Anthropology speaker series presents Jeffery Mio


Melissa Conser

The Anthropology Speaker Series welcomed Cal Poly Pomona Professor, author and Emmy award-winner, Jeffery Mio, last Thursday, Dec. 3.  The lecture, titled Multiculturalism and Multicultural Psychology: Understanding Our Diverse Communities, used racial identity models on PowerPoint from books Mio authored to illustrate how race applies to people’s lives.

“I really appreciate the invitation to come here,” he said.  Mio was nominated by faculty to be a part of the speaker series this semester. 

He began the lecture by calling on individuals in the audience and asked how each person would identify themselves.  The exercise progressed into Mio’s personal battle with identity – growing up as a first-generation Japanese-American, his parents could speak just enough English to communicate with him – Mio didn’t understand Japanese.

“I really didn’t have an ethnic diversity [growing up],” said Mio.  “I tried to minimize [my diversity] because the culture said you shouldn’t be Japanese-American or an ethnic-American – you should just be an American.”

Mio has written several books about cultural diversity and received an Emmy for his consultation in an educational public television series on introductory psychology.