The MAVIN Story


Since our humble start in a dorm room on the Wesleyan University campus, the MAVIN story has generated incredible interest, thanks to our innovative approach to race and diversity issues. Here's a quick timeline of MAVIN milestones.


MAVIN milestones:

4/28/1998
> Matt Kelley, a 19-year-old freshman at Connecticut's Wesleyan University announces his intent to launch a national magazine dedicated to the "mixed race experience." He chooses the name "mavin," which has roots in Yiddish and means "one who understands." Within one week, he receives over 100 responses from people eager to subscribe or become involved. At the close of his freshman year, Kelley returns to his hometown of Seattle to work on the magazine.

1/29/1999 > MAVIN magazine's premier issue hits newsstands. The issue includes articles about South Africa's anti-miscegenation laws, artwork, and first-person narratives about mixed race experiences.

2/14/2000 > MAVIN magazine becomes the 501(c)3 nonprofit MAVIN Foundation, which is dedicated to creating a diverse spectrum of projects that celebrate and advocate for mixed race people and families.

9/15/2001 > Two MAVIN Foundation interns, Yasmine Tarhouni and Justin Neiman, conduct MAVIN's first bone marrow drive in response to a Seattle biracial girl's fight against leukemia. Their efforts create the groundwork for MAVIN Foundation's MatchMaker Bone Marrow Project.

2/5/2002 > Lisette Austin creates MIX (originally named the Seattle Multiracial Experience or SME), the Seattle area's MAVIN Foundation-sponsored social and support group for mixed heritage people and families.

4/4-6/2003 > The MAVIN Foundation National Conference on the Mixed Race Experience brings over 500 people together at Seattle University for the largest conference of its kind, ever.

7/1/2003 > MAVIN Foundation publishes the Multiracial Child Resource Book: Living Complex Identities, a 288-page guide to help parents, teachers, and professionals raise happy and healthy mixed race youth. The book is co-edited by Maria P. P. Root, Ph.D. and Matt Kelley.

8/11/2003 > MAVIN Foundation and the Association of MultiEthnic Americans (AMEA) announce their intent to launch a national resource center to gather and disseminate the growing body of resources addressing the mixed race and transracial adoption experiences.

10/18/2003 > MAVIN Foundation holds its first annual gala and auction, "One in a Million: Searching for the Perfect Match." The event raises over $75,000 for MAVIN Foundation programs. more>

10/1/2003 > MAVIN Foundation receives a Neighborhood Matching Award from the City of Seattle's Race Relations and Social Justice Fund to launch a pilot phase of its newest project, the Community Mixed race Action Plan (MAP).

5/1/2004 > MAVIN Foundation launches the Campus Awareness & Compliance Initiative (CACI) with the Level Playing Field Institute. CACI aims to support the efforts of mixed race and transracial adoptee college students through advocacy, trainings and activist opportunities.

12/1/2004 > In its annual fundraising letter, MAVIN Foundation announces its plans to launch regional offices across the U.S. in 2006 via a $100,000 fundraising effort.

2/10/2005 > MAVIN Foundation hosts its first "The Colors of Love: A Celebration of Interracial and Intercultural Relationships" in Seattle.

4/4/2005 > MAVIN Foundation launches its Generation MIX National Awareness Tour, as five mixed heritage 20-somethings embark on a 10,000-mile journey across the U.S.A. in a colorfully-emblazoned RV to raise awareness about the nation's mixed race baby boom!

4/26/2005 > MAVIN's founder/president Matt Kelley provides testimony to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the U.S. Congress on the health needs of mixed heritage Americans.

7/25/2005 > MAVIN announces its Adoptee Empowerment Project (AEP), a new project designed to foster connectedness and cultural identity for international adoptees. The project is made possible through a $75,000 grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. more>

9/1/2005 > A beta version of the website for the new Mixed Heritage Center (MHC) (originally called the "national resource center," see 8/11/2003) goes online. The MHC is a joint project of MAVIN and the Association of MultiEthnic Americans. visit>

11/14/2005 > As part of MAVIN's Campus Awareness + Compliance Initiative (CACI)'s "One Box Isn't Enough" effort, students from MAVIN partners Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges hand deliver over 3,200 comment cards to the U.S. Department of Education, urging them to provide guidance to U.S. schools to adopt "mark one or more races" formats.

1/19/2006 > MAVIN Foundation releases Chasing Daybreak: A Film About Mixed Race in America, the first widely-distributed, feature-length documentary film about the mixed heritage experience. Chasing Daybreak chronicles MAVIN's Generation MIX National Awareness Tour. more>

2/28/2006 > Nearly eight years after founding MAVIN magazine as a 19-year-old college freshman, Matt Kelley steps down from MAVIN Foundation. more>





Matt Kelley founded MAVIN magazine as a 19-year-old freshman at Wesleyan University in April 1998.




The first two issues of MAVIN magazine were created in the closet of a studio apartment in Seattle's First Hill neighborhood.




MAVIN magazine's premier issue hit newsstands on January 29, 1999. Immediately, international media focused its attention on this unique and innovative publication. (order it here.)




In 2000, MAVIN magazine became the nonprofit MAVIN Foundation, which was dedicated to creating a diverse spectrum of projects that celebrated and advocate for mixed race people and families.




In 2003, MAVIN Foundation publishes the groundbreaking Multiracial Child Resource Book, a 288-page guide to raising mixed heritage youth.




In 2005, MAVIN Foundation launched its most ambitious project to date, a 10,000-mile trek across the nation by five mixed heritage 20-somethings to raise awareness of America's multiracial baby boom.