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Keynote  Speakers

 

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the
2021 Conference! 

Table  in  the  marketplace!

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Friday Keynote

DUABA UNENRA

Duaba is a cultural worker, writer, community educator, and grassroots arts administrator whose home is Minneapolis, MN. He was born and raised in New Orleans, where his experiences of anti-Black government systems, socio-ecological disasters, and dysfunctional publicworks shaped his consciousness. By witnessing the ways colonizing institutions and communication systems are used to repress transformative discourse, he turned to publication, facilitation, organizational development, and ritual design as his mediums of choice for counteracting the neo-colonial imagination. He is currently working on two major projects: Confluence: An East Lake Studio for Community Design where he is building a free university for community-led urban development called the Institute for Urban Vitality; and as an organizer in the Wild Path Collective, where he is engaged in a group effort to free up 100-acres of land in the St. Croix River Valley to establish a cultural land commons for Black, Indigenous, and People of Culture.

Saturday Keynote

Kim Katrin

Kim Katrin is an internationally acclaimed award winning educator, consultant & social entrepreneur. She is recognized as one of The Root's' Young Feminists to Watch', and celebrated as Canada’s National Youth Role Model.

Since 2012, Kim has spoken on equity and social entrepreneurship at institutions across Canada and the US both on and offline to millions. Kim has opened for the cultural scholar Cornel West at the University of California, delivered the keynote address at Historically Black Colleges's Morehouse & Spelman and was a beloved speaker at LUSH headquarters.

She has hosted events for the United Nations, conversations with Grammy award winner Erykah Badu, New York Times best selling writer Roxane Gay and icon Jewelle Gomez.

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CHECK OUT THE SESSIONS

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Black   &   Asian Solidarity: Finding   Unity

Friday, August 6 | 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  BIPOC and LBGTQIA+ identifying folx, mixed folx, parents of mixed folx or trans-racial adoptees

Presenter:  Sophie Kanno “asian_soph” She/Her/Hers, MonaLisa She/Her/Hers, Rohan Zhou-Lee They/Siya/祂 (Tā) , Sharmane Fury She/They honorifics: Sir/Mix

Description: Knowing the history of solidarity, working to a place of understanding, discovering your unique role in the fight against oppressive systems, and bringing forward the message of unity is the foundation of this workshop. 


Session Format: Presentation / Q&A

Resilience  and   Recovery   for Multicultural  Americans

Friday, August 6 | 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  ALL audiences, esp. Multiracial/Multicultural participants & their families

 

Presenter:  Kimberly J. Miller

Description: Americans compose one of the fastest growing sectors of the population. We are literally changing the face of America.  With more research about our experiences than ever before, our future potential is bright.  Our shared challenges have also been clarified.  One example: multicultural youth have some of the highest rates of depression, alcohol use and drug addiction.  Too often, oppression and addiction go hand in hand, leaving us bound and imprisoned both figuratively and literally.  We need safe spaces to explore these issues and to build mutual support to help overcome such struggles and achieve our greatest potential.  Combining video presentation and group discussion, we'll explore the effects of our common search for belonging, our evolving legal status, and how they affect our personal growth.  The session concludes by highlighting our resilience and other strengths we can all leverage to live a truly free and empowered life.


Session Format: Video, Presentation & Discussion

Creating  while Mixed:   A   panel discussion
between  content creators   and platforms leaders discussing   their unique   angles  on mixed  race identities

Friday, August 6 | 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  open to all including content creators and content consumers, BIPOC centered


Presenter:  Panelists: CA Davis of Latto Thought Podcast, Daniela Guerrero Rodriguez of Daniela GR Consulting & Jeffrey Cooper of The Mixd Project. Moderated by Alissa Paris- Director of MidWest Mixed


Description: In recent years, it seems there’s been an explosion of content centered on and trying to solidify “the mixed race experience.” Out of all the artists, writers, podcasters, and platform leaders, our panelists will explore what the mixed race identity even means to them, how they’ve grown since immersing themselves into their work, and how their own paths lead to differences in their artistic approach, style, and philosophy. Join us for this panel discussion, facilitated by MidWest Mixed’s Alissa Paris, as they make space for messy and thought provoking exploration in how they create in order to share knowledge, history, and personal reflections with the world.

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'No   Bodies Looked   Like   Me': A   Dialogue   on Living   in   a Mixed-Race   Body

Friday, August 6 | 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  primarily mixed-race people and transracial adoptees, with other BIPOC folks welcome.


Presenter:  Emmanuel Ortiz

Description: Living in a mixed-race body informs our own mixed-race identities. What does it mean to not have our mothers’ eyes, our fathers’ skin tone? How has this impacted our own sense of authenticity, wholeness, and belonging – to our parents, our families, our peer groups, our ethnic communities? What have we struggled with in relationship to our physical bodies? What discoveries have we made along the way? What do we love about our mixed-race bodies? What do we celebrate? How has our journey been? In exploring these topics, and sharing our stories , the goal is to recognize that each of us is not an island, disconnected from others because we look “different”; rather we are an archipelago, connected in kinship by our experiences of living in a mixed-race body. 


Session Format: Facilitated Dialogue / Small Breakout

The   Potential   of Collective Truth-Telling Among   Women   of Color  in   an International Writing   Contest

Friday, August 6 | 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  Open to all


Presenter:  Sarah Webb

Description: “Healing takes place within us as we speak the truth of our lives.” –bell hooks. This panel presents women of color as self-empowered agents who respond to their colorism experiences through reflective acts of creative self-expression. In addition to sharing and discussing their writings as participants in the 2021 Colorism Healing Writing Contest, the panel will also engage the audience in a robust Q&A.


