Episode 46 – ‘You Look Like a Terrorist’ & Other Racial Traumas, Part 2

A Conversations with Dr. Parisa Mehran. Musical Guests: Aroe Phoenix & Mallika Vie.

Listen to our 2-part conversation with Dr. Parisa Mehran on The Nasiona Podcast‘s episodes 45 “Racism and Racial Trauma in English Language Teaching, Part 1” & and episode 46 “‘You Look Like a Terrorist’ & Other Racial Traumas, Part 2,” which are both part of our Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series.

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Episode 46 – ‘You Look Like a Terrorist’ & Other Racial Traumas, Part 2

During last week’s episode, I spoke with Dr. Parisa Mehran, founder of Women of Color in English Language Teaching (also known as WOC in ELT), to explore how white supremacy is at the heart of ELT and how the industry functions as a racist propaganda machine. We finished the first part of our conversation discussing passport privilege and the barriers for international students. Today, we continue where we left off, and also speak about obstacles to legal immigration, why POC international students may not finish university, and we share our own experiences of the impact of being called terrorists.

Born and raised in Tehran, Parisa Mehran holds a BA in English Language and Literature, an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), both from Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran, and a PhD in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) from Osaka University, Japan. She currently teaches part-time at several universities in Japan. Her passion for social justice has led her to engage in different English Language Teaching (ELT) movements for change and is now a racial equity advocate in ELT. Follow her advocacy on Twitter: @WOCinELT.

Dr. Parisa Mehran and I spoke on July 18th of 2020. What follows is the second of my two-part conversation with Parisa.

But before we jump into the conversation, Aïcha Martine Thiam and I introduce you to The Nasiona Music Series. We begin every episode by showcasing a BIPOC musical artist from our series, which you can explore at TheNasiona.comToday we have the honor of featuring the world premiere of Aroe Phoenix‘s and Mallika Vie‘s cover of “River” by Leon Bridges. 

Want to be considered for our BIPOC Music Series? Go here to learn more.


Aroe Phoenix is an Arizona-based artist with a background that is as unique as her sound. The bilingual contemporary R&B singer was born in Los Angeles, California and raised for most of her adolescence in México. As she will tell you, “There are a lot of layers to my life, but no matter what I just keep going. There is something in me that just won’t quit.” She attributes a lot of her passion and resiliency to her faith and her love of music from a young age. She first decided to enter the music scene with her single “Nothing to You” in 2019, though she started training very early in her life. She has recently just released her second mini EP ‘Veins’ which is just the start of her many self-written creative projects.

Mallika Vie is a soul and R&B singer, songwriter, and producer from Boston, MA, who sees her music as a call to empathy, healing, and taking up space. In 2020, Vie released her ’60s soul-inspired debut single, “Be Still For Me”  a song about listening to a problem without trying to fix it  and her 2-song pop-soul EP, “Since My Baby Said Goodbye” – an account of heartbreak and resilience. Her influences include alternative R&B powerhouses like Solange, SiR, and Raveena.


Julián Esteban Torres López (he/him/his/él) is a bilingual, Colombia-born culture architect with Afro-Euro-Indigenous roots. For two decades, Julián has studied systems of oppression and has worked toward humanizing those who have been socially, politically, and geographically excluded from the hierarchies of power by centering, elevating, and amplifying their voices, experiences, and histories. He is the founder of the social justice storytelling organization The Nasiona, where he also hosts and produces The Nasiona Podcast. He’s a Pushcart Prize and Best Small Fictions nominee, a Trilogy Award in Short Fiction finalist, and the author of Marx’s Humanism and Its Limits and Reporting On Colombia. His work appears in  PANK MagazineInto the Void MagazineThe Acentos Review, among others. Julián holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and in communication and a master’s in justice studies from the University of New Hampshire and was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, where he focused on political science and Latin American studies.

The Nasiona Podcast amplifies the voices and experiences of the marginalized, undervalued, overlooked, silenced, and forgotten, as well as gives you a glimpse into Othered worlds. We focus on stories that explore the spectrum of human experiencesstories based on facts, truth-seeking, human concerns, real events, and real people, with a personal touch. From liminal lives to the marginalized, and everything in between, we believe that the subjective can offer its own reality and reveal truths some facts can’t discover. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López

Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona

Thank you to Aïcha Martine Thiam for co-producing the Music Series component of the episode, and to Aroe Phoenix and Mallika Vie for being our musical guests.

Original music for The Nasiona Podcast was produced by the Grammy Award-winning team of Joe Sparkman and Marcus Allen, aka The Heavyweights.
Joe Sparkman: Twitter + Instagram. Marcus Allen: Twitter + Instagram.

The Nasiona Magazine and Podcast depend on voluntary contributions from readers and listeners like you. We hope the value of our work to our community is worth your patronage. If you like what we do, please show this by liking, rating, and reviewing us; buying or recommending our books; and by financially supporting our work either through The Nasiona’s Patreon page or through Julián Esteban Torres López‘s Ko-fi donation platform. Every little bit helps.

Thank you for listening and reading, and thank you for your support.

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