You?

Mixed-Race and Interracial Families in Oregon's Past and Future

The number of mixed-race people and interracial families in Oregon is growing. What are the challenges and benefits of growing up mixed-race, raising mixed-race children, or being an interracial couple in a state that's historically been mostly white? How can we openly discuss our own ethnic and racial heritage with each other without being regarded as odd or unusual? How have the answers to “What are you?” changed through the decades? Dmae Roberts, who has written essays and produced film and radio documentaries about being a biracial Asian American in Oregon, leads a discussion of heritage that goes beyond checking one race on US Census forms.



Dmae Roberts | Portland

Dmae Roberts is a two-time Peabody-winning radio producer and writer whose work has aired on NPR and PRI. Her Peabody award-winning documentary, Mei Mei, a Daughter’s Song, which she later adapted into a film, is a harrowing account of her mother’s childhood in Taiwan during WWII. She won a second Peabody award for Crossing East, the first Asian American history series on public radio. She received the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Civil Rights and Social Justice award from the Asian American Journalists Association and was selected as a United States Artists Fellow. Her essays have been published in Oregon Humanities magazine, Reality Radio, Alexander Press, The Sun Magazine, and the collection Mothering in East Asian Communities. Roberts has written a personal column for the Asian Reporter since 2010. Her book, The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family, was released in 2016.

Program Themes

Community , Identity , Race

Equipment Needs

chalk/whiteboard , digital projector , screen