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He is the co-editor of the Multiracial Child Resource Book: Living Complex Identities (2003) with Maria P. P. Root and is producer of the documentary film, Chasing Daybreak: A Film About Mixed Race in America (2006), which features U.S. President Barack Obama.
In 1998, as a 19-year-old, first-year student at Wesleyan University, Kelley created MAVIN magazine, one of the first print publications about racially mixed people. In 2000, he founded the Seattle, Washington-based Mavin Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to build “healthy communities that celebrate and empower mixed heritage people and families". Under his direction the organization created projects including the award-winning MatchMaker Bone Marrow Project, the Mixed Heritage Center and the Generation MIX National Awareness Tour. He left the organization in 2006 but continues to serve on its Board of Advisors.
Kelley is recognized as a spokesperson for multiracial Americans. He frequently appears in media and has received several awards, including being named a "Point of Light" by President George W. Bush. In 2004, as vice president of the Association of MultiEthnic Americans, he was the multiracial representative on the U.S. Department of Commerce's Decennial Census Advisory Committee. In 2005 he presented testimony to Congress about mixed-race health concerns.
Kelley has volunteered with several organizations that work with youth, Asian American, African American and lesbian and gay issues.
- From 50 to 1,500: Korea Queer Culture Festival turns 10 by Matt Kelley Fridae.com. June 16, 2009
- South Korea's legal trans-formation by Matt Kelley and Mike Lee Fridae.com. May 29, 2009
- Beauty vs. Brawn by Matt Kelley and Uikwon Lee Theme Magazine. Issue 19 Spring 2009
- One Box Isn't Enough: An Analysis of How U.S. Colleges and Universities Classify Mixed Heritage Students by Alfredo Padilla with Matt Kelley Mavin Foundation. November 9, 2005
(organized by most recent)
- Mavin: One who understands by Julie Dexter, Washington Health Foundation. Winter 2007
- Black and White and read all over by Naomi Pabst, The Village Voice. January 31, 2006
- It's time for 'Generation Mix' by Mireya Navarro, Taipei Times. April 26, 2005
- When you contain multitudes by Mireya Navarro, New York Times. April 24, 2005
- Former 'Others' show their pride by Janie Magruder, The Arizona Republic. April 8, 2005
- Coast-to-coast Mix RV tour an interracial celebration by Jason Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle. April 7, 2005
- Mixed-race youth are on a literal drive to find their identity by John Iwasaki, Seattle Times. April 4, 2005
- Seeing mixed races through the eyes of new generation by Jerry Large, Seattle Times. March 31, 2005
- Race isn't as clear as black and white by Florangela Davila, Seattle Times. January 17, 2005
- Multiracial and proud! Multiracial teens are claiming their own identities and changing our notion of race by John DiConsiglio, Scholastic Choices. September 2004
- [connection-04].htm Multiracial Youth in Care by Lisette Austin, The Connection. April 2004
- Foundation helps those of mixed race by John Iwasaki, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. March 20, 2004
- Group holds Marrow-Thon to find multiracial donors by Jean Stevens, The Daily Orange. November 13, 2002
- Kelley's foundation springs from multiracial heritage by Steve Wilhelm, Puget Sound Business Journal. September 13, 2002
- Multiracial - a new way of thinking by D. Parvaz, Seattle Post-Intelligencer. March 14, 2001
- Impact of Census' race data debated by Martin Kasindorf and Haya El Nasser, USA Today. March 13, 2001
- Census 'can of worms' makes experts squirm by Stuart Eskenazi, Seattle Times. March 13, 2001
- Changing the way we think about race by Solomon Moore, Los Angeles Times. March 5, 2001
- Who wants to be an entrepreneur? by Theresa O'Rourke, Link Magazine. May 2000
- Birth of a Maven: Matt Kelley's brave new magazine targets a mixed-race world by Andy Steiner, Utne Reader. September/October 1999