New group AMP@D looks to provide community for students of mixed identities

The Association for Mixed People at Duke, a new group intended to create community for students with mixed identities, hosted its first interest meeting in the Bryan Center Monday.

President and founder Sejal Mayer-Patel, a junior, created AMP@D to address a lack of community space for multiracial, multicultural or multiethnic students on campus. 

“There are a lot of really cool identity groups,” Mayer-Patel said. “But in a lot of these spaces, it does feel very pressurizing to be fully 100% that identity.” 

Previously the Students with Interracial Legacies identity group intended to be “Duke's first student organization for persons with, or interested in learning about, multicultural, multiracial, or multiethnic backgrounds.” During the pandemic, the group became inactive, leaving a gap in the Duke community for students with mixed identities. 

Mayer-Patel intends for the club to primarily be a social space, but also for the organization to occasionally host educational events. 

“My hope is to make a space where people can feel comfortable expressing their identities without being judged for how big their percentage is,” she said. 

During the meeting, Mayer-Patel, who is both Indian and white, explained why she wanted to start the club and asked students for open feedback about what they wished to gain from the organization. 

“The beauty of having a new club is you can have a lot of input from the people who want to be a part of it,” Mayer-Patel said. 

Students proposed a variety of ideas, including visiting the Arts Annex to create art inspired by their mixed identities, creating shared playlists from artists with mixed identities and cooking family recipes together. They also expressed interest in casually spending time together in a common space such as during a biweekly study hall. 

Sophomore Korey Cadiz also wants to create an environment in which students of mixed identities can celebrate their cultural events. 

“It'd be nice to do events where people who are part of the culture or just want to learn about it can attend the event without feeling like they're imposing,” Cadiz said. 

Mayer-Patel said that people who are mixed have a sort of “shared culture ... of not feeling as though they fit into these categories.” 

“It can be really exciting and relieving even to talk to people with the same experience without feeling that you have to prove your identity,” she said. 

Many students expressed similar sentiments about the need for a space for their multicultural and multiracial identities. 

“From my experience, I’ve navigated being in the Black Student Alliance and just wondering how I fit there. And I think this will be a neat experience to really feel included,” junior Allison Falls, who has been involved with the creation of AMP@D, said.

Sophomore Miles Eng said he was seeking community with other mixed people on campus, and shared a goal of “meeting more people, learning about other people’s experiences and being able to share my own.”

“If anything, our experiences will help other underclassmen figure out what is the best way they want to experience Duke,” said senior Sabene Figueroa. 

AMP@D is currently waiting for Duke Student Government approval, but in the meantime the student group has started planning activities. One of their first events will be a movie night in February featuring the documentary “MIXED,” which explores the topic of biracial identities. 

Sana Pashankar profile
Sana Pashankar | Staff Reporter

Sana Pashankar is a Trinity senior and a staff reporter of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


Share and discuss “New group AMP@D looks to provide community for students of mixed identities” on social media.