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As a mixed person, I don’t have the option of an easy answer to the perpetual question, ‘What exactly are you?’
Ethnic identity is more than appearance. Much more. It is a confluence of ancestry, place, culture, and heart language. It is a mix of assertions and refutations—the discernment of what is true for the self and push-back against stereotypes. For multiethnic people, there can be infinite answers to this question, as well as ambiguity, frustration, and joy.
Chandra Crane understands first-hand the complexity of multiethnic existence. In her first book, Mixed Blessing: Embracing the Fullness of Your Multiethnic Identity (InterVarsity Press, 2020), she brings the multiethnic experience into clearer focus. Upper House’s Rebecca Cooks will be interviewing Chandra about the experience of “mixed folks” and their journeys to find validity and company in their often ambiguous, beautiful lives. Together, Chandra and Rebecca will delve into the stories and questions that people of mixed heritage contend with. They will also explore the ways God’s character and presence are revealed through our unique ethnic arrays. Their conversation will be followed by a multiethnic community panel to breathe life and honesty into the mixed experience.
About our Speaker
Chandra Crane (B.S. Education, M.A. Ministry) is the Multiethnic Initiatives Mixed Ministry Coordinator with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. Growing up in a multiethnic/multicultural family in the Southwest and now happily transplanted to the Deep South, Chandra is passionate about diversity and family. She has written for Dordt University’s In All Things, The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, InterVarsity’s The Well, Inheritance magazine, and the Asian American Christian Collaborative’s Reclaim magazine. Married to Kennan and the mother of two spunky daughters, Chandra is a member of the multiethnic Redeemer Church in Jackson, Mississippi. She is a fan of hot tea, crossword puzzles, Converse shoes, and science fiction—and an expert at defying stereotypes.
About our Panelists
Aidan Detienne serves as Upper House’s Events Intern. As a sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying biology and kinesiology, he is considering a future in medical or physical therapy school. Aidan spends his extra-curricular time as an emcee and leader in Badger Cru and volunteering for the student chapter of Doctors Without Borders. You can find Aidan making a carefully crafted coffee brew or seeking picturesque views outdoors.
Niccole Khail is the Director of Music & Worship Arts and in leadership for Women’s Ministry and Communication at High Point Church. She is passionate to see the local church be a place where culturally divisive walls break down and where all peoples can come together under the gospel of Jesus Christ. After graduating from UW-Madison in 2012 with a degree in Mathematics, Niccole began her career with a campus ministry at the University of Minnesota. She moved back to Madison in 2016 to begin working in the local church. Niccole is a general fun-bringer who loves surprises and desserts. She and her husband Scott have two sons, Luca and Knox. They love the Milwaukee Bucks and Breaking Bad, and they tolerate their puppy, Reggie.
Peter Shackelford works as Executive Assistant with Haunty Enterprises. He is a US Navy Veteran and a graduate of Edgewood College with a Bachelors in History. Along with his roles of husband, uncle, and peer mentor, Peter is a general trouble-shooter, grill master, and movie buff. He is married to his beautiful wife Melissa, and they enjoy board games, beach volleyball, and being with family.