Athena Mari Asklipiadis, of Japanese, Greek, Armenian, Italian, and Egyptian descent, was born and raised in Leimert Park, Los Angeles and holds a broadcasting degree from Pepperdine University. While pursuing a career in radio and voiceover, Athena began working in the multiracial community on websites Eurasian Nation, We Are Hapa, and Addicted to Race in the early 2000's. After recognizing a lack of mixed and minority bone marrow donors, she started Mixed Marrow in 2009. Athena was associate producer on award-winning documentary film, Mixed Match (2016) and currently operates Mixed Marrow as well as serving on the board of Multiracial Americans of Southern California. Her work with Mixed Marrow has been recognized by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and she is the recipient of the 2017 Awareness Award from Be The Match.
Duncan Ryuken Williams was born in Tokyo, Japan to a Japanese mother and British father. After growing up in Japan and England until age 17, he moved to the U.S. to attend college (Reed College) and graduate school (Harvard University). Williams is the Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture and the founder of the Hapa Japan Database Project. Previously, he held the Ito Distinguished Chair of Japanese Buddhism at University of California, Berkeley and served as the Director of Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies. He also served as the Executive Vice President of Japan House/LA, a public diplomacy initiative of Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Williams is the author of The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Soto Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan (Princeton University Press) and editor of 7 books including Issei Buddhism in the Americas (U-Illinois Press), American Buddhism (Routledge/Curzon Press), Hapa Japan: History, Identity, and Representations of Mixed Race/Mixed Roots Japanese Peoples (Ito Center/Kaya Press), and Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard University Press). He has also translated four books from Japanese into English including Putting Buddhism to Work: A New Theory of Economics and Business Management (Kodansha). He is currently completing a monograph titled American Sutra: Buddhism and the World War II Japanese American Experience and writing a manifesto for Japan in the 21st-century titled Hybrid Japan (in Japanese).