Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

Up for Grabs

The author recalls: “An older male friend told me once that if a woman was over 18, “she was up for grabs”.  I thought he was just being facetious: most men have a sense of decorum. An eye-opening incident, may have proved my friend’s point.” […]

Diaspora & Immigration Series

Are You Borg Now?

Themes of belonging, of isolation, of expressions of identity, and of the nuances between the African American and the African Immigrant experience arise from a conversation between the author and the author’s inner voice. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Social Clues

Sometimes shyness and loneliness go hand in hand. And sometimes loneliness is not so much about being alone, or isolated, but an inability to connect with others on a meaningful level. A feeling too raw and too embarrassing to be expressed except within the protective shell of a hermit crab essay. With thanks to Sara Ryan for her piece, “Body Puzzle,” which offered the perfect shell.level. A feeling too raw and too embarrassing to be expressed except within the protective shell of a hermit crab essay. With thanks to Sara Ryan for her piece, “Body Puzzle,” which offered the perfect shell. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

Yellow Fever

“Yellow Fever” is a coming-of-age piece that explores the fetishization of young Asian and mixed-race women. It describes the frustration of being seen as an exotic prize and not as a woman with complex emotions or as a human having value beyond men’s sexual desires. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Backstrokes

In Backstrokes the author describes a reconnection with a cherished friend and kindred spirit from four decades ago. Their meet-up sparks a series of reflections in which she reassesses the value of usefulness as a lifelong priority. […]

Diaspora & Immigration Series

In Pandemic Times, A Migrant’s Notes on Home

This personal essay is about the ever-present feeling, as a migrant, of not belonging to any one place. It explores the author’s long line of migrant ancestors, reflecting on whether the accumulation of their experiences have made her feeling of unrooted-ness run even deeper. At the center of the piece is an exploration of the concept of “home,” what that means for migrants and how that can affect our sense of self. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Time Dilation

This essay recounts a story of mutual discomfort between two teenagers. The speaker considers the events in retrospect in which he realizes the degree to which he made a person, to whom he was romantically interested, uncomfortable. The piece centers on communication breakdown, the failure of a friendship, misapprehension of others, the speaker’s journey to self awareness, and a healthier, yet still evolving, approach to intimacy and rejection. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Landing

As the narrator encounters winter-stranded birds desperate for whatever food they can find, she considers a night in which she witnessed a girl desperate to reunite with her abusive boyfriend, as well as the narrator’s own desperate attachments to an abusive lover. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Encounters with Māya

The short essay Encounters with Māya (Illusion) takes us on a journey through dreams, poems, and sacred texts to reflect on living as a human, awakening to ‘reality’, and staying connected to one another through hardship. […]

BIPOC Music Series

Episode 48 – BIPOC Musical Artists Showcase

Listen to our first musical compilation album, entitled Volume 1: Petrichor. The works contained in this volume—from mournful piano compositions, dazzling spoken word, spellbinding vocal layered-songs, to beautiful instrumentals—express the intricacies of being an artist of color in a too-often indifferent world. Artists: San Palo, Whitney & The Saying Goes, Stephanie Henry, Tony Tennyson, whenthecitysleeps, Chromic, Beezy Montana, Mallika Vie, Annah Sidigu, Eki Shola, Samantha Pearl, and Jinnat. […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 47 – The Nasiona’s Earth Day Manifesto

Julián Esteban Torres López lays out The Nasiona’s Earth Day Manifesto: “We are standing on a fault line. We’re at what can become a historic crossroad and turning point, or simply a return to the status quo … a status quo that will only continue to degrade our planet and the vast majority of its inhabitants. Our soil is ready for a new harvest. Our seeds need to be watered.” […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

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

Julián Esteban Torres López speaks with Dr. Parisa Mehran, founder of Women of Color in English Language Teaching. They discuss passport privilege and the barriers for international students. They also speak about obstacles to legal immigration, why POC international students may not finish university, share their own experiences of the impact of being called terrorists, and much more. Musical Guests: Aroe Phoenix & Mallika Vie. […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 45 – Racism and Racial Trauma in English Language Teaching, Part 1

We speak with Dr. Parisa Mehran, founder of Women of Color in English Language Teaching (ELT), to explore how white supremacy is at the heart of ELT and how the industry functions as a racist propaganda machine. We discuss how native-speakerism and passport privilege can be forms of racism, and we shine a light on some of the detrimental consequences of racism in ELT, such as racial abuse and its effects on mental health. Musical guest: Stephanie Henry. […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 44 – Design Thinking & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Part 2

Vanessa Weathers, Founder and Principal Consultant at Conscious Employee Experiences, joins us to explore design thinking and its relationship to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We discuss how marginalized folks may be better positioned for leadership roles.  We unpack questions, such as: What’s behind the claim “diversity is white genocide”? Where is power truly rooted in an organization? How can we design local politics to get the best results and to get people in the right roles? And much more. Musical guest: Samantha Pearl. […]

BIPOC Music Series

Volume 1: Petrichor

This first volume of The Nasiona’s music series encapsulates all the glorious highs and the searing lows of navigating the world as an empathetic, curious individual. The works contained in this volume — from mournful piano compositions, dazzling spoken word, spellbinding vocal layered-songs, to beautiful instrumentals — express the intricacies of being an artist of color in a too-often indifferent world; and like the scent that lingers long after the downpour, these masterpieces ask you to sit awhile, to close your eyes, to pay attention […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 43 – Design Thinking & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Part 1

Most environments are not designed to include and value everyone because they fail to center the concerns of those in the bottom rungs of our class and caste systems. I speak with Vanessa Weathers, Founder & Principal Consultant at Conscious Employee Experiences, to further explore design thinking and its relationship to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We critique the desire to build teams based on cultural fit, and we dissect the difference between managers and leaders. Musical guest: Mallika Vie. […]