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Posted October 3, 2005


Matt Kelley, Founder/President, MAVIN Foundation
Kelly Bates, Chair, MAVIN Foundation Executive Transition Committee


Dear Friends,

After over seven years at MAVIN Foundation’s helm, I will step down at the end of January 2006 to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

When, as a 19-year-old college freshman, I used an Internet bulletin board to announce a new magazine dedicated to “the mixed race experience,” I was not sure what would ensue.

More than seven years later, mixed heritage issues have become part of the mainstream, and I am proud that MAVIN has played a leading role in raising awareness, implementing ideas, and achieving results. We have saved lives by registering over 10,000 bone marrow donors, published a provocative, high-quality magazine, presented testimony to Congress about the health needs of mixed heritage people, and consulted with schools and organizations to institute a “mark one or more races” format that stops forcing kids to deny part of their heritage. This year alone, MAVIN produced the documentary film Chasing Daybreak and launched several new projects, including the Generation MIX National Awareness Tour, the Adoptee Empowerment Project, and the Mixed Heritage Center, a joint venture with the Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA).

Today, MAVIN has more than 7,500 members who have guided our investment of over $2.5 million into projects that serve over 200,000 people annually. Our award-winning website receives over four million hits every year, and our staff and projects are the recipients of 33 awards and the subjects of 400+ television and print features, thanks to our innovative approach to race and diversity issues.

Of course, critical work remains undone and major challenges remain. Personal agendas and pettiness threaten to undermine our community’s efficient and effective use of resources, while opportunists look to exploit our experiences. I encourage mixed heritage and transacially adopted individuals to work with each other - in partnership with other ethnic and affinity communities - to promote a future dedicated to dismantling inequality.

MAVIN will no doubt play a defining role in realizing this future. Over the next several months, I will work at the behest of our Executive Transition Committee (ETC) to launch a nationwide search for MAVIN’s next president. MAVIN is poised to successfully navigate this process, thanks to the leadership of our Board of Directors, most notably our Chair, Eric Fredricks, and our ETC Chair, Kelly Bates, Esq., and Vice Chair, Joe Sakay, Esq. They will be ably assisted by our remarkable staff, who are recognized as mixed heritage leaders in their own right. MAVIN has never been stronger, has a wide base of support, and this process will set the course for even greater success in the future.

I started MAVIN because I felt a need for reconciliation and connectedness. Thankfully, countless others have also benefitted from our projects and resources. I can say without reservation that MAVIN has become more than I imagined was possible, and I am grateful for the relationships and experiences that we created together. Thank you for this remarkable opportunity.

Very truly yours,

Matt Kelley


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