Multiethnic, Multiracial, and Transracial Adoptee Concerns Group
The Multiethnic, Multiracial, and Transracial Adoptee Concerns Group (MMTAG) provides information that will enable AMCD members to promote education, engagement, research, community-building, and resources related to multiethnic, multiracial, and transracial adoptee individuals and communities within the counseling/counselor educator profession and the clients/students we serve. We strive to raise awareness of multiethnic, multiracial, and transracial adoptee concerns and to cultivate a network for all AMCD members, and especially those who identify with more than one ethnicity, race, and/or heritage.
Multiethnic, multiracial, and transracial adoptee individuals may identify with more than one cultural identity and the bicultural population is one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. In the 2010 census, nine million people reported that they identified with more than two races - a 32 percent increase from the 2000 census (Census, 2012). According to the Pew Research Center (Budiman, 2020) there are more than 40 million people in the U.S. who were born in another country. The reality is that we are living in an increasingly multicultural society with unique qualities and characteristics. Yet, there is still limited focus on the unique lived experiences, needs, strengths, and challenges for individuals and communities with these identities. The MMTAG hopes to support members who identify as multiethnic, multiracial, and transracial adoptees (please accept this as indicative of all bicultural groups), as well as allies, accomplices, and co-conspirators of this group. It also provides our membership with an opportunity to focus on unique multicultural issues through learning and practice.
The Multiethnic and Multiracial Concerns Task Force was created in 2018 under the leadership of then-AMCD president, Dr. Shon Smith. With his support, I reached out to AMCD members to put together a task force with the purpose of assessing the needs for this population and how AMCD was responding to those needs. Task force members included Mark Kenney (one of the original authors of the Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population), Dr. Danita Stapleton, Dr. Peeper McDonald, and graduate student Jessica Lopez. We also consulted with Dr. Derrick Paladino, another original author of the competencies. The Task Force sent out a survey and shared these recommended actions with the AMCD Executive Board:
Encourage ACA, counselor educators, and practitioners to use open boxes for demographics instead of check boxes to allow for more variability in how individuals can self-identify.
Collaborate with other groups to share this knowledge. This topic is bigger than AMCD and has implications for everyone (AARC, College Counseling, AAMFT, Children/Adolescent, etc.).
Encourage and support research and presentations.
Provide channels of communication to connect individuals who want to publish and present on this topic.
Push for more inclusion across the curriculum.
Push for more inclusion within ACA and AMCD.
Provide access to related resources.
Support Multiethnic/Multiracial Interest Network and/or Multiethnic/Multiracial Concerns Group.
With the ongoing support of 2019-2020 AMCD president Dr. Taunya Tinsley and current AMCD president Dr. Kim Lee Hughes, the Task Force officially became a Concerns Group. This is an incredible step to advancing the inclusion of multiethnic and multiracial concerns within AMCD and ACA. We are in the process of addressing the recommendations that were submitted. (On March, 12, 2021 the AMCD Executive Board voted to change the group name to Multiethnic, Multiracial, and Transracial Adoptee Concerns Group in order to appropriately reflect the inclusion of the Transracial Adoptee community as part of this group)
Come 2021, the MMTAG will have a Facebook group and a Google webpage. We will also be kicking off a PodChat series where members will be invited to listen to a podcast related to multiethnic and multiracial issues, then meet for a moderated discussion. There will also be webinars including a focus on research with this population, clinical implications, and an exciting opportunity to hear from a panel of the authors of the Competencies for Counseling the Multiracial Population.
We are excited to engage in this work alongside folx in African American Concerns, Asian American and Pacific Islander Concerns, Latinx Concerns, Native American Concerns, International Concerns, and Women’s Concerns. We all represent what AMCD stands for – recognizing the diverse and multicultural nature of our society, and doing the work necessary to promote well-being for all, and especially these diverse ethnic/racial communities. It is an honor to serve as the Vice President for the Multiethnic, Multiracial, and Transracial Adoptee Concerns Group and to work with so many passionate, dedicated, and exceptional people in these efforts. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.