University of Rochester

EVENT: "Chicken Gumbo for the Multicultural Soul," a talk given by Washington, D.C., news reporter Elliott Lewis

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 27, in the Welles-Brown Room in Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester River Campus

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public. Note: Parking on University lots is free on weekends.

January 31, 2000

The challenges facing interracial couples, their children, and a growing number of multiracial adults will be the focus of a special presentation at the University of Rochester on Sunday, Feb. 27.

Elliott Lewis, a television news reporter in Washington, D.C., will conduct the seminar, "Chicken Gumbo for the Multicultural Soul," beginning at 6 p.m. in the Welles-Brown Room, located in Rush Rhees Library on the River Campus. The seminar is being sponsored by the Black Students' Union as part of the celebration of Black History Month.

Lewis, who is biracial, says the issues confronting interracial families and multiracial people are often misunderstood.

"Some people find us exotic, some people think we're confused, and some people believe we're trying to escape being black by identifying as biracial," says Lewis, whose mother and father are both a mixture of black and white. "I hope this raises awareness about the deeper racial and cultural issues we have to face."

Lewis' talk will address what he calls the "Clorox Complex," referring to his experience of being too dark-skinned to be fully accepted by many whites while being too light-skinned for the African-American community.

A television journalist for more than 10 years, Lewis has produced an award-winning documentary on interracial families and will show excerpts of the program during his presentation.

Note to Editors: Elliott Lewis is available for interviews prior to his arrival on campus at 202-251-3947.