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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. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López. Continue Reading >>
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. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López. << Show Less
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Women of Color Writers’ Authentic Voices: Natalie Obando, Part 2 We continue with the second part of my conversation with Natalie Obando, the current national president of the Women’s National Book Associatio and first Latina to take the helm. They continue to discuss the Authentic Voices Fellowship Program, her experiences and thoughts about the White Gaze in publishing and storytelling industries, how she uses her influence to transition us out of it so we can become more authentic and reflect a more realistic representation, and much more. They also dissect the harmful urge to center the comfort of others by anglicizing our names, thereby decentering ourselves at the outset of relationships, and the kind of impact this form of code-switching has on us and our communities. If you have not already, we encourage you to go back and listen to the first part so you can better situate yourself in today’s episode. This 2-part conversation is the first of our new The Nasiona Podcast series showcasing the authentic voices of Women of Color writers. The Nasiona teamed up with the Women’s National Book Association’s Authentic Voices Fellowship Program and the Women of Color Writers organization to publish their inaugural first anthology, entitled The Roots That Help Us Grow: An Authentic Voices Anthology, Volume 1. Check our website at thenasiona.com for more information on the anthology. For our podcast series, I interviewed everyone we published in the anthology to present you with an in-depth exploration of their individual literary journeys, their relationships to authenticity, experiences where they learned that language and their stories have power, obstacles they have experienced as Women of Color writers, the stories we included in the anthology, and much more.  With the Authentic Voices Fellowship program, the anthology, and this podcast series, we seek to bring BIPOC women to a deeper level of inclusion in the publishing industry and the literary world at large. Through the words of these inaugural fellows, the reader and listener may understand how telling these stories – despite the tragedy, trauma, injustice, political movements, language barriers, and grief involved  – allows one to root more deeply into a heritage that helps us grow. President Obando and I spoke on November 27th, 2021. This is the second of our two-part conversation. Thank you for listening. *** 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 experiences—stories 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 @je_torres_lopez. Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona 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 f
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Women of Color Writers’ Authentic Voices: Natalie Obando, Part 2 We continue with the second part of my conversation with Natalie Obando, the current national president of the Women’s National Book Associatio and first Latina to take the helm. They continue to discuss the Authentic Voices Fellowship Program, her experiences and thoughts about the White Gaze in publishing and storytelling industries, how she uses her influence to transition us out of it so we can become more authentic and reflect a more realistic representation, and much more. They also dissect the harmful urge to center the comfort of others by anglicizing our names, thereby decentering ourselves at the outset of relationships, and the kind of impact this form of code-switching has on us and our communities. If you have not already, we encourage you to go back and listen to the first part so you can better situate yourself in today’s episode. This 2-part conversation is the first of our new The Nasiona Podcast series showcasing the authentic voices of Women of Color writers. The Nasiona teamed up with the Women’s National Book Association’s Authentic Voices Fellowship Program and the Women of Color Writers organization to publish their inaugural first anthology, entitled The Roots That Help Us Grow: An Authentic Voices Anthology, Volume 1. Check our website at thenasiona.com for more information on the anthology. For our podcast series, I interviewed everyone we published in the anthology to present you with an in-depth exploration of their individual literary journeys, their relationships to authenticity, experiences where they learned that language and their stories have power, obstacles they have experienced as Women of Color writers, the stories we included in the anthology, and much more.  With the Authentic Voices Fellowship program, the anthology, and this podcast series, we seek to bring BIPOC women to a deeper level of inclusion in the publishing industry and the literary world at large. Through the words of these inaugural fellows, the reader and listener may understand how telling these stories – despite the tragedy, trauma, injustice, political movements, language barriers, and grief involved  – allows one to root more deeply into a heritage that helps us grow. President Obando and I spoke on November 27th, 2021. This is the second of our two-part conversation. Thank you for listening. *** 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 experiences—stories 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 @je_torres_lopez. Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona 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 f
