Shannon Takushi was born and raised in Manila, Philippines where she grew up speaking English and Japanese. Her background growing up in a multi-cultural environment has molded Shannon’s interests in cultural diplomacy, cross-cultural relations, and communications. She has a BA in International Relations and Economics from the University of Richmond and a Master’s in Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California. Currently Shannon enjoys promoting the US-Japan relationship at her job as Chief of Staff of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Cultures. Together with Duncan Williams, Shannon played a major role in bringing mixed-race Japanese people together at the Hapa Japan Festival in Los Angeles.
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.