Friends, my time at the Banana 2 conference was brief, but great! Although the weather in Los Angeles has been unseasonably rainy and cold (it actually hailed during our panel), everyone I met was warm and wonderful. And surprisingly, I wasn’t the only bi-racial Persian there! I met Kaywan Shiraz, a managing partner for Kasama Media.

If you didn’t know, the term “banana” refers to Asians (“yellow” on the outside, “white” on the inside). There was some great discussion on what “Asian” includes, and organizer Edward Hong made some great points about how 99% of the conference attendees represented East Asia, but that South and West Asians were underrepresented. In the same edible style, this contingent was referred to as “coconuts” (brown on the outside…). Here are mine and Jehanzeb’s sticky notes:

My note says, "I'm *technically* brown!" and Jehanzeb's says, "I'm a coconut!"

I spoke on a panel about social activism through social media. My co-panelists were the amazing Francis Kai Hwa Wang, Jehanzeb Dar, Marissa Lee, and Cynthia Liu, along with moderation by Keith Kamisugi and input by Edward. You can see the first half of the panel here.

I want to give my deepest gratitude to Edward and everyone else that helped me get to the conference and made me feel welcome. Now if only LA’s weather would follow suit!

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