Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 57 – Colorism in Latin American & South Asian Communities

During the last episode, my good friend Kanchan Gautam and I discussed our experiences as Third Culture Kids and cultural appropriation. Today, we explore the deep roots of colorism in our South Asian and Latin American communities, along with dating and making friends while brown in predominantly white spaces. Musical Guest: Stephanie Henry. […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 56 – Third Culture Kids, Cultural Appropriation, & Identity

Kanchan Gautam and Julián Esteban Torres López discuss their experiences as Third Culture Kids, which then evolves into a conversation about cultural appropriation. Kanchan Gautam is a novice birdwatcher, myco-enthusiast, and amateur naturalist. She is proud of her Nepali heritage and she spends time exploring identity and cultural narrative in Oakland, occupied Ohlone territory. Musical Guest: Annah Sidigu. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

Episode 55 – Blended Future Project

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). It actively unites multiracial and multiethnic people and integrates them fluidly into the cultural communities of all other racial and ethnic groups. Julián speaks with the leaders of the Blended Future Project, Maris Lidaka and Beth Chin, to further understand this movement, as well as hear about their own mixed-identity journeys. […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 54 – Deconstructing & Rebuilding Our Education System, Part 2

How can we reimagine school systems to fit the concerns of students in the 21st century? Dr. Kimberly Douglass and Dr. Robin Harwick, who are at the center of the innovative The Pearl Remote Democratic High School, teach us about democratic education. The Pearl is a personally relevant and student-centered educational experience. Students benefit from being part of a dynamic international learning community while being supported by mentors, educators, and professionals. The Pearl’s students are prepared for whatever life they choose. Musical guest: San Palo. […]

Deconstructing Dominant Cultures Series

Episode 53 – Deconstructing & Rebuilding Our Education System, Part 1

On today’s episode, we speak with Dr. Kimberly Douglass and Dr. Robin Harwick to identify the pain points of our education system, and to explore how we can deconstruct and rebuild it anew. They are the co-authors of the book YOU are the Revolution! Education that Empowers your Black Child and Strengthens your Family, and also are at the center of the innovative The Pearl Remote Democratic High School. Musical Guest: Jinnat. […]


Episode 52 – Inside the Afro-Latino Actors Studio, Part 2

On today’s episode, we re-enter the Afro-Latino Actors Studio with Carlos Carrasco: actor, filmmaker, and director of the Panamanian International Film Festival. We examine the heart of art, how the sounds of things carry the emotions of things, we deconstruct language into its most fundamental pieces, explore how art is a process of selection, and much more. Musical Guest: Chromic. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

Episode 51 – Colombia * Anti-Uribista

Go on social media and type the hashtag #AntiUribista and you will find photos of cities in Colombia declaring themselves Anti-Uribistas as they resist state violence. Today, I cover the eight years Álvaro Uribe was president of Colombia, from 2002 to 2010, give you a thorough overview into the many reasons behind the current Anti-Uribismo movement, and glimpse into the United States’s love affair with Uribe, along with its role in Colombia’s militarized state since the turn of the century. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

Episode 50 – Inside the Afro-Latino Actors Studio, Part 1

Let’s go inside the Afro-Latino Actors Studio with Carlos Carrasco: actor, filmmaker, and director of the Panamanian International Film Festival. Carrasco will take the lead on stage, then give us the VIP tour backstage, behind the curtains, where we glimpse into what it is like to be an immigrant Afro-Latino in acting in the US, and how this experience has impacted his identity and drove him to also dedicate his time to social impact causes for Latin actors, theatre, and film. Musical Guest: Tre. Charles. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

Episode 49 – Colombia’s Historical Lack of Hegemony and Institutionalized Violence

Colombia’s history has the following pattern: people are massacred or enslaved, displaced, the land is freed, and the élite, foreign powers, and multi-national corporations come in to exploit the land and the labor force. What is going on today, during the Great Colombian Uprising of 2021, is an extension of this history. Since April 28, the Colombian government has been killing, torturing, disappearing, and sexually assaulting Colombian people on the streets throughout the country. Please don’t look away. […]

BIPOC Music + Spoken Word Series

TRE. CHARLES: “Stressin.”