Session Format: Panel discussion with Audience Q&A
 

Mixed-Race Mixed   Feelings

Friday, August 6 | 1:35PM-3:00PM CST

Audience:  workshop for mixed race individuals


Presenter:  Daniela Guerrero-Rodriguez

Description: Ever get that 'ugh, ick, cringe' feeling in situations where you wanna speak up or do something, but are unsure what that 'something' could be? Let's work together to figure out that 'something for ourselves so that we can address these situations with confidence.


Session Format: Facilitated Dialogue / Small Breakout
 

Ancestral Affirmations: Exploring   the Role  of Synchronicity   in Multiracial Communities

Friday, August 6 | 1:35PM-3:00PM CST

Audience:  Open to all


Presenter:  Naliyah Kaya and Natasha Chapman

Description: How do we draw from our ancestors and cultures when we need to make sense of a situation or are seeking understanding, guidance, or encouragement? This interactive workshop offers space to focus on the strength, complexity, and beauty of multiracial communities by identifying, reflecting on, and sharing how synchronicity manifests in our cultures in ways that sustain us and bring joy when we need affirmation. We will begin by collectively creating a working definition of synchronicity. Space will then be given for you to engage in small and large group storytelling to share examples of synchronicity (focusing on the significance of particular symbols, motifs, artifacts, practices, places...) and the meaning-making that has resulted from these meaningful experiences. We will end with a short closing ceremony honoring the labor that has gone into preserving the cultural practices and knowledge that has been invoked during our time together. 


Session Format: Facilitated Dialogue / Small Breakout
 

Disobedient & Devotional

Friday, August 6 | 1:35PM-3:00PM CST

Audience:  It is intended for any individual being opened by questions of belonging.


Presenter:  Sara Montijo

Description:  Disobedient & Devotional is an invitation to play with our individual & collective agency in the context of vulnerability & reciprocity. As core tenants of community-building, Sara Montijo will facilitate a dialogue/experience that examines how disobedience & devotion show up in our lives & in our quest for belonging. We will explore the emergent tensions & harmonies that disobedience & devotion stir up, building on our shared experiences to better the next world now, for all.


Session Format: Facilitated Dialogue / Small Breakout
 

Shapeshifting. Disrupting. Uplifting.   What does   it   mean   to be   Black   and Arab   in Minnesota?”

Friday, August 6 | 1:35PM-3:00PM CST

Audience:  This is for folks who are black and arab of all ages.


Presenter:  nouf saleh & Sara J. Musaifer


 

Moral   Injury

Friday, August 6 | 1:35PM-3:00PM CST

Audience:  Open to All
Presenter:  ed morales,  LICSW (he/him/his); Michelle Seymore, MPA (she/her/hers)

Description: By perpetuating or failing to prevent acts we know to be wrong, or by being betrayed by individuals or systems, we run the risk of experiencing what is known as moral injury; a profound psychological wound caused by the violation of our moral framework. This concept has been well studied across many professional domains, from the military to child welfare. In this session, we’ll take a closer look at how we face down moral injury in mixed communities, and how that experience relates to our own personal, social, and political lives.


Session Format: Content Delivery (Presentation / Q&A)
 

Interrupting Dominant Narratives: Resisting Whiteness  in   the classroom

Saturday, August 7| 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  Adolescence and up. (teen and up)


Presenter:  Vincente Perez

Description: In this interactive workshop, we will examine large social systems as structures that produce dominant narratives that then impact the way that we move through the world and experience life. 


Session Format: Presentation / Q&A
 

Raising   the   Next Generation: sharing   our stories   and ideas

Saturday, August 7| 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  Parents and caregivers of mixed or trans-race relationship


Presenter:  Sierra Asamoa-Tutu

Description: A space where parents and caregivers can find solidarity and encouragement from each other. Where we can laugh, cry, and brainstorm around the challenges and joys of our children and the possibilities for their futures and the world they will build. Aim to leave the session with new ideas and fresh energy for the unique journey of parenting mixed-race families. 


Session Format: Facilitated Dialogue / Small Breakout
 

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Resistance   and Resilience: Our  role  as mixed/TRNA and   Read-as-white   in Struggles   for Justice

Saturday, August 7| 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  Mixed and multi-racial people and transracial adoptees who identify with the experience of being read or perceived as white in the world.


Presenters: Aziz/a Bisanz, LICSW, SEP (they/them) and Eleonore Wesserly she/her

 

Description: As white supremacist and colonialist violence continues to claim the lives of Black and Brown people and create destruction to indigenous lands, our struggles for justice intensify. In times like these, mixed, multi-racial and/or transracial adoptee folks who get read as white may wonder how to show up in these struggles. 

This session invites mixed, multi-racial, and transracial adoptees who are socially perceived as white to think about and imagine into what our role as read-as-white folks looks like in resistance. This is a continuation of a read-as-white dialogue we held in June 2020, and we believe this is an important conversation to have in an on-going and unfolding way.

Together, we'll share the questions and emotions that are coming up for us as mixed/TRA & read as white folks around participating in social movements. 
Session Format: Facilitated Dialogue / Small Breakout

Uncommon Mixes: Marginalization and  [In]visibility in   the   Mixed Race   Community

Saturday, August 7| 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  Mixed Race folks with dual minority mixes (Minority/Minority)


Presenter:  Jennifer Noble, PhD

Description: When you think of mixed race people, do you often assume one White parent? In this presentation and discussion, we will explore the experiences and [in]visibility of dual minority mixes that fall outside of the more often discussed White/Other mixed experience. How does Whiteness impact a dual minority mixed race person? How do dual minority mixed race people navigate experiences of belonging? Cultural connection? Racial identity choices? How are their experiences with racism and monoracism different and similar to those with a White parent? These questions and more will be explored. This is a space for amplifying the voices and affirming the experiences of dual minority mixed race people.


