Let's Talk: Raising a Multicultural Child
Time & Location
About the Event
As of 2015, according to Pew Research, 1 in 7 babies are born multiracial or multienthnic. Many people who are multiethnic or multiracial see themselves from how others see them. As a single mother who is raising a Chinese and Black daughter, Tarzine Jackson has thoughts on how to raise a multicultural child.
- 5pm EST: Storytelling
- 5:45pm EST: Q&A
Registration is free but consider making a donation to Rock The Boat and Equal Justice Initiative (eji.org)
Tarzine's Story: How Tarzine Jackson Turned Tragedy into a Simple, Beautiful Idea for Hope and Empowerment
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Tarzine Jackson graduated from high school and attended Portland Community College for design. From a young age, Tarzine knew that success was not just going to be handed to her. It was something she would have to fight for, and she was determined to—come hell or high water.
As a single mother, Tarzine relocated to Bellevue, Washington, in 2006 to work for Microsoft, at which point she also attended Bellevue College studying computer science, psychology and sociology.
While successfully juggling work and school life, she also took care of her daughter Auja as a single mother. Tarzine met and dated Howard Kwong, a Chinese-American. Soon after, Tarzine's second child Meili Njeri Kwong was born.
Unfortunately, Tarzine and Howard’s relationship took a turn for the worse when Tarzine discovered that Howard initially concealed every aspect of their relationship from his friends and family—from their initial courtship to her pregnancy and Meili's birth. His secrecy left Tarzine feeling frustrated, disappointed and shell-shocked. Four months after Meili was born, Howard finally told his family he had a daughter. Meanwhile, Tarzine and Howard’s relationship quickly disintegrated, and the two separated.
Tarzine Jackson is now a single mother not one, but two children, but never being one to let adversity get her down, she decided to focus on doing what she had always done best: moving forward.
Shattered and with a heavy heart, Tarzine began to seek out ways to connect with the Chinese community and teach Meili about her Chinese cultural heritage. Sadly, some of these members were not welcoming towards her. Undeterred by this, Tarzine studied Chinese culture through books, taking classes, and by joining Chinese social groups.
Throughout Meili’s childhood, Tarzine made sure that her daughter always identified with both her Chinese and African-American heritage. Tarzine enrolled Meili in Chinese language classes, and often Meili endured disparaging questions and remarks about her identity from those around her, such as "how does a black girl know Mandarin?" somebody once asked her. Because of Meili's darker pigmentation, Tarzine knew others would ALWAYS call her identity into question. Nonetheless, this realization ignited the spark of something greater. Tarzine began to examine where people’s preconceived assumptions about race and culture came from, what caused them to form, and how to inspire new understandings and behavioral change in society.
Although Tarzine's personal journey was one fraught with tragedy, it was in that moment of strife and adversity that emerged from the darkness Tarzine created a company and products that embodied diversity, inclusion, and representation for all.
About Tarzine Jackson
Tarzine Jackson a devoted mother; the founder and CEO of Koalesce Designs, a lead with Women Who Code, and the inventor of patent-pending Diversity Avatar Stickers.
Tarzine has over 20 years of combined experience in design and engineering, three years as an entrepreneur, and 2 years as a vegan home cook.
Tarzine is committed to cultural inclusion and gender equality in the community, this helped fuel her passion to invent Diversity Avatar Stickers, a product that celebrates individualism, skin tones, body positivity, and hair textures with physical stickers that provides representation.
Personal LinkedIn Profile: https://linkedin.com/in/tarzine
Company Website: http://koalescedesigns.com
Product Website: https://diversityavatarstickers.com
Company LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/company/koalesce-designs/
Company Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/diversityavatarstickers/
Company Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/koalescedesigns
Company Instagram Profile: https://www.instagram.com/koalescedesigns/
Product Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/diversityavatarstickers
Product Instagram Profile: https://www.instagram.com/diversityavatarstickers/
About Let's Talk: Asian x Black Conversations
Let’s Talk is an Asian x Black dialogue series with the goal of opening conversations between the Black and Asian communities. It’s through understanding each other’s struggles that we can come out stronger together. The goal of this series is not to talk about how Asians can support Black Lives Matter or how to fight against Anti-Asian sentiments but more so an exploration and conversation between two groups of people who have different, yet similar experiences.
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