World premiere of Tre. Charles’s debut single/music video for “Stressin.” Tre. Charles is a singer-songwriter who dives into the depths of his soul to try to bring you into his world with an expressive blend of warm and soulful undertones. This track embodies personal and social struggles that Tre. Charles has experienced throughout his life as a young Black man in America. This timely track and its visuals are sure to capture the isolation that many have felt through this pandemic. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

¿Dices mu? Raising a Bilingual Child in a Tumultuous Era

In this essay, Betancur reflects on raising a bilingual, bicultural child in today’s socially charged climate. The act of reading to his infant daughter in Spanish leads him to consider both the advantages and potential disadvantages to growing up bilingual, the joys of sharing his cultural heritage with her and the fear that she will face the kind of racist, exclusionary intolerance he experienced as a child simply because of the language(s) she speaks. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

A Poor Puerto Rican Girl’s Bread

“A Poor Puerto Rican Girl’s Bread”, by Mydalis Vera was inspired by the structural social inequalities in the United States of America. Puerto Ricans have long been disenfranchised by policies that have robbed them of their land, ushered them into new concrete jungles, and created infinite ladders in the climb to socioeconomic freedom. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series


“Like many, I learned a lot in college. I learned that I didn’t like sociology and that it was pretty easy to finish a minor. I learned that I matter and that toxic people aren’t worth my time. And slowly over the course of those years, I learned that I was bi.” […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

The (Questionable) Safety of Home

The summer after her junior year of college, the author lived alone in a house of five, or she thought she did. This essay tells the story of discovering that somebody who did not belong in her house was there without her knowledge, and the lasting effect it has had on her sense of safety in her home. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

My Dead Darlings

“My Dead Darlings” is a creative nonfiction essay that focuses on the author’s personal connection to Ophelia from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and the Lisbon sisters from Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides. The characters are used as conduit through which to explore the experiences of teenage girls. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Leveraging Love as Loyalty

This essay explores a few assumptions and real-world events about what we as children are taught to believe regarding the social concepts of family, fraternity, and fidelity. Formative experiences from the author’s childhood turn the home-spun concepts of familial love, brotherhood, and justice on their heads. After all is said and done however, there is love in the world—genuine love. None of us is perfect, but perhaps the critical period for human decency spans not weeks or months, but a lifetime. […]

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


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

On Jefferson Street

A meditative piece on a brief encounter witnessed a few years ago on Albuquerque’s Jefferson Street on a winter afternoon: in the daily grind of just trying to get where we need to go – physically, figuratively, spiritually – we are faced with the realities of our circumstances. And when we connect as humans, it is oftentimes done so when we stop to really see each other, to pay witness to the brief, fleeting, often ignored struggles that become our everyday life. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Lesbian Y.A. Novel

“Lesbian Y.A. Novel” is a fragmented coming-to-terms with lesbian identity across hometown, high school, and college. Interspersed with anecdotes about lesbian bars from Artforum’s “Confessions On The Dance Floor: Reveries From The Gay Bar,” this essay contemplates what it means to be a lesbian in any space — warm or cold, closed off or open. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series


A poem about the author’s journey as a bisexual woman struggling with anxiety, told through very minimal Google searches that she (and many other queer people) have made in her life, along with some she hopes to make in the future. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series


This story about LGBTQIA+ yearning and the hardships of navigating one’s boundaries — while also trying to be open to the experience of falling in love — explores how much we give of ourselves in order to get the most minuscule response, and then call that response affection because as LGBTQ+ people, we rarely know what healthy reciprocity is, especially when we’re young and still learning. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

The World Behind the World

“The World Behind the World” grapples with the restaurant industry’s insularity and examines how that exclusivity embodies wider dynamics of power, race, and class. […]

Togetherness, Untogetherness: Stories on Human Connection and Disconnection

Love Me in Arabic

This essay is an attempt to explore the author’s relationship with the Arabic language and love. Although his relationship with his father is the centre of this exploration, this essay remains a love-letter to all of Nofel’s friends and former lovers and an invitation to a different linguistic experience of love. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

Cold Coffee

“Cold Coffee” is a creative nonfiction piece by Helena Ducusin that depicts her experience growing up half-Filipino and half-white in an Americanized household. It describes her interactions with parents, comparisons made to her friends, and the hurtful reactions of strangers that hindered her search for identity as she grew older. […]