Session Format: Presentation / Q&A
 

Mixed   Signaling

Saturday, August 7| 10:35AM-12:35PM CST

Audience:  those who identify as mixed POC


Presenter:  Sicily Amaris McRaven

Description: Mixed Signaling; Consciously Claiming Identity in a Segregated World.


Session Format: Facilitated Dialogue / Small Breakout
 

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Colonizer Religion: Deconstructing Faith,   Rooting Out   White Supremacy,   and Reclaiming Spirituality   for   Ourselves

Saturday, August 7| 1:25PM-2:50PM CST

Audience:  Anyone of any spiritual background can join, particularly those who want to pull apart their experience for a closer look. 


Presenter:  Liz Digitale Anderson

Description: At its best, spirituality leads to liberation—but too many of us grew up inhaling toxic, patriarchal, fear-based religion. Maybe you were ignorant of the ways in which white supremacy culture shaped your religious upbringing; maybe you’ve always been aware that you were ingesting systems of domination that actively worked to stamp out indigenous and traditional ways of connecting with ourselves, the world, and the divine. One of the tensions of living as colonizer and colonized in one mixed body is figuring out what, if anything, is still life-giving in the faith you grew up with. Whether you’ve been deconstructing faith for decades or have just begun unpacking your baggage, we’re all still in search of liberation for ourselves and our communities. Our activism needs our deepest, healing spiritual selves. We make the road by walking it together; all faith backgrounds and current states of confusion welcome!


Session Format: Facilitated Dialogue / Small Breakout

Feeling   & Healing: Reconciling Multiracial Identity   in   a Polarized   World

Saturday, August 7| 1:25PM-2:50PM CST

Audience:  All multiracial individuals of any background


Presenter:  Farzana Nayani

Description: How do you show up as a multiracial person in a world where we are constantly forced to choose sides? How to be present for communities that are in conflict, when we belong to more than one and can see multiple viewpoints? This past year has been challenging, and national and global events have caused a reckoning around race that has caused an awakening – and at the same time, a resurfacing of wounds among the communities we belong to, and also within ourselves. In this session, we will discuss what it’s like to want to “pull up” for communities in need – while having to resolve our own (lack of) belonging to more than one category at the same time. We will also explore how to address our own personal needs and healing, and how to sensitively center ourselves while advancing justice for people and causes that need the most support. 


Session Format: This will be a combo of presentation and dialogue
 

Multiracial Identities   and Mixed-Race Experiences: Previous Research, Current   Trends, Future Directions

Saturday, August 7| 1:25PM-2:50PM CST

Audience:  Open to all


Presenters:  G. Reginald Daniel, PhD;
Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni; Marc Johnston; Alyssa Newman; Charmaine Wijeyesinghe

Description: An examination of multiraciality and mixed race in terms of previous, current, and future trends in research, public attitudes and behavior, as well as questions of identity. The goal will be to discuss: (1) research on multiracial identities and mixed-race experiences; (2) multiracial identities and mixed-race experiences in terms of public attitudes and behavior; and (3) multiraciality and mixed-race experiences in terms of personal and collective identities.


Session Format: Presentation/Panel discussion with Audience Q&A
 

Documentary Screening “What   Are You?”

Saturday, August 7| 1:25PM-2:50PM CST

Audience:  Anyone can join but I feel this would be particularly helpful for families and parents.


Presenter:  Richard Pierre

Description: Multiple award-winning documentary "What Are You"
Synopsis: In this revealing short documentary, eleven people with a range of backgrounds discuss what it’s like being of mixed racial heritage within the context of North America. Each of the participants presents their unique outlook on growing up multiracial and the challenges they’ve faced in their lives.
Followed by Q&A with filmmaker Richard B. Pierre


Session Format: Content Delivery (Presentation / Q&A)

Mixed   Up  Sounds: Change   and Inclusion   in Music

Saturday, August 7| 1:25PM-2:50PM CST

Audience:  Open to all


Presenter:  Stephanie Henry

Description: The “Mixed Up Sounds” workshop will  look into mixed musical figures throughout history and the ways they have influenced the American ‘story.’ Participants will engage in analyzing the social and cultural barriers broken by each artist. We will take a close look at how each artist emerged out of the fabric of the realities of their multiracial heritage and how they reinforced freedom of expression and the power of change through sound


Session Format: Presentation / Q&A

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MEET OUR PRESENTERS AND PANELISTS

 
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Sophie   Kanno “asian_soph” She/Her/Hers

Black & Asian Solidarity: Finding Unity

Sophie Kanno, who often goes by Asian Soph or the Multiracial Wonder Woman, is a mixed race Japanese, German, Scottish and Welsh activist and daughter of an immigrant. She runs the pages @mixedpresent, @mixed_made, and her personal page is @asian_soph. She uses her platforms to build community with other mixed folx, to amplify voices and stories, and to share educational resources and calls to action to dismantle systemic oppression, white supremacy, and the patriarchy. Feel free to connect with her to share the stories and the struggles of the mixed diaspora, and to aid in the fight against systemic injustice. Kanno also holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business Management and works in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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Sharmane    Fury    She/They honorifics: Sir/Mix

Black & Asian Solidarity: Finding Unity

The busiest Mixed Race, bisexual, Polyamorous, Atheist, comic book nerd, cat mom, podcaster one the the podcasting game. Host of the Militantly Mixed and BLERDcoMIXed podcasts. Sharmane’s mission is to elevate Mixed Race voices by sharing their experiences through her podcast. 

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MonaLisa    She/Her/Hers,

Black & Asian Solidarity: Finding Unity

MonaLisa Leung Beckford is a trained instructor in HR training & development and leadership development. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication, a master’s degree in health administration, and the strategic human resources business partner certification. Outside of work, she is a content creator on YouTube and she uses the platform to teach people how to cope with eczema, share her experience being biracial, and advocate for black lives matter and stop Asian hate. She is fluent in Cantonese and she is a volunteer and main translator for BLM Cantonese, a volunteer group that translates BLM terms from English to Cantonese and teaches Cantonese speakers how to have tough conversations about BLM with their parents and elders.

