Episode 55 – Blended Future Project

A Conversation with Maris Lidaka & Beth Chin of the Blended Future Project.

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According to the Blended Future Project, even though multiracial and multiethnic identity can absolutely be a fluid and difficult road to understand, Blended Future Project would like to create a platform to initiate that understanding. To start this process, the Blended Future Project is creating a new cultural identity where multiracial and multiethnic people are understood and free to develop and collaborate their own unique culture(s). They believe this would not only benefit the growing population of multiracial and multiethnic peoples, but also adopted individuals who may not even know their racial or ethnic backgrounds, or third culture kids who have grown up in a country with a different societal culture from their parents. With this, Blended Future Project is actively uniting multiracial and multiethnic people and integrating them fluidly into the cultural communities of all other racial and ethnic groups.

I had the honor of speaking with the leaders of the Blended Future Project, Maris Lidaka and Beth Chin, on June 2nd, 2021, to further discuss the hurdles of creating such a blended future and what that future may look like, as well as hearing about their own mixed-identity journeys.

GUESTS

Beth Chin was born and raised in the Chicagoland area and was seventeen when she co-founded her first non-profit organization with her friends in high school, earning them the President’s Volunteer Service Award from Barack Obama. Being  of Chinese, German, and Polish descent, her work focuses on multi-racial identity. She is the founder of the All Related Art collective in Hamburg, Germany, as well as the author of Being Mixed: A Visual Guide on Mixed  Identity. Chin is the creator of Blended Future Project, Re-Mixed – A Multicultural Festival, and is working to create more events and bring greater community in the years ahead.

Maris Lidaka is the founder of The Blended Future Project. Born in Oak Park, IL, he is of African-American and Latvian heritage, and has spent the past 20 years working in the entertainment industry in a variety of capacities for large companies such as Disney, Warner Bros, AT&T and Verizon. He created The Blended Future Project to empower the experience of being multiracial and multicultural. With the ultimate goal to create a larger space for empathy and understanding.

Guests' Projects

Being mixed is about more than race or ethnicity. Being mixed is a learned behavior. This short, visual guide will navigate the paths of both growing up with a mixed identity and becoming mixed. Reducing the complexities of intercultural communication theories into small actionable steps, Being Mixed by Beth Chin shows us how to begin to connect across cultural borders.

The Blended Future Project is an online media company that empowers the Mixed Experience with stories about culture, people and perspective.

We are dismantling the story of race. The idea that one person was superior than another based upon the color of their skin. This social construct was used as means to categorize, distract and disenfranchise the many in order to build the wealth and power of the few.

A lie that still perpetuates every aspect of American society and blinds us from seeing the humanity of each other. It’s no surprise then, that there’s been an continual and violent backlash against those who branded as “mixing among races”. Because it would reveal the truth – that we’re not so different after all. 

It was with these thoughts in mind that The Blended Future Project began.

An online home to find:

  • A community
  • A documented experience
  • A resource

You will find the tools you need to feel comfortable in your identity. You will hear the stories of those who haven’t had their voices heard.

This is will be a collective effort, as this is ultimately the story of our humanity. Reach out and become part of The Blended Future Project.

Julián Esteban Torres López (he/him/his/él) is a bilingual, Colombia-born storyteller and culture architect with Afro-Euro-Indigenous roots. For two decades, Julián has worked toward humanizing those Othered by oppressive systems and dominant cultures. He is the creator of the social justice storytelling movement 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 poetry collection, Ninety-Two Surgically Enhanced Mannequins, is available now. His work appears in  PANK MagazineInto the Void MagazineThe Acentos Review, Novus Literary and Arts Journal, Havic 2021: Inside Brilliance, 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

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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.

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