Friday, January 31, 2003

Hey, It’s Friday, Let’s Kick Back & Listen To Some Tunes…

Last night, Angel, the boys and I attended a band practice for the Christian band we are a part of called First Light. Angel sings and plays viola and I play electric bass guitar and sing. We’ve been preparing for an upcoming performance at our church.

(Yes, let it be known: at one time, I did have a full beard.)

First Light is unique in several respects: first, it has two married IR couples in it; second, we perform many different flavors of international sound, usually with a jazzy “twist.” First Light plays some cover tunes and many original tunes. To check out the whole First Light website, click here.

And to hear a couple of songs of First Light performing live (in Real Player M4A Format), click on the links below:

If you need a copy of Real Player, click here. There is a free version available.

These aren’t studio quality, since they were recorded off of video, but they should give you an idea of what First Light sounds like in concert. “Praise Ye The Lord” is part of an annual Easter musical drama our church performs; Keishia Gordon is a member of First Light.

Well, I'm gonna wrap it up for now. Have a great weekend!

Best Wishes,

Monday, January 27, 2003

Gearing Up For A Major Event (IR Tie-In)

This April, my organization (ISAA) will be hosting its first-ever convention in Austin, Texas: Entitled 2003. Entitled 2003 is a wonderful challenge: a combination of film premiere, size acceptance convention and music concert with Austin size acceptance band Ursula's Curse over the course of two days - Friday April 25, 2003 and Saturday April 26, 2003. The film which will be premiering is called CURVE and it is about the plus-size fashion industry. The film features some well-known celebrities such as Emme and Kathy Najimi but also focuses on some up-and-coming plus-size models such as Tami Fitzhugh-Thompson and Tomiko Peirano, both of whom are of multiracial.

Tami is described as Japanese, Irish, Mexican and African-American. She is the only woman in the industry to have a spokesmodel contract with Lane Bryant, the premier specialty retail store in plus-size fashion. She has worked with renowned photographers such as Walter Chin, Carlo Della Chiessa, and Ranken. Tami has graced the covers of Mode Magazine and an issue of Essence. She has appeared on The View, Today, and other morning shows wearing designs from Gianfranco Ferre, Richard Metzger, and Tomatsu.

Tomiko Peirano is of Asian and White (Caucasian) descent. She models with the 12+ Division of Ford. She has modeled for Dockers, Emme, Federated, Hanes, Levis, Mode, and Sakes Fifth Avenue.

Click here to view or download the movie trailer for CURVE

Entitled 2003 will also have speakers and workshops including but not limited to Constantine Valhouli, the Director of CURVE; ISAA Goodwill Ambassador and Artist Paul Delacroix; Kelly Bliss, Psychotherapist and Plus-Sized Fitness Professional; Stephany Baskin, Executive Director for Dress For Success (Austin); Susan York, fitness expert; Gabrielle Peak, Eating Disorders Therapist; Joy Geisinger, M.S., Weight Loss Surgery Survivors Workshop; and more to be announced!

There will also be a plus-size fashion show sponsored by Avenue

Since there is an IR tie-in, I wanted to make the IR Haven websurfers aware of this event. I would also love the opportunity to meet some of you and I feel that you would enjoy this event! You can learn all the details about Entitled 2003 and even sign up for it online (Click here for the event website)!

All proceeds from the event will go towards ISAA's efforts to educate the public about size- and health-related issues.

Best Wishes,

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

A Strange New Milestone Of Sorts

The latest issue of TIME Magazine (the January 27, 2003 issue) is hitting many shelves across the country today -- and I am quoted in it, as part of their business article "How To Sell XXXL." My quote is in regards to the Southwest Airlines policy towards "people of size" from July 2002 and it appears on the last page of the article (which starts on page 43). I was interviewed because of my role as Director of the International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA). The article addresses how American businesses are adapting to service larger and larger-sized Americans (or in the case of SW Airlines, how some businesses are working against larger-sized Americans).

I've done media interviews before but none of this kind -- in a generally well-respected national/international publication like TIME Magazine. It's already snagged me a radio interview with Atlanta's WGST 670; I did that yesterday morning and was interviewed by Tom Hughes. I thought it went well.