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Rohan    Zhou-Lee
They/Siya/祂 (Tā)

Black & Asian Solidarity: Finding Unity

Rohan Zhou-Lee, pronouns They/Siya/祂 (Tā) is a Black-Asian author, dancer, and organizer in New York City. Of Afro-Asian Caribbean and Afro-Asian United States descent, their writing is  strongly inspired by their heritage. Zhou-Lee is also the founder of the Blasian March, a Black,  Asian and Blasian community initiative that builds solidarity through education and celebration.  They have been featured as an activist on AJ+, CNN, WNYC, and other news outlets. Zhou-Lee  holds a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Ethnomusicology from Northwestern University.

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G.   Reginald   Daniel, Ph.D.

Multiracial Identities and Mixed-Race Experiences: Previous Research, Current Trends, Future Directions

G. Reginald Daniel, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara.  He has published numerous articles, chapters, and books that cover the topic of race and multiraciality. His  books include More Than Black? Multiracial Identity and the New Racial Order (2002), Race and  Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States: Converging Paths? (2006), and Machado de Assis:  Multiracial Identity and the Brazilian Novelist (2012). He is also co-editor of Race and the Obama  Phenomenon: The Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union (2014) and Editor in Chief of the Journal of  Critical Mixed Race Studies (JCMRS). Since 1989, he has taught “Betwixt and Between,” one of the first  and longest-standing university courses to deal specifically with the question of multiracial identity  comparing the U.S. with various parts of the world. On June 16, 2012, he received the Loving Prize at the  5th Annual Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival in Los Angeles. Established in 2008, the prize was a  commemoration of the June 12, 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision that removed the last laws prohibiting  racial intermarriage. It was awarded annually to outstanding artists, storytellers, and community leaders  for inspirational dedication to celebrating and illuminating the mixed racial and cultural experience.

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Fanshen   Cox   DiGiovanni

Multiracial Identities and Mixed-Race Experiences: Previous Research, Current Trends, Future Directions

Fanshen Cox is the president of TruJuLo Productions. TruJuLo uplifts stories that speak truth in pursuit of justice in service of LOVE. Fanshen is the playwright, producer and performer of the award-winning one-woman show One Drop of Love which she toured across the U.S. for 7 years. She is also a producer and development executive at Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Pearl Street Films. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, West Africa, and holds a BA in Spanish & Education, an MA in TESOL, and an MFA in TV, Film & Theatre. She has been honored with distinguished alumni awards from CSULA and from Teachers College, Columbia University. Fanshen is a co-author of the Inclusion Rider, and co-host of the Webby nominated podcast Sista Brunch.

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Marc   P.   Johnston-Guerrero

Multiracial Identities and Mixed-Race Experiences: Previous Research, Current Trends, Future Directions

Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero is Associate Chair of the Department of Educational Studies and an associate professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program at The Ohio State University. He is also affiliated faculty with OSU’s Asian American Studies program. Marc’s research interests focus on diversity and social justice issues in higher education and student affairs, with specific attention to college students negotiating and making meaning of race and racism and Multiracial/mixed race issues. He is co-editor of the book Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education and has published over 30 articles and book chapters focusing on diversity related issues, including his co-authored chapter (with Kevin Nadal, John Jay College) in Derald Wing Sue’s (2010) Microaggressions and Marginality, which was first to coin the term monoracism as a unique system of oppression facing individuals who do not fit monoracial categorization. Marc is active in several higher education associations, including the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) where he is Member-at-Large, Faculty for the ACPA Governing Board. He will also serve as the Division J Program Chair for the 2023 AERA Annual Meeting. He recently completed terms as Associate Editor of the Journal of Higher Education and editorial board member for the Journal of College Student Development and the Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity.

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Alyssa   Newman

Multiracial Identities and Mixed-Race Experiences: Previous Research, Current Trends, Future Directions

Alyssa M. Newman received her PhD in Sociology with a doctoral emphasis in Black Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2018. Her research interests have centered around the production of racial meaning with a focus on multiraciality. She has explored these topics through research projects relating to collective identity formation, biology and genetics, the intersection of mixedness and masculinity, as well as family relationships and reproduction. Currently, Alyssa is a Hecht- Levi Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Alyssa has taught courses on technology and human reproduction and scientific and popular perceptions of racial mixing. Her current research uses gamete donation as a site to investigate how ideas about race, culture, genetics, and connection to family background inform the selection of a gamete donor.

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Charmaine   Wijeyesinghe

Multiracial Identities and Mixed-Race Experiences: Previous Research, Current Trends, Future Directions

Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe, Ed.D. is an independent consultant with over 35 years of experience working with colleges and universities, not for profit organizations, and companies around the country on a range of social justice topics. She specializes in the areas of racial and social identity models, intersectionality, conflict resolution and multicultural competencies, and writing for social justice. Charmaine has presented over 125 programs at national conferences including NCORE, ACPA, ISPRC, NAME, and the Teachers College Round Table. Charmaine’s doctoral research on Multiracial people yielded one of the first models of identity development in this population. This original work was adopted into the anti-bias curriculum of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and her models of Multiracial identity have been published and cited in numerous works. She served on the Editorial Board of the Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity and in 2017 she was the inaugural recipient of the NCORE Social Justice Award for Scholarship. In 2021, she was the co-recipient (with Marc Johnston-Guerrero) of the Innovations Award of ACPA’s Multiracial Network.