Women of Color Writers’ Authentic Voices: Natalie Obando, Part 1 Today’s 2-part conversation is the first of The Nasiona’s new series showcasing the authentic voices of Women of Color writers. The Nasiona teamed up with the Women’s National Book Association’s Authentic Voices Fellowship Program and the Women of Color Writers organization to publish their inaugural first anthology, entitled The Roots That Help Us Grow: An Authentic Voices Anthology, Volume 1. Check our website at thenasiona.com for more information on the anthology. For our podcast series, I interviewed everyone we published in the anthology to present you with an in-depth exploration of their individual literary journeys, their relationships to authenticity, experiences where they learned that language and their stories have power, obstacles they have experienced as Women of Color writers, the stories we included in the anthology, and much more.  With the Authentic Voices Fellowship program, the anthology, and this podcast series, we seek to bring BIPOC women to a deeper level of inclusion in the publishing industry and the literary world at large. Through the words of these inaugural fellows, the reader and listener may understand how telling these stories – despite the tragedy, trauma, injustice, political movements, language barriers, and grief involved – allows one to root more deeply into a heritage that helps us grow. Today’s episode is special episode with the visionary behind the Authentic Voices program: a bad-ass chingona who goes by many variations of her first name – Nat, Natí, Nato, Natalie, or Natalia – but who I like to refer to as President Obando as a sign of respect. Natalia Obando has worked in the world of book publicity since 2008, is the founder of Do Good Public Relations and the grassroots organization Women of Color Writers Podcast and Programming. She is the current national president of the Women’s National Book Association, overseeing all chapters nationwide. As the first Latina president of the Women’s National Book Association, her goal has been promoting diversity in publishing via grassroots efforts through both organizations. She has since been a panelist and speaker at some of the most well-regarded literary conferences in the industry, including the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, The West Coast Writer’s Conference, the Central Coast Writer’s Conference, as well as conferences that focus on diversity in publishing, such as Centering on the Margins. When she’s not championing for others in the book world, she is writing novels and screenplays rooted in Latinx folklore and magick. You can find her on LinkedIn as Natalie Obando and on Instagram as @dogooderbookgal President Obando and I spoke on November 27th, 2021. This is the first of our two-part conversation, where we discuss her own experience in the literary world as a Latina, along with the origin story and breakdown of the Authentic Voices Fellowship Program. We then transition into a discussion on the White Gaze in publishing and how she’s using her influence to transition us out of it so we can become more authentic and reflect a more realistic representation. We end Part One of the conversation dissecting the pros and cons of code-switching and how through us coming together in solidarity we can gain more power and lift each other up. So let’s get to it. I’ll drop you in where President Obando is discussing some of the stories in the anthology. Thank you for listening. *** 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 experiences—stories 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 @je_torres_lopez. Please follow The Nasiona
Relationship Between Psychological Trauma and Physical Illness What is the relationship between psychological trauma and physical Illness? Co-producer Nicole Zelniker joins Julián Esteban Torres López on the podcast to interview Molly “Marco” Marcotte to answer this question.  Molly “Marco” Marcotte (they/them) is program designer, evaluator, and consultant in their eighth year of work in the anti-violence field. They have co-implemented and evaluated over 30 county-level sexual violence primary prevention initiatives, co-authored multiple state-level and organizational change models and corresponding evaluation plans, designed culturally relevant programming and evaluation for colleges across the Southeast, and have helped construct 50 research and evaluation instruments. Existing as a multilingual, neurodivergent, queer, non-binary femme informs every aspect of their approach, particularly in building authentic rapport and community-centered definitions of programmatic success. With this episode we usher in our new series for 2022 on disability, mental health, and chronic conditions. *** 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 experiences—stories 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 @je_torres_lopez. Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona 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.
