The Nasiona Podcast

The Nasiona Podcast

The Nasiona Podcast shares stories that explore the spectrum of human experience and glimpse into foreign worlds. We focus on 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 cannot discover. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López.... Show More

Episodes

When Irma Herrera gives her name its correct Spanish pronunciation, some people assume she’s not a real American. Her play, Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?is one woman’s journey from a small segregated South Texas town to California's multicultural mecca. 

In this wide-ranging intervie... Read more

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Most people know about Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 landmark case that integrated US schools for the first time. What many people don’t realize—especially if they’ve been brought up in very white communities—is that race is still a contentious topic in education. In fact, we’re more segregated today than we were in the late 1960s, according to The Atlantic, PolitiFact, Vox, and others, but most people ... Read more

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Most TV and movies portray adoption as a white parent adopting a child. This is true in such mainstream shows as Friends, Glee, 90210, Modern Family, Sex and The City, Grey’s Anatomy, and Parenthood. This representation is often how people think of adoption, something that can get frustrating for Nishta J. Mehra... Read more

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Minimalism is intentionally living with only the things you really need. Minimalists maintain that there are benefits to minimalist living, like reduced anxiety, lower expenses, increased productivity, and living a more fulfilling life. But not all minimalists go so far as to reduce their possessions to live out of a van ... for years ... intentionally. My guest today is author Read more

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In addition to being multiracial, many mixed-race Americans are also multicultural. For example, in The Nasiona’s book Mixed, Nicole Zelniker wrote about Kazu and Lynda Gomi. Kaz... Read more

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Publishing has a race problem. Entertainment Weekly reported that only 7.8% of romance authors using a traditional publisher were people of color in 2016. For that same year, NPR found that only 22% of all characters in children’s books were characters of color.

This, in a country where people of color are expected to make up more than half of the population by 2044 according to The Center for American Progress. ... Read more

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In 2017, editors Sean Frederick Forbes and Tara Betts, along with co-editor Cathy Schlund-Vials, published a volume of essays entitled The Beiging of America: Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century. This collection joins others such as Jesmyn Ward’s Read more

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How can memoir be a political act? When living under oppressive systems, the simple act of standing up and sharing personal stories that go against the mainstream is a political act. Mireya S. Vela and Julián Esteban Torres López meditate on this issue, which is an essential part of each other’s work. Vela speaks from the perspective of an author, while ... Read more

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Much of the already small disability representation in the media focuses on white people, and often men. This includes Artie Abrams from the TV show Glee, Jack Hodgins from the TV show Bones, and Jake Sully from the film Avatar. Although we would never know it from TV and movies, the CDC reports that 19.67% of people of color have a disability compared with 20% of white people.

In many spaces, people with disabilities are... Read more

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Since European settlers brought enslaved Africans to the United States, there has been passing. In terms of race, passing means presenting as a race you don’t identify as, such as when an escaped enslaved person pretended to be white to avoid being sold back into slavery. More recently, former Spokane NAACP president Rachel Dolezal made headlines when it came out that she was a white woman passing as black for many years.

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In 1958, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter married in Washington D.C., having left the state of Virginia to do so because of the Racial Integrity Act that had been in place in their home state since 1924. Upon their return, the couple, being mixed-race, were charged with, quote, “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth." They pleaded guilty in 1959 and spent one year in jail, after which ... Read more

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Mixed-race families are becoming more and more commonplace, as evidenced by everything from The Pew Research Center’s data to the latest Census reports. In this episode, we continue to talk about the experiences of those who come from mixed-race families, like Katie Bullard and Jesse Chen.

Katie Bullard, who is Chinese, lives with her parents, both white, and her younger brother Jacob, who is Vietnamese, in Brevard, North... Read more

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Mixed-race U.S. Americans are one of the fastest-growing populations in the United States, according to The Pew Research Center. In 2017, 10% of all children in the U.S. were mixed-race, up from just 1% in the 1970s. Evidence from The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry indicates that this number will only go up: In 2016, they reported that “47% of white teens, 60% of black teens, and 90% of Hispanic teens said t... Read more

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Four daughters lose and find their mothers, engage and disengage with them, learn and unlearn who these women are and who they were before they came along. These daughters, intentionally and unintentionally, look for meaning and identity in the women who gave them birth; because whether we like or barely tolerate them, whether we love or reject them entirely, whether they put us together fragment by careful fragment, or whether ... Read more

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A portrait of a Burmese woman's quest to piece together the fragments of her identity and how she's helping empower the people of Myanmar with social and emotional intelligence through her psychological consulting firm so they can heal, transform, and grow to reach their fullest potential and contribute to the development of their country.

Author, educa... Read more

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Motherhood has often been considered a pinnacle of wisdom and serenity, a sort of joining together of all those parts of ourselves that were supposedly, until this point, in lesser focus. But in truth, more often than not, motherhood opens more doors than it closes. It is an endless series of complications and ambiguities that are put into sharper relief by the arrival of a daughter.

 What emerges from the following four ... Read more

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Why is it so hard to change people’s minds and behaviors with new facts? We explore this question by looking at it through the lens of pediatrics. More specifically, we focus on new information about infant food allergy. Dr. Ron Sunog joins me to discuss his new book, Eat The Eight: Preventing Food Allergy with Food and th... Read more

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We continue our episode 3 discussion on mixed-race families by digging into transracial adoption. Nicole Zelniker—whose book, Mixed, was the focus of that episode—joins me to interview Leah Whetten-Goldstein about her experience being adopted from China into a white, Jewish family in North Carolina.

We discuss side-ef... Read more

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Today’s episode is a continuation of episode 2 of our podcast. In that episode, we spoke with Mireya S. Vela about the life experiences that were the soil that nourished her book, Vestiges of Courage: Collected Essays, published by The Nasiona.

Vestiges of Courage is a collection of personal essays that explores inequities and injustice. Raised between two cultures and two languages, Mireya S. V... Read more

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The definition of families is widening, whether it's because of mixed-race relationships, interracial adoption, or numerous other factors. Today, it is important to hear from a growing population about race, their shifting identities, and what family means to them.

At the heart of the issue are the mixed-race families. Many mixed-race children have had difficulties fitting in, whether with one race or the other. In mi... Read more

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