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Daniela   Guerrero-Rodriguez (she/they)

Creating while Mixed: A panel discussion between content creators and platforms leaders discussing their unique angles on mixed race identities

Mixed-Race Mixed Feelings
 

Daniela Guerrero-Rodriguez (she/they) is a queer latinx immigrant femme of European, African and Indigenous ancestry who currently resides on the stolen land of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people, colonially known as Vancouver, BC. Raised in a predominantly low income immigrant community she was able to experience first hand the 'supports' that were available to the community, and their lack of robustness in creating social change. Her curiosity around ‘success', culture and well-being led her to get a B.A. in Intercultural Studies, and an M.Ed in Arts for Social Change as well as work as a mental health front line worker for almost 20 years. As an online educator and coach she looks at ways to disrupt the social stories we have been taught by the dominant culture by creating online dialogue spaces, teaching workshops and through her course 'The Work' 101. In her spare time she hangs out by the beach, is a taco connoisseur and creates community art events in her neighbourhood.
See more at www.danielagrconsulting.ca

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Joe   Martinez 

Creating while Mixed: A panel discussion between content creators and platforms leaders discussing their unique angles on mixed race identities

Joe Martinez is a photographer based in St. Louis, MO. He is most interested in telling stories of those breaking down boundaries and taking up space where they aren’t traditionally seen or welcomed. His clients include Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, and Oprah Daily. His on-going portrait project, Imposter, explores the concept of “racial imposter syndrome,” or the feeling that multi-racial or mixed people experience when they can’t fully identify with any part of their racial identity. As a multi-racial person, it’s a project that means a great deal to him and he’s excited to continue exploring this concept and telling more stories. See more at https://www.behance.net/joemartinez 

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CA   DAVIS

Creating while Mixed: A panel discussion between content creators and platforms leaders discussing their unique angles on mixed race identities

CA Davis is a film editor, director, audio documentarian, a digital storyteller/producer for the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences’ Media and Design Studio, and the creator/host of a LATTO thought. As a Black-Filipino-white/Italian American, CA focuses his creative energy on critical race theory, mixed race studies, racial histories, injustices, and the push for social reform and abolition. You can view and listen to his most recent work on LATTOthought.com and CADavis.me.

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ALissa   Paris

Creating while Mixed: A panel discussion between content creators and platforms leaders discussing their unique angles on mixed race identities

Director at MidWest Mixed

Alissa Paris is a mother, teaching artist, and space-maker who identifies as a queer, Black/latinx/white, cisgender women living on Anishanaaabeg & Dakhóta people’s stolen land, Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2014, Paris co-founded and currently serves as the Executive Director of MidWest Mixed, a Minnesota-based volunteer-led organization dedicated to the diverse experience of multiracial and mixed-race people as well as transracial and transnational adoptees of color. 
 

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Emmanuel   Ortiz

'No Bodies Looked Like Me': A Dialogue on Living in a Mixed-Race Body

I’m a 47 year old Puerto Rican/Mexican/Irish-American community organizer and writer. I have worked on social and racial justice issues for over 25 years, both within the Latinx community and across communities of color. My work often incorporates art and storytelling into the political struggle and community building. I am a founding member of Palabristas: Latinx Word Slingers, a Twin Cities-based Latinx poets’ collective. For the last 7 years, I have worked as a figure model for art classes, and have coordinated the Twin Cities BIPOC Figure Drawing Group. Working as a nude model, and working with/training other BIPOC (especially mixed-race) models has led me to more deeply examine/explore our relationship to our bodies, especially as mixed-race people. In conversation with other mixed-race * BIPOC peers, I have held deep dialogue about what it means to live in a mixed-race body – one that may not resemble our parents’, or other family members. I seek to share my own insights and hold space for others to share theirs, so that participants may leave the experience feeling less isolated, different.

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 Jennifer   Noble,   PhD

Uncommon Mixes: Marginalization and [In]visibility in the Mixed Race Community

Dr. Jennifer Noble (DrJennPsych online) is a licensed psychologist, teen parent coach and Associate Professor of Psychology. She has a private practice in Los Angeles where she works mainly with mixed race teens and their monoracial parents, BIPOC women of color (including mixed race) and other marginalized groups. A past president of MASC (Multiracial Americans of Southern California) and now an advisory board member, she continues her focus on affirming mixed race identity, dismantling monoracism and educating society about the mixed race experience. Dr. Jenn provides parent coaching for parents of mixed race kids so they can help build a foundation in their children for a secure mixed race identity. Her passion for racial identity and the mixed race experience are heavily influenced by her own lived experience as a mixed race, Blasian woman.

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KimberlY   J.   Miller

Resilience and Recovery for Multicultural Americans

Kimberly J. Miller is a native Minnesotan whose career includes over 40 years experience as an educator, trainer, performance coach and business leader in the public and private sectors. A former Director of Workforce Development for the University of California, Berkeley, she has led human resource departments and programs in the high tech and corporate world on a national and international level. She was a founding member of the first Women of Mixed Heritage group in San Francisco in 1981, which marked the beginning of her journey studying issues faced by multiracial people in the United States.  Kimberly's three + decades of sobriety also led her to working in the addiction field with a special focus on people of color in recovery.

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Dr.   Sarah    L.   Webb

The Potential of Collective Truth-Telling Among Women of Color in an International Writing Contest

Dr. Sarah L. Webb launched the global initiative Colorism Healing in 2013 to raise awareness and foster individual and collective healing through creative and critical work. Dr. Webb’s myriad efforts to address colorism include designing a course on global colorism at UIS, hosting an international writing contest, publishing books, consulting, speaking, leading workshops on colorism, and mentoring youth and students across the world from Sacramento, California to Sydney, Australia. Dr. Webb has written and contributed to several academic and non-academic articles, presented at national conferences, and been featured as a guest on regional NPR stations, including WBEZ Chicago’s Afternoon Shift and BYU Radio’s Top of Mind. She has also been a guest on the national streaming network Fox Soul TV and has recently been featured in the Illinois Times and on the TEDx stage. One of Dr. Webb’s favorite pastimes is providing edutainment on social media, especially Instagram and TikTok.

