Mercyhurst Magazine Spring 2013

Alumni authors on shelves

Color Blind People today often claim proudly that they’re color blind – that they

Small Shoes Camille Licate ’96 has always embraced growth and change. Now she’s shared her philosophy about coping with change in a book, Small Shoes: Outgrowing Old Relationships & Finding

don’t even notice color when they meet someone of a diferent racial background. Tifany Rae Reid ’97 believes that’s the wrong approach. “By not seeing color, you’re not honoring my history, you’re not honoring my culture and heritage, you’re not honoring the challenges and obstacles I have because of the color of my skin that you will never

the Right Fit . “Like shoes that once ft you so well, relationships can become too small, out of style, or just too old,” she explains. She says her

face,” she says. Her philosophy, born of personal experience, is simple: “Only when we can begin to acknowledge our diferences can we ever begin to celebrate the similarities.” Until her mid-20s, Reid self-identifed as white. She’d never met her father, a black man, and accepted her mother’s explanation that her dark complexion, curly hair and thick lips refected her “dark Hungarian” ancestors. She eventually forged a relationship with her absentee dad and even forgave her mother for the long-running deception, but grew convinced that colorblindness – raising biracial children without regard to the signifcance of the color of their skin – was wrong. She tells her story in Color Blind – A Mixed Girl’s Perspective on Biracial Life , a 2011 book that’s become a powerful resource for parents raising biracial children, blended families and educators impacting multicultural classrooms. Reid earned her degree in forensic science at Mercyhurst, and then worked in corporate insurance in New York City, Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. After about a decade, she branched out to create her frst company – Life Coaching with Tifany Rae. The sideline has grown into a full-time calling, and she says she has fnally found her “divine assignment” working with biracial children and their families. All her activities focus on getting and keeping people talking about what it means to be multiracial and multicultural in America today. She hosts Mixed Race Radio, acts as a race relations expert for a nationally syndicated television show, and serves as a diversity trainer and community educator. She created S.I.M.P.L.L.L.E., a community success group dedicated to Supporting Interracial & Multicultural People Living, Loving, Learning Everywhere. Besides volunteering for several nonprofts, she’s a commissioner with the Camden County Human Relations Commission and was recently accepted into the 2013 New Leaders Council (NLC) Training Institute-Philadelphia chapter. Color Blind is available from booksellers on the Web and from Reid’s own website, .

book is meant to help people deal with the evolution of any relationship, whether it’s with a friend, lover, family member, money, job, belief system or life style. Dance Chair Tauna Hunter, who invited her former student back to campus to speak to today’s young dancers, called the book “a lovely way to process life’s epiphanies through a multitude of imaginative and delightful shoe metaphors.” Licate majored in dance at Mercyhurst, but studied anthropology as well. After graduation, she pursued both interests, moving to New York City where she studied and performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company and also worked as a pottery analyst for The American Museum of Natural History. She later shifted her focus to acting, performing with The Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C., before relocating to California to work as a professional actress. Her most recent flm, “There Will Be ____,” will premiere at The International Film Festival in Rotterdam and The New York City Film Festival this year. She’s also pursuing screenwriting and producing, and is currently working on a flm project designed to raise awareness for the endangered African Elephant. An animal lover, Licate volunteers for The California Wildlife Center and MuchLove Animal Rescue. When not working, she usually can be found blazing trails on horseback. She says that Georgia, an elderly horse she cared for, was one of her greatest teachers. Small Shoes is available on or at Licate’s e-book store, .


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