MIXED MATCH – A Film On The Donor Match ‘Lottery’ For Mixed People

Diversity, Film, Health, Science

Mixed Match is a feature length documentary which follows the stories of mixed patients with fatal blood diseases, facing problems in finding a marrow donor match due to their mixed-race heritage.

Directed by Jeff Chiba Stearns, who also directed ‘One Big Hapa Family‘ (2010) an animation about a Japanese – Canadian family, the film has already won several film festival awards, including the Audience Award at Caamfest 2017, an Asian American film festival in San  Francisco.

The film focuses on the charity Mixed Marrow, which is dedicated to recruiting people of multi-ethnic backgrounds to sign up as donors. They concentrate on this minority as donors are desperately needed, as well as  public knowledge on how to sign up and how it would make a difference.

Using the internet, video, photography and hosting recruitment drives, Mixed Marrow strives to save as many lives as possible by encouraging healthy mixed donors to sign up.

“For mixed patients, their monoracial parents and relatives will not likely match them and siblings only hold about a 1 in 4 chance. Not only is ethnicity a factor, but the probability of which antigens are passed down from each parent makes finding a match that much harder” – Mixed Marrow

The desperate circumstances that those affected find themselves in, prompts them to reflect on their mixed identities and how this could have an effect on their situation.

One woman in the film says that a doctor told her, ‘because you’re half Chinese and you’re half Caucasian, and your ethnic mix is so rare, the chances of you finding a match is one in a million’.

Mixed Match also covers the conflict between those who disagree with the concept of race, opposing the work of Mixed Marrow in finding donors of certain ethnicities.

This gripping, emotional documentary opens your eyes to an important topic that is not widely talked about, but needs to be!

The film is currently being shown at the Cleveland International Film Festival, and you can find out more and watch the trailer here.

To find out more about Mixed Marrow click here to visit their website.

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Our Gram’s Place – A Social Nation for Grandparents of Mixed Grandkids

Diversity, Family

Our Gram’s Place is a brand new social community especially for grandparents that have mixed grandchildren.

Rick Fairely, founder of Our Gram’s Place said: “This is an opportunity to create a global village for the fiercest creatures in society – Grandmas and Grandpas”

Our Gram’s Place provides a sharing community for grandparents where they can provide access to relevant information, and interact with each other, sharing stories, advice and their love of grand-parenting.

“We are a #wikipedia, a #playground, a #haven, a #lovefest, and #community for grandparents where they can engage, exchange and exhale around cultural nuances” – Ricky Fairely

In the UK, mixed race is the fastest growing and third-largest ethnicity group, with the prediction that it will be the largest by 2020. It’s is also one of the youngest as 47% are under 16 years old.

In the US, 50% of children born are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group by 2020.

Interracial relationships are a common sight today, and are becoming more and more accepted, so there will be a growing amount of grandparents of mixed grandchildren.

To find out more visit their Facebook page: Our Grams Place

Or follow them on Twitter and Instagram: @OurGramsPlace

 

 

 

Toys aRen’t Us

Childhood, Diversity

Sick and tired of having to search high and low for a doll that looked like her five year old mixed race daughter, London-based mother, Phy McCarthy has started a campaign for Toys R Us to diversify their toy range in the UK.

Phy has started a petition for the toy retailer to ‘stock at least 14% of their doll range with ethnic dolls by 2020’ to give a fair reflection of their ethnically diverse customers. Phy says that when they go shopping her daughter asks her,”why isn’t there a doll like me?”.

In London alone, only 50.79% of people are of a white ethnicity (according to the 2011 census) which shows that there is a huge number of BAME children that are being forgotten. Nationally, around 8 million out of the  64.1 million population belong to non-white ethnicity groups, with mixed people making up 1.2 million of them.

“For many children, dolls and action-figures are a big part of their childhood play. Toys help a child to build memories and teach emotional skills. Dolls can play a crucial role in developing a child’s aspirations – and children often emulate these through role play and then later on in the real-world. Not being able to see themselves in these dolls will have a negative impact on their self-worth and ultimately their aspirations.” – Phy McCarthy

The erasure of ethnic dolls and toys makes ethnic minorities seem invisible, like we don’t exist. Just a quick look at the doll range on Toys R Us’s online shop reveals that just 5 out of 96 of their dolls were not white, with the majority of these being Moana dolls.

This isn’t the first time that Toys R Us has been criticised for its diversity issue. Last July it was found that black baby dolls were being sold for a cheaper price than the exact same white baby doll in Canada.

toys-r-us-says-price-difference-between-black-and-white-dolls-had-nothing-to-do-with-race-body-image-1469215609

In 2015 Toys R Us UK were selling the ethnic version of their wooden families for a cheaper price than the white version, suggesting that they’re worth less.

The availability of ethnic toys is not just important for non-white children to have a sense of belonging and identity, but also for white children to learn about other races and diversity.

Sheine Peart, a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, said that “it almost creates a colonial environment and that effectively says, ‘there’s no place for me’.”

It’s 2017 and something needs to be done about this. All children deserve to have toys that they can relate to. From the beginning, equality should be taught so that we know that we’re all worth the same amount, it is not just white and ‘other’.

You can visit Phy’s petition here to sign it, she needs 1,587 more signatures to reach the Head of Buying at Toys R Us!