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Sicily   Amaris   McRaven

Mixed Signaling

Sicily Amaris McRaven is a fibers and drawing installation artist, community arts facilitator, and activist working to move the conversation forward in her own right, on radical sobriety, social-behavioral/communication-based health, and art as social practice.

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Sierra   Asamoa-Tutu

Raising the Next Generation: sharing our stories and idea

Sierra is a mother, advocate, and mental health professional from Gallup, New Mexico. As the daughter of a Dutch American mother and a Diné (Navajo) father, she is the descendent of survivors of both colonizers and colonized people and sees this identity as a critical opportunity to hold space for healing historical trauma. 

Sierra earned a B.A. in Global and Intercultural Studies from Calvin University in 2006, and a Master of Social Work from the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University in 2013. She developed a clinical social work practice at the American Indian Family Center in Saint Paul, MN, as a Healing Generations Therapist from 2014-2020, where she worked with individuals of all ages and facilitated a culturally-specific therapeutic group on family resilience. 

Sierra is also active with organizations working for building understanding through storytelling, circle processes, and mediation around topics of trauma, race, and spirituality.  She views the world as deeply connected and hopes to positively impact others through healing work and education.

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Liz   Digitale   Anderson 

Colonizer Religion: Deconstructing Faith, Rooting Out White Supremacy, and Reclaiming Spirituality for Ourselves

Liz Digitale Anderson is an artist, musician, activist, and mama. She's chasing breakthroughs that release herself, others, communities, and cultures to be more and more free. She's been shaped by living internationally, deconstructing religion, reconstructing spirituality, building interfaith youth work, and exploring intentional community. Her main adventure for the past four years has been raising two tiny humans and the accompanying PhD-level inner work that comes with them. Lately she's been writing songs to sing in community that support movements for liberation. Liz would love for you to join her in creating radical spaces of welcome, being stubborn about hope, and the ongoing work of tearing down the walls in your voice, your soul, your assumptions, your stereotypes, your cisheteropatriarchy, your white supremacy, your capitalism, and your dreams.

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Naliyah    Kaya

Ancestral Affirmations: Exploring the Role of Synchronicity in Multiracial Communities

Naliyah Kaya is an Associate Professor of Sociology, spoken word poet, beader, and mixed media artist. As a public sociologist, she centers her energy on the intersections of art and activism (e.g., artivism) focusing on counter narratives, the self, multiraciality—specifically mixed Middle Eastern & North African experiences, antiracism, leadership, and ableism & accessibility. Her recent work includes: “Existing In-Between: Embodying the Synergy of My Ancestors” in Multiracial Experiences in Higher Education: Contesting Knowledge, Honoring Voice, and Innovating Practice and “Challenging and Changing Racial Categories? Interracial Marriage and Multiracial Americans” in Race and Ethnicity: Sociology in Action due out later this year. Dr. Kaya organizes arts programming as a member of the Executive Committee for the Critical Mixed Race Studies Association (CMRSA) and has served as a cultural consultant, guest lecturer, and evaluator for multiple cross-cultural community-based art exhibits. She previously served as the Coordinator for Multiracial & Native American/Indigenous Student Involvement at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) where she continues to teach TOTUS Spoken Word Experience for the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House in collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Involvement & Community 

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Natash a   Chapman

Ancestral Affirmations: Exploring the Role of Synchronicity in Multiracial Communities

Natasha Chapman brings 16 years working at the intersections of education, equity, leadership, and research in higher education.  She earned her PhD in Educational Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she completed her dissertation on the experiences of multiracial students on college campuses.  She is also passionate about critical leadership pedagogy and interrogating how we understand, value, and enact leadership using storytelling and critical reflection tools.  This has generated over 50 opportunities to present at conferences including the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity, the International Leadership Association, and Critical Mixed Race Studies, as well as, a dozen publications related to digital storytelling, counternarratives, metacognition, implicit bias, and inclusive leadership. 

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RICHARD   PIERRE

Documentary Screening “What Are You?”

Richard B. Pierre is an award-winning multiracial Black filmmaker whose films have been broadcast and screened at festivals worldwide. His work tackles a range of genres and subject matter; most recently focussing on race. 
        Richard’s professional experience includes writing, editing, producing and directing. Richard’s first feature-length screenplay 'Crooked' was selected as a quarter-finalist for the 2009 Nicholl Fellowship, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 
        Richard's short films have been selected for the St. Louis International Film Festival, HollyShorts Film Festival, the Yorkton Film Festival and many others worldwide.  In 2011 he received the Naish McHugh Award for Emerging Filmmaker at the Toronto Urban Film Festival.  His first dramatic 35 mm short film “The Toboggan,” funded by the Ontario Arts Council, premiered at the 2011 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. In 2012 his first interactive short film “Far From The Heart” was nominated for a Golden Sheaf Award and he was named a ReelWorld Film Festival 2012 Emerging 20 Filmmaker. He received the 2015 Curtíssima Award for Best Short Under Five Minutes for his film ’The Toboggan.’ 
    His first documentary "What Are You?" was nominated for a 2020 Golden Sheaf Award and premiered on TVO in 2021. His newest fiction short, "An Uninvited Guest" funded by the Ontario Arts Council won BEST THRILLER at the 2020 HollyShorts Film Festival and in the fall of 2020 had its broadcast debut on CBC.