In other news closer to home, I'm very proud of my sons (and my wife, too -- but that should go without saying.

My oldest son, Adam (he's 7), is in first grade but reading at mid-2nd grade level. He's also astoundingly creative and writes short, illustrated stories he calls his books; he can write them spontaneously and they are always to-the-point, interesting and tend to have a moral or a distinct message.

Josey (4) has just reached the point of being able to play with us or his brother or be able to entertain himself in song or thought or drawing or playing. He'll be entering pre-school this fall. Josey is much more cerebral and serious but he often wakes in a good mood and stays in a good mood throughout the day. He imitates his brother a lot (which is normal, of course, but uniquely amusing sometimes, too).

My wife is a very private person so I can't divulge too much about her, except to say that she is a wonderful, beautiful person whom I deeply adore.

I'll blog more soon...

Best Wishes,

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Concerning War

Everybody seems to have an opinion on the impending war with Iraq and possibly North Korea. Opinions abound everywhere you go, especially on the internet. There’s a very loud contingent of the population that is anti-war, which is all well and good. At the heart of the concept and reality of War is life and death and most people don’t want to die or lose anyone close to them. That’s understandable. Unfortunately, in reality, although war can be postponed, it cannot always be avoided altogether. It boils down to communication – and when communication breaks down due to one or both parties either lying or manipulating or generally being uncooperative, whatever issue is at hand has to be resolved, one way or the other. When you have countries and governments with different political and economic issues and agendas, usually diplomacy works…

…then September 11, 2001 happened and the world changed. The United States definitely changed. Suddenly there was a clear and present threat to the lives of every man, woman and child. People handle such threats in different ways but suddenly, it was on the shoulders of the U.S. Government and the U.S. President to uphold their first and foremost sworn duty: to safeguard the lives of this country's citizens.

Do I agree with every step that’s been taken, the laws enacted, the freedoms affected? No, I don’t. I am sure there will be political and social fallout for decades concerning the issues raised by the Patriot Act and other government measures and policies.

Decisions had to be made, though, and they were made, for better or worse. Time will tell and history will either exonerate or condemn the policymakers.

But at the heart of this whole controversy is the most important issue of all, something that I feel had been taken for granted by many in this country for far too long:

Life and Death.

How we live is important; it’s more important than how we die because it’s inevitable that we’re all going to die someday.

Many of you know I’m a Christian and I’m not going to apologize for that. I’d like to end this particular blog entry with some scripture from the King James Bible that I think is relevant to this topic.

Matthew 24: 3 - 14

And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Best Wishes,

Friday, January 10, 2003

Even though this is my second blog entry for IR Haven, it's more like the first real entry, because it's personal.

My name is Allen Steadham. I'm married to an African-American woman who is also descended from Native Americans. We have two sons, Adam and Josey, who are 7 and 4, respectively. My wife and I are nondenominational Christians who are also musicians and creatively inclined (music, art, stories, etc.) I work as a Network Administrator at an engineering firm here in Austin, Texas. I also founded and run a not-for-profit organization called the International Size Acceptance Association. My wife is a stay-at-home mom for our youngest son.

Angel and I brought in the New Year at church (along with our sleepy kids) dressed for the occasion in our African outfits (it was our first time wearing them). Yes, real African outfits from Africa! We enjoyed participating in the service, bringing in 2003 on our knees praying.

Me and Angel in our African attire at about 1:30 a.m. on New Year's Day.

I'll write more later!

Best Wishes,

Welcome to the new online home of INTERRACE HAVEN!

Interrace Haven (IR Haven for short) was formed in 1996 as a personal website when the online Multiracial Movement was in its infancy. Since that time, this website has expanded into an environment to discover what it means to be in an interracial relationship and what biracial and multiracial children are like; this website has always been about taking the "unknown" out of these issues and bringing them "home," so to speak.

After careful consideration of the direction I'd like this website to go, I believe that bringing IR Haven to is the route. The other sections of IR Haven are still online and part of this website, only the navigation has changed. I have modified the section links to point back to this new location of the main IR Haven webpage. Please make sure to update your Favorites!

More later...

Best Wishes,