Blue Blood: Challenging the Rhetoric that Trans People are ‘Unnatural’ “I don’t want to make sense anymore,” Robin Gow wrote in Blue Blood, “I just want to exist.”  "These days we only seem to talk about trans people in the news when we talk about bathroom laws. Our bodies are made political. Somedays I just want to exist. I want to crawl into the corn fields before harvest and just be alone with my skin," wrote Robin Gow. On today’s episode, I speak with Robin Gow and showcase some of the pieces found in their new essays and poetry collection Blue Blood, published by The Nasiona. Robin Gow is a queer and trans poet, essayist, and Young Adult author. They grew up in rural Pennsylvania and live in Allentown with their partner, best friend, and two pugs, Eddie and Gertie. Gow is also the author of the chapbook Honeysuckle (Finishing Line Press 2019), the collection Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy (Tolsun Books 2020), and a YA verse-novel, A Million Quiet Revolutions (FSG 2022), He is a managing editor at The Nasiona, Assistant Editor at Large at Doubleback Books, and a reader for the Young Adult magazine Voyage. When I was first introduced to Robin’s work back in 2018, I immediately wanted to publish it. After reading some of their other pieces published in different magazines, I reached out to Robin to ask if they had enough for a collection. It was at that point that we decided to create what has become one of my favorite books of the year: Blue Blood. We all begin in water and are called back to water. Blue Blood challenges the rhetoric that trans people are “unnatural” through captivating verses about metamorphosis and meditations on the concept of home. Robin Gow invites readers to celebrate identity; to question what their own body means to them. Essayist and editor Wren Awry, for example, had the following to say about Blue Blood: “In a world where trans people must define ourselves over and over again in order to be seen, Robin Gow’s refusal to offer neat conclusions is refreshing. Instead, these essays and poems—on everything from horse shoe crabs and bearded women to St. Francis and Georgia O’Keefe—lean into the complexities of gender, family, ecology, and mental health. If Gow’s book has a thesis, it’s that who we are and how we see the world are so fluid and shaped by so much that it’s impossible to unravel it all on paper. The best we can do is lean into the mess and pull out what we can and my, what beauty lies there!” With this episode we continue to pull back the layers to reveal the themes and topics and approaches and angles of Blue Blood. We conducted the interview via email correspondence in November of 2020. Thank you for listening. Thank you to Robin Gow for being our guest today. Thank you to Amanda Lopez for helping me produce this episode and for being the lead The Nasiona editor for Blue Blood.  Interested in getting a copy of Robin’s newest collection of essays and poems? Go here or to thenasiona.com and search for Blue Blood by Robin Gow. *** 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 experiences—stories 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 E
Decolonizing & Indigenizing Storytelling, Part 2 In this episode, we share the second part of a virtual public event Julián Esteban Torres López gave on November 10th, hosted by the Department of Language, Literature, and Arts at Texas A&M University, San Antonio. Be sure to check out Part 1, where Julián gives a talk on what it means to decolonize and indigenize storytelling. For this final part today, Dr. Alexandra Rodriguez Sabogal, interviews Julián, followed by a Q&A with the audience moderated by Dr. Katherine Gillen, the Chair of the Department of Language, Literature, and Arts. We discuss: the relationship between language and identity,  how the concept of time can be a tool to challenge hegemonic epistemologies, the importance of centering and circulating thinking and art from the Global South, how we can stand up for our own concerns in a colonized landscape, the challenges of being multilingual in a society that encourages monolingualism, And much more. We jump into the moment of the event when Dr. Alexandra Rodriguez Sabogal asks Julián about his own experiences. Given that Julián was born in Colombia, and raised in both Colombia and the United States, and having also lived in Canada, Chile, and Japan, she asked him how his global experience influenced or informed how he defines myself as an artist and storyteller. We start the episode with Julián answering this question. Thank you for listening. *** We’d like to thank the Dr. Alexandra Rodriguez Sabogal and Dr. Katherine Gillen (chair of the Department of Language, Literature, and Arts at Texas A&M, San Antonio) for all of the hours of preparation they put into making this event happen. Also thank you to Myrna Garza (chair of Native American Heritage Month Committee) and Tamara Hinojosa and the President’s Commission on Equity for their work and support of this event. We’d also like to thank the university’s Spanish, Bilingual Education, Mexican-American and Latinx Studies, Communication, English, and First Year Experience programs for making this event possible. And gracias to the entire Texas A&M, San Antonio, cohort and everyone who attended the event virtually from around the world.  *** 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 experiences—stories 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 @je_torres_lopez. Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona 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