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Sara   Montijo

Disobedient & Devotional

Sara Montijo celebrates what is & demands what is satisfiable. She loves in multitudes & believes we have the tools to build a better world – to change, & thoughtfully direct that change into belonging. Some of her favorite projects introduced counter-marketing tools to equip marginalized people to voice concerns about health & wellness issues – like the effects of sugary beverages, gentrification, food deserts, & fake news. Sara graduated with honors from NYU & has previously lived & worked in Tucson, New York City, Atlanta, Argentina, Mexico, & Iraq.

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Farzana   Nayani

Feeling & Healing: Reconciling Multiracial Identity in a Polarized World

Farzana Nayani has been a recognized Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion specialist, coach, and speaker for over 20 years. She has worked with higher education institutions, school districts, corporations, public agencies, and non-profit organizations as a consultant and trainer on diversity, equity and inclusion, intercultural communication, anti-racism, and unconscious bias. She has contributed curriculum and program design for the Smithsonian and the East-West Center and has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Parents, NPR, the Washington Post, and the LA Times. Farzana is Filipina and Pakistani and is the parent of two multiracial sons and has written the book, Raising Multiracial Children: Tools for Nurturing Identity in a Racialized World released in March 2020 by Penguin Random House. She founded the multiracial community on Instagram called @multiracialmatters. More information about Farzana’s consulting services and personal and intuitive coaching offerings can be found at: www.farzananayani.com and through connecting with her on social media: @farzananayani on all platforms.

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Vincente   Perez

Interrupting Dominant Narratives: Resisting Whiteness in the classroom

Vincente Perez is a performance poet, writer, and scholar with an interest in the way that artists use narrative to resist dominant stories that attempt to erase, subjugate, or enact violence on marginalized communities. His work centers Black and Latinx lived experience with a stylistic approach that samples and mixes Hip-Hop, Performance Poetry, Narratives, and Identity Politics into counternarratives. He layers meanings and sounds together to explore how intentional chaos unsettles oppressive notions of canons, high art, and other elitist concepts that continue the American legacy of silencing minoritized perspectives. Vincente Perez’s poems speak and cry and move beyond the page.

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Aziz/a   Bisanz,   LICSW,   SEP (they/them)

Resistance and Resilience: Our role as mixed/TRNA and Read-as-white in Struggles for Justice

Aziz/a Bisanz is a social worker and somatic therapist living on Dakota and Anishinaabe land in so-called Minneapolis, MN. Aziz/a believes in the importance of locating ourselves inside of both systems of oppression and ancestral lineage as the roots of both healing and resistance work. Aziz/a has experience facilitating in a variety of settings around the intersection of identity/somatic trauma healing/community care and social justice and has been a co-facilitator of the Midwest Mixed Read-as-white (RAW) dialogues since 2019. Aziz/a identifies as queer, non-binary/trans and mixed: of SWANA (Middle-Eastern) and European descent. Please feel free to contact Aziz/a at azizabisanz@gmail.com.

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Eleonore   Wesserly she/her

Resistance and Resilience: Our role as mixed/TRNA and Read-as-white in Struggles for Justice

In both her personal and professional life, Eleonore invites people to use their imagination, their feelings, and their playfulness to get us all closer to shared liberation. As a mixed-race queer woman of Black and German descent who usually gets read as white, Eleonore lives in multiplicity and solidarity as she supports communities to build what we need to work more generously and more robustly towards justice. As a narrative strategist with Dreams to Power, Eleonore guides individuals and organizations to use strategic communications to harness their dreams and create transformative social change. 

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Sara   J.   Musaifer

Shapeshifting. Disrupting. Uplifting. What does it mean to be Black and Arab in Minnesota?”

Sara J. Musaifer was raised along the shores of Bahrain and the Philippines with songs and stories of moon-swallowing whales, mountains bursting into flames, and giants reigning over ancient plains. Currently, she is a graduate fellow at UMN’s Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change and a PhD candidate in Comparative and International Development Education at UMN. Drawing on anti-colonial and anti-racist feminist traditions, her research focuses on girlhood, K-12 education, and the politics of knowledge-production. As a Fulbright scholar, Sara earned an MPP from UMN’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Jordan in Amman. In her other life, Sara is a racial literacy trainer, a teacher, a writer, and a storyteller. She is the co-editor and co-founder of the journal, AGITATE! Unsettling Knowledges.



 

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NOuf   Saleh

Shapeshifting. Disrupting. Uplifting. What does it mean to be Black and Arab in Minnesota?”

My name is nouf saleh. i am an artist and a cultural worker who was born and raised in Sana’a to mixed family. Over the past decade, i’ve lived in more than five towns outside Yemen and these journeys taught me a lot about my being. i began to understand how my family wasn’t unique and our story is connected to everything that is happening in the world. In addition to my lived experiences, studying black and third world feminisms i am realizing my family’s history, heritage and how it was/is shaped by colonialism, modernism, and imperialism. i also learned how i don’t have to choose between performing Arabness or Blackness. i can be both, not in fractions, and whole. Currently, i am a member of Studio 400 at Public Functionary and organizer in the Wild Path Collective.

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Stephanie   Henry

Mixed Up Sounds: Change and Inclusion in Music

Stephanie Henry is a classically trained pianist and composer from Minneapolis, MN. She has performed with classical and theatrical ensembles, as well as with rock bands. She composed original works for film, musical theater, orchestras, quartets, and solo piano. Her music has been applauded for its originality and charismatic charm. She studied music at St. Olaf College and received her Master’s from Hamline University. She is the recipient of the Metro Regional Art Council Next Step Grant and Minnesota State Arts Board Individual Support Grant. . I have an interest and passion in learning about the mixed race experiences of historical figures throughout time. I am interested in leading a workshop on the proposed topic because I love sharing my knowledge about the mixed race experience. The conference theme of "Beyond the Bounds" is appealing to me because so many mixed race musicians had to go beyond the bounds to break barriers and break down what held them back.

