Upstander of the issue

Jaya Duckworth

An Upstander is someone who acts to make positive change. Junior Jaya Duckworth recently wrote an article on multi-racialism that was published in the Seattle Globalist. She is also an advocate for social justice and equality. Here is one among many reasons that Jaya is an Upstander:

Why did you write about multiracialism?

I’m getting a lot more interested in multi-racial stuff. We talk a lot about these types of things at home. And also Twitter honestly – getting exposure to lots of people’s ideas really quickly and looking at multiple ways to approach inequalities has made me a lot more opinionated. I’m also part of Multiracial Student Union.

What positive reactions have you gotten from others?

One of the most rewarding things for me is hearing that other people really identify with this. Multiracialism in the world is increasing. And statistically, more and more people on surveys are not recognizing they’re multi racialists, even if they biologically are. It’s called the multiracial identity gap. I think that multiracialism is something we do see a lot in the media, but it’s not addressed or identified. You don’t really think about it and how it affects the people.

What role does your identity play in helping others?

Sometimes I [think]: “Who am I to be talking about this because I’m not oppressed?” But other times I think that I might be the only person who can [speak out] because a white person can’t say it and a person of color might not be listened to. Because I come from a lot of educational privilege and socioeconomic privilege I think I am able to have an opinion that is validated – close to the equivalent of what people of color are feeling, but also understood by white people.

What is the aim of your article and similar social activism?

One of my goals is to help other multiracial kids realize that there is this community of people who are really important and have this unique experience. I [also want] allies to realize the more nuanced version of these issues and that this population is growing.

Check out Jaya’s article here: