By Maricela Lechuga
MESH is a student organization that aims to build a strong community for mixed students of color on campus and spread awareness about mixed identities and issues. Past events of theirs include mixers (pun intended), BBQs, events with performances and speakers, and study groups. Simplified by Irish Show, a third-year College Eight student, MESH is a “way to meet people who are like me”.
For other members, such as Diesel Tyme Silver-Baker, a third-year from Oakes College, MESH has come to mean much more. According to Silver-Baker, the organization has become like a second family for him.
”You know that you can just be human and focus on what you have in common with people,” Silver-Baker said of the MESH community. He also described the group as a “really safe space, more so than any [other] organization” that he has visited.
The safe space of which Silver-Baker speaks is defined by openness to people who identify with different ideas of what it means to be “mixed,” whether that mixture is cultural or ethnic. A hypothetical example of a culturally mixed situation would be the identity an adopted child might face when being adopted by parents of a different ethnicity.
Alejandro Quan-Madrid is a fourth-year Oakes Student who has organized for MESH for the past three years. He said that the organization has allowed him, and many others, to find “solidarity amongst the ambiguity” of cultural or ethnic identities. For Quan-Madrid, MESH also “provides a space for us to unwind” from the pressures of a society that at times is ignorant towards bi/multiracial and bi/multicultural identities.
MESH’s goal for 2008 is to increase membership and programming. For more information on how to get involved, contact MESH at: firstname.lastname@example.org