and other self-explorations
Julián Esteban Torres López (he/him/él) is a bilingual, Colombia-born storyteller, public scholar, and culture architect with Afro-Euro-Indigenous roots. For over two decades, Julián has worked toward humanizing those Othered by oppressive systems. He is the creator and executive director of the social justice storytelling non-profit + movement The Nasiona, where he hosts and produces The Nasiona Podcast. He is also the publisher and senior founding editor of The Nasiona’s magazine and publishing house, runs a mentorship program for BIPOC creatives and culture makers, and partners with mission-driven organizations to center, elevate, and amplify the personal stories of those marginalized, undervalued, overlooked, silenced, and forgotten by dominant cultures.
Notable cultural and historical institutions have chosen to archive his interviews, such as the Fernando González Museum and Archives, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Latino Center.
He’s also a Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best of the Net nominee; a Trilogy Award in Short Fiction finalist; a McNair fellow; a winner of the Rudy Dusek Essay Prize in Philosophy of Art; and author of two books (Marx’s Humanism and Its Limits; and Reporting on Colombia), as well as a poetry collection (Ninety-Two Surgically Enhanced Mannequins). His work appears in PANK Magazine, Into the Void Magazine, The Acentos Review, Novus Literary Arts Journal, Havik 2021: Inside Brilliance, Fahmidan Journal, Moonchild Magazine, Rigorous Magazine, among others.
Julián holds a bachelor’s in philosophy and in communication and a master’s in justice studies from University of New Hampshire and was a PhD candidate at University of British Columbia Okanagan, where he focused on political science and Latin American studies.
He has been awarded fellowships and grants to conduct research in the humanities and social sciences, and has presented his findings at universities and conferences (such as the International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association) in the United States and Canada, as well as provided live analysis on international media (such as Al Jazeera). He has also worked as a researcher in the private sector and on a range of social-political projects, which have taken him to Canada, Ecuador, Colombia, and the United States. He was also a guest researcher at the Universidad de los Andes’s political science department in Bogotá, Colombia.
Throughout his career, Julián has engaged with audiences as an educator, storyteller, museum director, event host, topic expert, moderator, workshop leader, activist, journalist, and podcaster. He has also been invited to speak at war protests; public workshops on issues ranging from student activism to armed conflict resolution to how memoir can be a political act; university courses to discuss indigenous civilizations before European colonization of the Americas; festivals celebrating multiculturalism and renewable energy; Colombian magical realism; a lecture on diversity and poetry at the New Hampshire Seacoast African American Cultural Center; and as a keynote at events ranging from immigration and border crossing to the role of creative nonfiction in today’s divisive world. Julián has also moderated numerous public discussions and debates, such the Abortion Debate event at the University of New Hampshire. He has also taught university courses on comparative politics and political issues in Latin America at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.
Universities and the private sector have also recognized his diversity, equity, and inclusion work. The University of New Hampshire inducted Julián into the Diversity Hall of Fame; and he was a member of several University of British Columbia Okanagan DEI committees, such as the Deputy Vice Chancellor Human Rights & Equity committee, the Equity Enhancement Fund sub-committee, and the International Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination committee.
He was a senior DEI consultant for Yardstick Management, the United States’ leading Black-owned management consulting firm, where he provided trainings and workshops for companies (i.e., Coursera, SoFar Sounds) and conducted numerous qualitative interviews and focus groups.
He’s currently a partner at Conscious Thrive Consulting, whose mission is to bring cultural transformation in corporate businesses and organizations (i.e., Thumbtack) by bringing back the HUMAN at the center of it. They help embody inclusion, equity, diversity, belonging, and justice from an inside-out approach by holding the whole human and individual as part of the whole.
Julián is working as the editor and publisher of several collections, anthologies, and the first Spanish-to-English translation of Colombian philosopher Fernando González’s 1916 debut book Pensamientos de un Viejo (Reflections of an Old Man) with translator Olga González Latapi. Julián is also co-producing a BIPOC music series with Aïcha Martine Thiam and Grammy Award-winning music producer Joe Sparkman, and is the architect of the world’s first international competitive writing prompts tournament league. In 2022, he plans on releasing six experimental storytelling albums that archive and reimagine two decades of his creative work. Julián is presently looking for a publisher for his memoir Don’t Give Papaya.
He resides in Hawai’i with his wife, artist and interior designer Joanna Staniszewski.
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Julián Esteban Torres López (he/him/él) is a bilingual, Colombia-born storyteller, public scholar, and culture architect with Afro-Euro-Indigenous roots. Some of his other intersectional identities also inform his work, such as: atheist, multiply neurodivergent, formerly an undocumented immigrant, (non-visibly) disabled, chronic mental health conditions, Latine/o/x.
With over two decades’ experience in community development and advancing social justice on the ground and in academic, corporate, and nonprofit settings, Julián is available for consulting, public talks, keynotes, workshops, training, coaching, mentorship, and interviews.
Julián is also available to partner with others to advocate for and center, elevate, and amplify the voices, experiences, and concerns of survivors of oppressive systems and dominant cultures.