On Healing, Transformation, & Reclaiming Authority of Your Authenticity What does it mean to show up as you beyond the you you were told to be? Christine Cariño joins Julián Esteban Torres López to discuss the philosophy of authenticity, how getting over trauma often means finding your way back to that person you were before the trauma, and the transformative process of rerooting and replanting yourself and reclaiming deferred dreams. This episode is about healing, empowerment, and giving ourselves permission to say yes to ourselves, to allow ourselves to feel, and to create the conditions we need to fully become ourselves. Christine Cariño is a transformation catalyst, a queer nonbinary immigrant of Filipino heritage who’s passionate about creating an inclusive and equitable global society. She is also the Founder & Managing Partner of Conscious Thrive LLC. a consulting firm that helps businesses embody the work of diversity, equity and inclusion. Christine designs and facilitates transformation workshops in-person and virtually, with notable international experience. She is a proponent of authenticity and radical self-love as resistance. Her coaching practice is centered in empowering global majority leaders reach their next level of success through healing and authenticity so they can create impact on their own terms. Prior to her work, she has spent over eight years in corporate America as a Recruitment and Staffing strategist where she has coached professionals throughout the hiring process and advised business leaders in different industries on staffing and retention strategies best fit within their organizational needs. She holds a Bachelor's in International Studies; a Diploma in Coaching from NYU and a DEI in the workplace certificate from University of South Florida. She believes that for us to create a thriving, loving and inclusive world, we must start the work within. To heal, love and include all parts of who we are creates the ripple of change we want to see in our family, relationships, communities and society. consciousthrive.com IG: @consciousthrive   LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ccarino Christine Cariño and Julián Esteban Torres López spoke on the 17th of November 2021. This is that conversation. Thank you for listening. 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 experiences—stories 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 @je_torres_lopez. Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona 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
Decolonizing & Indigenizing Storytelling, Part 1 Colonization has not ended. We are not in a post-colonial age in a similar way that we are not in a post-racial age. Colonization has simply become normalized, perpetuated by dominant culture narratives, and accepted by the majority as part of life. On this episode, we share a virtual public talk Julián Esteban Torres López gave entitled "Decolonizing and Indigenizing Storytelling," hosted by the Department of Language, Literature, and Arts at Texas A&M, San Antonio. Julián centers the talk around several questions: What does it mean to decolonize and Indigenize storytelling? How do institutionalized Euro-centric storytelling frameworks limit creativity, understanding of stories and histories, and how we relate to others, our selves, our environment, and our art creations? What does it mean to center Indigenous ways of thinking, knowing, and creating in storytelling? How can we reimagine and redesign and free ourselves from the shackles and limitations of colonial storytelling? He shares his story; discusses his storytelling work across various media platforms; and addresses the importance of decolonizing storytelling, affirming Indigenous traditions, and creating safe and encouraging spaces for BIPOC stories. We’d like to thank Rigorous (a journal edited and written by people of color) for publishing Julián's poem “The Wind” in its Volume 5, Issue 2. We’d also like to thank the Dr. Alexandra Rodriguez Sabogal and Dr. Katherine Gillen (chair of the Department of Language, Literature, and Arts at Texas A&M, San Antonio) for all of the hours of preparation they put into making this event happen. Also thank you to Myrna Garza (chair of Native American Heritage Month Committee) and Tamara Hinojosa and the President’s Commission on Equity for their work and support of this event. We’d also like to thank the university’s Spanish, Bilingual Education, Mexican-American and Latinx Studies, Communication, English, and First Year Experience programs for making this event possible. And gracias to the entire Texas A&M, San Antonio, cohort and everyone who attended the event virtually from around the world.  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 experiences—stories 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 @je_torres_lopez. Please follow The Nasiona on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for regular updates: @TheNasiona 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 <a href="https://www.patreon.com
