PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER
Hey, I am Jess (she/her), a third-year Chemistry student, I am the president and one of the co-founders of Oxford Mixed Heritage Society. From the start of this society I have been passionate to ensure that it is as welcoming and inclusive as possible. We want this to be a space for anyone who feels as if their heritage comes from more than one place. Personally, I consider myself a second-generation mixed-race woman of white British and Nigerian heritage. I have always been comfortable with my identity and I believe this is helped by the fact I have a mother who also identifies as mixed. However, I have never experienced the community of people of a similar heritage that I have seen friends of single heritage have. By starting Oxford Mixed Heritage Society, I hope to gain this. Also, I am excited for the potential Oxford Mixed Heritage Society has to change the way Mixed Heritage people are viewed at the University of Oxford and in the wider community in general.
I’m Millie (she/her), and I’m a third year English student at Keble. Being Secretary of the Society and involved since its formation has been incredibly significant and gratifying for me - identifying as a mixed race woman of Chinese, Italian and English heritage, as well as growing up in a myriad of multicultural environments, I have always felt that an inclusive space for people like myself has been lacking. Identifying as mixed heritage does not come without its obstacles; with the creation of the society, I hope we are able to provide such a space for students of Oxford and beyond.
TREASURER AND CO-FOUNDER
Hey! I’m Alyssa (she/her), a third-year Biochemistry student at Somerville and one of the co-founders of Oxford Mixed Heritage Society. I live in Merton in London. I am a mixed race woman of white British and Nigerian heritage. I have always loved being part of two cultures, whole new sets of foods, family and experiences. Whilst being mixed has always come with its challenges, I am proud of my heritage. We wanted to create a space for other people of mixed heritage to feel proud in Oxford and to share their experiences. Bringing a mix of different cultures will always be fun but having a place to openly discuss experiences with others who may share the same can help to bring comfort and pride. This is needed at Oxford and I hope with Oxford Mixed Heritage Society we can achieve that.
Hi, I’m Josh (he/him), one of the Events Officers for Oxford Mixed Heritage Society’s first year. I'm a third year studying Experimental Psychology at New College. I grew up in London to parents of Spanish and Indian descent. While I have not always been so comfortable with my mixed heritage identity, not knowing many people like me growing up or at school, in the years since leaving school and starting at Oxford I have become much more in touch with my cultural background and now feel very able to express and celebrate it. I am therefore thrilled to have been able to join the committee of this society and look forward to engaging in more conversations in Oxford about the mixed heritage experience. I am very excited to be organising the kind of events that will hopefully allow others to feel as welcome as I have here and to give people a platform to share their stories and feel represented.
My name is Luis Avellano-Khan (he/him). I am a second year Medical Student at Magdalen College, and I am one of the two Events Officers for the Mixed Heritage Society. As someone with immediate Spanish and Caribbean heritage, a heritage which branches more the further you go back, sociopolitical concepts regarding heritage, ethnicity, race and culture have always interested me. I feel this has helped me understand both the richness in sharing multiple cultures and the potential for the lack of belonging for mixed individuals. Through joining the mixed heritage society I hope to further understand the topical and highly complex issues that surround what it means to be mixed heritage in our current society. In doing this, I hope to further the discourse surrounding such issues in Oxford and create a safe space for those that are part of one of the fastest growing demographics in the world.
SOCIAL MEDIA OFFICER
Hi, my name is Imogen (she/her) and I am the Mixed Heritage Society Social Media Officer. I am a third year Music student at Lady Margaret Hall and I am mixed English/Irish and Pakistani. I am so glad this space has been created for people who identify as having mixed heritage, as these kinds of narratives and experiences are often sidelined in discussions about race, especially in a place like Oxford where ethnic minorities are already so few. Only recently have I been able to express the difficulties I faced growing up with mixed heritage and I hope that this society will enable people with similar experiences to come forward and discuss their ideas about race should they want to. I also love that the society aims to keep the discussions as open and broad as possible, allowing for many different experiences and identities to be heard and understood.
Hi! I’m Amalia (she/her), a third-year Arch and Anth student at Keble. I’m Promotions Officer for Oxford Mixed Heritage Society which means I am overseeing our first photo campaign and the launch of our zine! I am Irish and Filipino as well as identifying as British and a little bit American. I’ve often felt closer to some aspects of my identity over others but I am now increasingly empowered to appreciate them all. I’ve been especially proud of my mixed identity ever since I chanced upon a book called the Hapa Project, a combination of portraits and stories from people of part Asian and Pacific Islander heritage. The experience of being mixed heritage is increasingly prevalent yet so rarely discussed in mainstream culture or in Oxford and I am so happy to help create a home for mixed heritage students to connect with each other and to discuss their experiences and stories.
Hi, I’m Meredith (she/her), a second year Law student, I’m serving as sponsorship officer here at Oxford Mixed Heritage Society. I’m mixed race, of white British and Afro-Caribbean heritage, with my father’s parents emigrating to England as part of the Windrush generation. I’m looking forward to investing in a society opening up a dialogue for the community not just simply because the topic is inherent to my existence, but because it is increasingly prevalent in our society, and it is essential that we as young people acknowledge both the beauty and benefits of the meeting of cultures, but also the issues mixed race people face. As Sponsorship Officer my aim is to encourage companies to make this same investment.
Hi, I’m Jess (she/her). I’m in my second year of English at Lincoln and I look after the website for the Oxford Mixed Heritage Society. I have three grandparents who are of African and Afro-Chinese descent and who came to the UK from Jamaica, and my other grandparent was English and Scottish and born in Britain. Although my sense of self has always been complicated, I appreciate how my mixed heritage means that I can be different things. I’m really looking forward to being part of a community with other people of mixed heritage and I think that the representation of many cultural backgrounds will make for an incredibly interesting and exciting atmosphere.
Sara Kalim has Polish-Indian heritage. She is Director of Development at Somerville College, overseeing fundraising strategy and development, bearing responsibility for fundraising campaigns (including for the Oxford Indian centre) and heading up the development team. Sara read Classics at Somerville from 1990-94 before subsequently spending 14 years in the media, working as Head of Development for two major television production companies. This work included developing access and ideas, and fundraising for documentaries and current affairs programming. Sara has most recently worked for the University of Oxford for three years at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Department of Politics and International Relations, where she held responsibility for financial and strategic planning.