#MixedFam Q&A: Interview with Dash Harris, Journalist & Digital Strategist

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This post is part of a series of interviews with families like ours, who are ‘mixed’ and Latino.  Read more interviews here: MixedFam Q&A

I’m very excited to share with you, half of my interview with Dash Harris, a journalist in NYC who is enthralled in her own personal and professional exploration of Latino identity.  Dash, who could be defined as a feminist and Latina entrepreneur, shared her latest project with me, a docu-series that examines the complexities of Latino identity, colorism and topics that relate to racial and social classification systems.  Her collective insights and research touch on some very personal and political elements within Latino culture that I think deserve to be shared and added upon.

Learn more about her personal experience below and visit Multicultural Familia for the second half of this interview, where Dash outlines her project for us and reveals the first installment of her documentary series, Negro, which spans the globe as she examines social perceptions in the U.S. and abroad.

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Dash Harris, born September 11, grew up in Panama, Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and the Poconos. She attended Temple University for broadcast journalism, business and French. Dash is the owner of In.A.Dash.Media, a Multi-media and video production studio and currently working on Negro, a docu-series about Latino identity and the African Diaspora. She is also a writer for and founder of Venus Genus, a website that empowers women while examining gender bias and female tropes.

What are three personality traits that best describe you and how do they impact your personal identity?

I take after my mother quite a bit and she is free-spirited, bold/brave, in a grab the bull by the horns way, and analytical and I am as well.

How do you personally identify? What cultural mixes and experiences make up your identity?

I am Panamanian. I am a Latina woman, I am a Black woman. That, represents hundreds, thousands of years of complex experiences.

What are some misconceptions about your mixed heritage? How do you confront or make sense of them in your daily life?

I don’t think I’ve faced any misconceptions, on the contrary, anyone I meet has a personal story or connection to Panama get so excited when they hear my family is from there. It’s such an odd and pleasant occurrence because that excitement happens every. Time.

Maybe the other phenomena is sometimes, not often fortunately, the lack of knowledge that Latinos come in all shades, hues and colors given our colonial history. I may be the first Black Latina someone has met but I am glad that person has had that exposure.

How have the communities that you’ve lived in, impacted your personal identity?

Panama is definitely home and I have lived in urban areas as well as suburban areas on the east coast so my habitations have been extremely diverse. Those experiences have definitely impacted my views and perspectives. It has kept me open-minded and has given me a well-roundedness. You can find nuances of all my environments when you get to know me. Multifaceted — My rich Panamanian heritage, the adventurous go-getter, risk taker city spirit, the need for peace and quiet and sometimes a 9pm bedtime suburbia.

What are your fondest childhood memories? What was your family like when you were growing up?

Goodness, I had such an awesome childhood and I am so grateful for that. I spent my first four years of life in Panama and then went there every summer until I was 14. My mother’s whole family is still there so it was great to be able to spend extended periods of time with them. It brought out my love of travel very early on. We traveled every year. My family is so fun-loving, open and warm.  My parents never have and still do not go with the grain and they instilled that in us. We did so much as a family, vacations ever year, game nights, snowball fights, father-asking-will-there-be-boys-at-the-party-and-saying-no, dinner together every night, the whole nine. I’d want that same childhood for my future children.

What is your personal mission? What do you seek to achieve in your lifetime?

My personal mission is to simply be true to myself. I have heard this motto from my father FOREVER. This, coupled with his other saying, ‘somos gente primero’ has really written how I live my life. By being true to myself, I follow my own personal journey and path in the journalistic, media, creative work and personal life that I do to affect change, change minds and amplify a voice or perspective that may have been silenced or muffled. I think everyone has a voice, everyone has a story and it is important to highlight those different voices.

‘Somos gente primero’ obliterates any excuse or [insert, condition, circumstance, physicality or manufactured reality]. We are all human, we are all people, we are works in progress, we strive to be and do better, we fall down, we get up, we are equal, our blood is still red. I will never forget Dr. Marta Moreno Vega’s quote on ‘The Latino List’ “Don’t you EVER not recognize yourself in someone else, that is spirituality.”

What inspires you?

I am inspired every single day by my family and friends and the people around me. I am propelled by the lights that I surround myself with. My parents and siblings and friends and the wonderful people I end up meeting along the way are my fuel.  They are tremendously supportive, they encourage me, they critique me for the better and whatever idea I have wanted to carry out, they have been behind me 1million%.  You cannot buy that kind of love and support and positivity. My mind is blown to smithereens everyday by the magnitude. I am so blessed and grateful to have been so fortunate.


View part one of Negro: A Docu-series about Latino Identity.
Read more about Dash’s documentary on Multicultural Familia.
Follow Dash on Twitter at @InADash, @InADashMedia, @VenusGenus and ‘Like’ Venus Genus on Facebook.



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South Texas Foodie, Traveler, Photographer, and Designer.