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ed   morales,  LICSW (he/him/his)

Moral Injury

Ed Morales, MPP, MSW, LICSW, is a trainer and social worker based in Minneapolis, MN. In addition to being an adoptive and step parent and a husband, Ed is a full-time staff trainer with the Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy; a social worker with Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota; serves as Community Faculty with the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work; sits on the Minnesota Children’s Subcommittee on Children’s Mental Health; and provides training, clinical supervision and professional development through his LLC, Socorro Consulting.

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Michelle   Seymore,   MPA (she/her/hers)

Moral Injury

Michelle D Seymore has focused her efforts toward equity by working to reduce disparities in Child Protection. Seymore started her career in child protection case management. This role gave direction to her public service career, and she remains committed to identifying systemic barriers and bias policies impacting families as a Hennepin County Manager.  Additionally, through a collaboration with the University of MN and the Child Welfare training academy, Seymore writes curriculum and trains child welfare professionals in compliance with the governing MN statutes. With over 15 years of child protection experience, she remains passionate and committed to better outcomes for families of color.

PERFORMERS

 
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Julia  Gay

WANING   CRESCENT (In-Person  Performance at MIA)

Julia Gay (she/they) is a dancer, playwright and stand-up comedian. She is a Chinese adoptee who writes and creates to bridge the vastness between memory, heart and home. Julia was a dancer with Ananya Dance Theatre from 2016-2020 and was the recipient of The Playwrights’ Center’s 2017-2018 Many Voices Mentorship. In October 2019, as part of Dreamland Arts' Theaterwalla program, Julia produced her one-woman show, Motherlanded, exploring her personal narrative as a Chinese adoptee. Learn more about her work at www.juliagay.com.

"WANING   CRESCENT"

Friday, August 6 | 6PM CT at the Minneapolis Institute of Art 

by Julia Gay and Jarrelle Barton
 
Chinese adoptee and dancer Julia Gay joins forces with African American Guzheng musician Jarrelle Barton for an exploration of identity through movement and sound. Set against the backdrop of Leslie Barlow's breathtaking Within, Between and Beyond exhibition that centers the stories and identities of mixed race and transracial adoptee participants, Julia and Jarrelle explore the balancing act of straddling multiple identities that weave, intersect and collide with one another.

Jarrelle   Barton

WANING   CRESCENT (In-Person  Performance at MIA)

Jarrelle Barton (he/him) is an African American Guzheng musician trained in Chinese folk, traditional, and classical contemporary Chinese music. Jarrelle has performed for many events in Minnesota and beyond and has collaborated with musicians of diverse musical backgrounds. He is also bringing totally new original experimental compositions to the Zheng repertoire. Jarrelle’s love for Guzheng music is so profound that when he was 13 years old he built his own! He says, "The sound of the instrument I built was not good, but it made music." Today, now 28 years old, his love for Guzheng is still just as powerful as it was the first time he heard it on CD. 

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Bella Dawson

 POETRY

Friday, August 6 | 9:15 AM CT

Bella Dawson is an artist from Minneapolis, MN. She dedicates her work to sharing truth and healing, decolonizing the mind and interrupting cycles of historical trauma. She is currently leading MidWest Mixed’s Youth Action Team alongside Amira Faruq launched in November 2020. Bella was also involved in planning the first MidWest Mixed Conference in 2017. She is in the process of receiving certification as an herbalist from Ancestral Apothecary School in Oakland, CA. It is her dream to plant seeds of healing and hold space for her community, so that we as a collective may grow and become the peace despite that chaos.

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Mariana Morgan-Sawyer

Mariana Morgan-Sawyer is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Education with a degree in Youth Studies. She has worked in the Roseville Area School District doing out of school time programming for 2 years. She has also worked with the Irreducible Grace Foundation - an organization that works on building safe space and healing opportunities with and for young people of color - doing facilitation and health & wellness work for almost 9 years now. Mariana is an activist-artist based out of the Rondo community in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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Charif Shanahan

Saturday, August 7 | 1:05 PM CT

Charif Shanahan is the author of Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry/SIU Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry and the Publishing Triangle's Thom Gunn Award. He is an Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Northwestern University, where he teaches poetry in the undergraduate and Litowitz MFA+MA graduate creative writing programs. Shanahan is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship; the Wallace Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship at Stanford University; a Fulbright Senior Scholar Grant to Morocco; the Gregory Pardlo Fellowship from the Frost Place; and residency fellowships from Cave Canem Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, Millay Colony for the Arts, La Maison Baldwin in St Paul, France, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, among other awards and recognitions. Born in the Bronx to an Irish-American father and a Moroccan mother, he has extensive international experience and has lived in Argentintaly, Morocco, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Comparative Literature and Creative a, IWriting from Princeton University; an MA in Comparative Literature and Literary Translation from Dartmouth College; and an MFA in Poetry from New York University.

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 POETRY

 POETRY

Saturday, August 7 | 9:15 AM CT

YOUTH   DIALOGUE

YOUTH   DIALOGUE

Saturday, August 7 | 7:15-8:30PM at the Minneapolis Institue of Art 

Amira will be facilitating an in-person dialogue on August 7th, 7:15-8:30PM CST at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. We’re looking for mixed youth(16-21) who want a safe environment to talk about their experiences growing up and living in Minnesota. The event will be a relaxed, open dialogue with prompts meant to help people share and process collectively. There will be snacks, music and great vibes! We encourage you to bring a loved one or friend! 

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AMIRA  FARUQ

Amira(she/her/hers) is a 22 year old who grew up in South Minneapolis and had public schooling. She joined MidWest Mixed in 2020 and has been co-facilitating dialogue for 16-21 year olds where they discuss the mixed and transracial adoptee experience in biweekly zoom meetings.  

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