Compass: Navigating Multiness at Swarthmore College

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 Undergraduate Conference Exploring a Multiracial Experience on April 13 - 15, 2018


Compass: Navigating Multiness is an undergraduate three day conference, bringing together people both personally and academically interested in a multiracial/multiethnic experience. Through this conference, Multi hopes to transform the way that individuals understand their own mixedness, enrich our growing Multi community, and foster recognition of our increasingly multicultural world. We will explore the navigation of multiple identities, particularly those that are unaddressed or marginalized in mainstream society through panels, breakout sessions and shared stories. This conference is open to any student who has ever asked “am I authentic enough to claim this identity?” or has been asked “what are you / where are you really from?” or has felt like they weren’t enough for other monoracial affinity groups.

We have planned the schedule to follow an arc of identity exploration that first defines, then understands and finally cultivates Multiness. We have chosen to focus on relationships because the processes of understanding both ourselves and those around us mediate the very interactions that help develop these identities. This vision first began with the third renewal of Swarthmore’s Multi club in the spring of 2015. It is an unprecedented opportunity to delve into the complex, multiple, and at times, confusing identities that we are made up of. We chose the adjective ‘navigating’ to underscore a foundation of identity exploration, its nonlinear nature, and the continual process of discovery.



Event Highlights

●     Public Keynote: A Conversation with author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Junot Díaz

●     Public Talk and Exhibit by artist Laura Kina

●     Open mic hosted by Afroboricua poet Noel Quiñones (Swarthmore Class of 2015)

●     Panel with Multi-identifying alumni from Swarthmore

**Note: Junot Diaz will now be starting at  3:30pm

**Note: Junot Diaz will now be starting at 3:30pm

●     Screening of movies Lion and Get Out

Learn More | Media Links

●     Compass: Navigating Multiness website

●     Compass: Navigating Multiness | Facebook Event


Word From the Organisers

Casey Lu Simon-Plumb ‘18 (Compass Co-Coordinator)

Major: Neuroscience / Minor: Gender and Sexualities Studies

Chinese Adoptee

“This conference seeks to truly explore and push the boundaries of multiraciality. We want to be broadly inclusive to welcome the shared experiences of adoptees and anyone whose diversity of identity has been restricted in our monoracial world.

This conference is crucial both in establishing Multi at Swarthmore as well as supporting the new and emerging field of Critical Mixed Race Studies which is greatly needed both on campuses and in the greater world.”[1] [2] [3] 


Christopher Malafronti ‘18 (Compass Co-Coordinator)

Special Major: Critical Mixed Race Studies / Minor: Psychology

Multiracial / Guatemalan Adoptee

“We are bringing together diverse groups of mixed individuals from schools across the East Coast with the hopes that we can promote community and foster connections between peoples of diverse experiences and backgrounds.”


Casey Lu Simon-Plumb & Christopher Malafronti

“Two years ago this conference was just a thought in our heads, over the past four semesters we have worked tirelessly to bring it into reality, to share this experience [of navigating Multiness] with all of you.

We hope that this conference is only a starting point to continue to work towards justice, liberation and fosters community within our own Multi community on campus and beyond to the Delaware Valley.“


Lamia Makkar ‘21 (Compass Team Member)

Major: Computer Science & Peace and Conflict Studies

French & Egyptian International Student

“This is a space to understand the nuances of your Multiness and better understand how to navigate that identity in social and work environments and in your personal relationships.”


Compass: Navigating Multiness Conference

Contact: Lamia Makkar


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