Being Latina/e/o/x On today’s episode, we center, elevate, and amplify our stories from our own mouths. We take you on a tour of what it means to be Latina/e/o/x through the voices of previous The Nasiona Podcast guests. Our stories are complex, nuanced, and deserve to be heard. In the show notes, you can find links to the previous guests’ episodes, if you want to listen to the entire conversations and learn more about all guests. Also, we have a magazine series at TheNasiona.com that specifically focuses on personal essays, memoirs, and poetry about what it means to be Latina/e/o/x. Be sure to check those out. Guests: Sylvia Salazar, Colette Ghunim, Alondra Adame, Eva Gonzalez, Diana Castellanos, Mireya S. Vela, Liza Ann Acosta, Alexandra Meda, Christina Igaraividez, J.L. Torres, Irma Herrera, Beezy Montaña, Ra Avis, Patrick A. Howell, Carlos Carrasco, and Deborah Taffa. [00:02 - 00:14] Sylvia Salazar: Episode 24: Tono Latino [02:18 - 03:00] Colette Ghunim: Episode 23: Traces of Home [03:02 - 03:54] Alondra Adame: Episode 27: To the Border Crossers [03:56 - 04:54] Eva Gonzalez: Episode 27: To the Border Crossers [04:56 - 06:05] Diana Castellanos: Episode 27: To the Border Crossers [06:06 - 07:14] Mireya S. Vela: Episode 2: Mireya S. Vela’s Vestiges of Courage [07:21 - 07:40; 10:16 - 11:12] Liza Ann Acosta: Episode 36: The Sisterhood of Teatro Luna, Part 1 [07:41 - 09:16] Alexandra Meda: Episode 36: The Sisterhood of Teatro Luna, Part 1 [09:18 - 10:14] Christina Igaraividez: Episode 36: The Sisterhood of Teatro Luna, Part 1 [11:13 - 12:46] J.L. Torres: Episode 59 – The Nuyorican Hallway: Belonging & Living Between Worlds [12:50 - 15:26] Irma Herrera: Episode 22: Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name? [15:28 - 16:37] Beezy Montaña: Episode 48 – BIPOC Musical Artists Showcase [16:39 - 18:30] Ra Avis: Episode 34: Incarceration and Prison Abolition, Part 1 [18:32 - 19:23] Patrick A. Howell: Episode 31: Global International African Arts Movement, Part 2 [19:26 - 20:53] Carlos Carrasco: Episode 50 – Inside the Afro-Latino Actors Studio, Part 1 [20:54 - 24:02] Deborah Taffa: Episode 39 – Kwatsáan: Ancestral Land, Myths, & Reparations   The Nasiona Podcast amplifies the voices and experiences of the marginalized, undervalued, overloo
Growing up Black and Brown in a White Town What’s it like growing up Black and brown in a predominantly white town? Joe Sparkman and Julián Esteban Torres López share their experiences of growing up together in the 1990s as teenagers in Nashua, New Hampshire. If you are a fan of the show The Office, you may know that Nashua is the location of one of Dunder Mifflin’s branches—the very branch where Holly Flax was working out of before she got transferred to the Scranton branch.  Others may be familiar with Nashua as having been the place where JFK launched his presidential campaign at the steps of City Hall.Or, maybe you heard that Nashua was ranked both in 1987 and 1997 by Money magazine as the best place to live in the United States. Some of you may even know the obscure fact that Nashua was one of the only places in the country (if not the only place, period) where you could find triangular manhole covers covering most of the city’s sewer connections. Others may remember the Good Will Hunting scene where Will tells Sean during his therapy session that he wants “to move up to Nashua, get a nice little spread, get some sheep and tend to them.” I remember being in Nashua watching this movie when it came out and everyone in the movie theatre just looked at each other and started laughing with pride, even though the movie was actually making fun of our city. For me, however, my favorite historical fact was that the Nashua Dodgers—a farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s—is believed to be the first professional baseball team based in the United States in the twentieth century to play with a racially integrated roster. The team was based at Holman Stadium in Nashua, New Hampshire, the very stadium that hosted my high school graduation ceremony in 1999. The very same stadium where Joe Sparkman and I used to play football together. Yet, despite Nashua having the history of hosting the first racially integrated U.S. team in modern baseball, the racism in Nashua in the 1990s was still very much alive when Joe Sparkman and I moved to the city to attend Jr. High School and Sr. High School together. So what it was it really like growing up as Black and brown in New Hampshire in the 1990s in a predominantly white state and a city that saw itself as racially progressive? That’s what this episode unpacks. And to dig in, I invited one of my oldest and closest friends, Joe Sparkman, to join me for the conversation. Joe Sparkman is an inspiration to others and has been one of the reasons why The Nasiona flourished in the first place. Back in the mid-1990s, when Joe and I were classmates in 8th grade together, Joe gave me my first social justice awakening. In this episode, along with forthcoming episodes, I want to humanize The Nasiona by introducing you to the behind the scenes conversations we have with each other here, and to the people who have made The Nasiona possible.  Joe Sparkman joined the team last year to become our podcast’s music producer, and this year he is helping us to officially make our transition into becoming a non-profit organization. In light of this, I wanted to re-introduce you to one of The Nasiona’s visionaries. Joe Sparkman decided to follow his dreams in music after he got his multiple sclerosis diagnosis. He started working with Ne-Yo and went on to produce several prominent artists, such as Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Joe, Snoop, Christina Milian, Heather Headley, Emeli Sande, Nicole Scherzinger, Missy Elliot, Prince Royce, among others. He won several awards: Grammy, ASCAP Award, multiple Platinum and Gold plaques, and an African Music Award. After his music career, he continued to dream big and co-founded a million-dollar medical and pharmaceutical company (Medsav). He’s currently
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