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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Meet Conie!

Points of Light Music has introduced the new additions to Biracial & Rural leadership recently.  Click these links to meet Kali and Anne.  We also thought it would be good to have Conie answer those interview questions, so here it goes!

Points of Light Music (polimu):  Tell us about your relationship to Biracial & Rural. How did it begin and when?

clb:  Oof.  This is a long labyrinthine story with lots of twists and turns.  How much time do we have?  


The first sprout appeared in late 2019 as a fundraiser for a personal storytelling project. The seed was planted in 2016 during my vocal coach training where I struggled with telling my vocal story and sharing it with clients.  Looking back, what seems like dormant years were actually times of stratification and germination.  The social-political climate around me was becoming more troubling and I was meeting more folks with similar mixed racial/ethnic experiences*.  Like a seed, I felt I needed to "Do Something" and felt my way forward and through, making a lot of course corrections along the way.  

*Shout out to Alissa Parish and the good folks who have tended the Midwest Mixed Conference and network!  

polimu:  BnR is described as a community of care and storytelling space. What draws you to BnR?

clb:  I'm drawn to creating this community of care and storytelling space called BnR because it is filling a need for something that hasn't been present in my life up to this point.  Born to an Asian immigrant mother in a predominantly white rural community, I didn't have regular sustained contact with folks with stories like mine. I felt isolated and misunderstood a lot.  

Reading Resmaa Menakem's book, My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, throughout 2019, I started to understand the necessity and power of healing in community affinity groups.  Healing happens when we tell painful stories and move through the energy in them.  I realized I didn't have a strong racial affinity group because of my childhood and early adult choices for college and work and started to look and stretch toward changing that.  Of the three intersections I yearned for more community, mixed Asian, mixed Gen X-er (the childhood before the internet experience), and rural, the latter felt like the one that would need the most tending.  

BnR also connects me with a vision of sharing stories with white-bodied family and friends down the road to help bridge a gap of understanding.  

polimu:  Do you have a preferred storytelling medium? Is there one you would like to explore?

clb:  At the moment, I prefer unscripted mediums like Interplay.  This form of "unlocking the wisdom of the body" demystifies and prepares the storyteller to share something that is likely transformational, though under the surface.  

I spent a lot of my early years in "by the book" piano performance, which coupled with the internalized racism trait of perfectionism, left me tied up in knots of trying to fit in and not developing a grounded confidence in myself.

One storytelling medium I would like to explore is Contact Improv.  It scares me because it's an unknown community and I will need to grow my comfort and trust and security in it.  I'm looking forward to listening and communicating with my body, though I feel I will be meeting some ancestral wounds in it.  

polimu:  What is your vision for the future of BnR?

clb: A lot of healing, increased visibility and more understanding for the complexity folks with multi-racial cultural experiences ... just another fractal piece of health and belonging in this world that is hurting from ancestral wounds created from securing or protecting our place in it.  

polimu:  Is there anything you'd like to share?

clb:  Please reach out if any of this intrigues you!  With Kali and Anne on board, I think things will start to be moving more quickly in terms of programming and community building.  

For those adjacent to folks with multi-racial life experiences, I invite you to support this work financially.  We have a GiveMN.org page for BnR and have an ambitious $6,000 goal for the year.  As we close the month, we are shy of the halfway point.  Please help!  Every donation counts.  This is a tangible way of supporting this fledgling community of care.  

We're so delighted and excited to share this BnR journey with you! Follow our journey through posts tagged "BnR" and "biracial!"

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