Panelists: Abigail Allen, Mari Naomi, Grace Hwang Lynch, Channing Sargent
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A half-black, half-white native New Yorker, storytelling Buddhist, and branding extraordinaire, Abby is the creator of Perfectly Mixed, a project documenting belonging and identity in America through the mixed race experience. It’s been kicking around in her heart for as long as she can remember and she’s so grateful for the chance to bring it to life. Abby has worked in the advertising and marketing industries for over 12 years on billion dollar brands like Olay, Listerine, L’Oreal and Aunt Jemima, launching countless campaigns across everything from print to social media. Not too long ago, she left her traditional advertising job to fall head first into serving the world by developing brand strategies, identities and marketing platforms for small businesses, companies, individuals and organizations that are “doing good.” And so, because she believes marketing matters as much for saving the world as for selling toothpaste, she founded her firm, Neon Butterfly. Abby is also the Communications Director of the Brooklyn Zen Center and obsessed with pizza and peanut butter (not together).
MariNaomi is the author and illustrator of the award-winning graphic memoir Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, 2011), the upcoming books Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories and Turning Japanese, (2D Cloud), and her self-published zine, Estrus Comics, (1998 to 2009). Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including, I Saw You: Comics Inspired by Real Life Missed Connections, Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women, No Straight Lines,Anything That Loves, QU33R and Action Girl Comics. Her comics and essays have been featured on The Rumpus, The Weeklings, Truth-out, SFBay.CA, The Comics Journal, The Bay Citizen, XOJane and more. MariNaomi’s artwork has been featured in such venues as the De Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco’s Asian American Museum and the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles. In 2011, Mari toured with the literary roadshow Sister Spit. She splits her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Grace Hwang Lynch
As a journalist and blogger, Grace Hwang Lynch explores the evolving relationship between communities of color and mainstream America. A former television news reporter, she founded HapaMama.com in 2008 to give voice to Asian mixed-race family issues. As News & Politics editor for BlogHer, she writes about current events and finds a diversity of stories. Whether writing about parenting, food or politics, Grace analyzes her subjects through the lens of culture and ethnicity. Her work has also been published by PBS and Salon, and in 2012, she was nominated for the Women’s Media Center Social Media Award.