The fight for racial justice and cultural inclusivity has become a central topic in classrooms, social media, podcasts and on the national front. Noa is proud to belong to a generation that seeks to shed light on the histories of colonialism and white supremacist systems still in place today. When it comes to topics of race and identity, Noa is always eager to learn from others and speak on her own experience. But while she can connect in many communities and spaces, she has never seen her identity fully represented. Noa’s background as a multiracial person and a second-generation immigrant creates a unique, ever-changing relationship to belonging and community. She has wondered what will happen when the demographics of the United States and other countries start to become more multicultural, mixed, and not as easily categorized? What about the people who feel they don’t fully belong to their race, heritage, culture, language, or homeland right now?
The In-Between Project is a podcast sharing the stories of those who exist in-between cultures, races, languages, homelands and selves. On the show, Noa interviews multiracial individuals, first- and second-generation immigrants, refugees, and individuals whose ethnicity comprises of both indigenous and colonizer roots.
Noa hopes to create a space for those who are “in-between”, as immigration, displacement, and precarious relationships to home become prevalent themes in the lives of many.
Noa began with the idea of having conversations that could make a difference. She believes that conversations, even between two people, are the catalysts for all movements and spaces. A podcast seemed like the perfect way to preserve these conversations as pieces of cultural knowledge and artifacts. The In-Between Project follows an open dialogue format, with each episode centered around the following question: what does home mean to you? When inviting guests, Noa reached out to friends, professors, and acquaintances who also expressed an affinity with the in-between. She intentionally included a diversity of guests, some who had professional expertise in sociological/political work and others who were peers speaking from personal experience. Noa wanted to demonstrate that all forms of knowledge are valuable; seeking to disrupt the academic, structured knowledge that usually dominates social discourse.
After recording the first seven episodes, Noa created the Instagram page which amassed around 200 followers in the first month. There she also facilitated open dialogues and answered questions about the project through the direct message app. The Instagram page is the principle online space to promote the podcast and receive inquiries from listeners who wish to share their stories or learn more.
The In-Between Project was first inspired by Dr. Mariana Ortega’s presentation of “in-between” identity in The In-Between: Latina Feminist Phenomenology, Multiplicity and the Self In discovering Ortega’s work, Noa found a whole field of study centered around an experience not often represented in mainstream discourse or media. Ortega’s work inspired a deep reverence and Noa imagined what would it be like to meet and interview her. After doing some research, she found an email online that corresponded to Dr. Ortega. Noa decided to send an email inviting her on the podcast, not sure she would even get a response. But luck was on Noa’s side! It was a monumental honor hosting Dr. Ortega and hearing about her life work that made the “In-Between Project” possible. Dr. Mariana Ortega’s episode opened the show and is one of the most moving conversations Noa has had in her life.
Recording a podcast virtually comes with its specific challenges. This was Noa’s first time creating one; she had to learn about different recording platforms, how to produce quality playback, how to deal with technical difficulties, and how to keep conversation natural while asking guiding questions. Her advice for creating a conversation flow with direction, is to research your guest, brainstorm all the possible questions you could ask them and when the time comes to begin, pretend you are sitting down for a cup of coffee and meeting for the first time. A surprising challenge for Noa has been the editing process. This is where Noa wishes she had someone else on board to help with the project as sometimes the work can be overwhelming for one person. Overall, creating a podcast has been a valuable life experience and provided many insights on the art of conversation, and technical production.
You can find Noa’s podcast here.