ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
Faith Adiele authored Meeting Faith (PEN Open Book Award) and The Nigerian Nordic Girl’s Guide to Lady Problems, episodes of A World of Calm (HBO Max), and the PBS documentary My Journey Home. She teaches at California College of the Arts and VONA. www.adiele.com and @meetingfaith.
Salma Arastu works to create harmony by expressing human universality through paintings, sculpture, calligraphy, and poetry inspired by her Indian heritage and Islamic spirituality. She exhibits nationally and internationally and has produced five books of art and poetry, most recently Our Earth: Embracing All Communities. www.salmaarastu.com
Adrian Arias, born in Peru on Mochica land, is a visual artist, poet, performer, teacher, activist featured at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, the San Francisco International Arts Festival, and the de Young Museum. He works internationally with multidisciplinary community projects that promote social justice, racial equality, and peace. www.adrianarias.com
Avotcja, an award-winning poet with Puerto Rican roots, is a multi-instrumentalist and FM radio DJ airing weekly on KPFA and KPOO. She has featured at AfroSolo, San Francisco’s Carnival, Asian-American Jazz Festival, and more. She has been widely published in English and Spanish in the USA, Mexico, and Europe. www.avotcja.org
Lorraine Bonner was drawn to art after memories of severe childhood sexual abuse emerged in mid-life. A physician with no formal art training, she found that clay helped express experiences and feelings for which she had no words. Gradually, she placed her past in the larger context of planetary betrayal and exploitation. www.lorrainebonner.com
Karla Brundage is the founder of the West Oakland to West Africa Poetry Exchange and the author of Swallowing Watermelons and Mulatta—Not so Tragic. A poet, activist, educator and A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has been published in Konch, Hip Mama, sPARKLE & bLINK, and MiGoZine. www.karlabrundage.com
Charles Dixon’s parents fled the racist tobacco fields of Virginia to find refuge in Philadelphia. The first in his family to attend college, his Wharton MBA, was the key to his career in sales, marketing, and corporate development in the early days of Silicon Valley. Today, he uses his passion and expertise to support the Fillmore’s African-American community.
Rafael Jesús González, from El Paso, Texas, is Berkeley’s first Poet Laureate. As professor of creative writing and literature, he founded the Department of Mexican and Latin American Studies at Oakland’s Laney College in 1969. A long-time peace activist, his work has been recognized by the National Council of Teachers of English and others. rjgonzalez.blogspot.com
Mark Harris, who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, is an award-winning artist, activist, and educator who combines his passions for art and activism to create a compelling work about social justice that has been commissioned by SF/MOMA and the Exploratorium. His strong independent voice has made him of the SF Bay Area’s most controversial artists. www.artofmarkharris.com
C. K. Itamura is a fourth-generation Japanese American whose conceptual, visual, performance, and community art is fused with cultural traditions of observation, contemplation, and expressive imagination. She’s received the “Discovered” award from Creative Sonoma and artist residencies at The Imaginists, Chalk Hill, and In Cahoots. www.peachfarmstudio.net
Tehmina Khan teaches English and Interdisciplinary Studies at City College of San Francisco. A daughter of Indian immigrant scientists, she has taught science to preschoolers, citizenship to octogenarians, and literary translation to elementary school students. Her work has been widely published, most recently in Muslim American Writers at Home.
Tureeda Mikell, author of Synchronicity: The Oracle of Sun Medicine, nominated for the California Book Award, is a Berkeley native and foster care survivor. Deeply engaged with community, she volunteered at the Black Panther Clinic and later produced over 70 classroom anthologies by at-risk students. A UC Bay Area Writing Project Fellow, she is currently Poet-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora. www.treeoflifefound.com
Josué Rojas, with roots in El Salvador, grew up in the Mission and learned mural painting at Precita Eyes. His work illuminates social blind spots by intermingling the poetic, tragic, and humorous. He earned a BFA from the California College of the Arts (CCA) and an MFA from Boston University. He served for four years as ED at Acción Latina (El Tecolote newspaper) before returning full-time to painting. www.josuerojasart.com
Wanda Sabir, a professor at College of Alameda, engages with Black arts and culture in her podcast, Wanda's Picks and via her San Francisco Bay View arts column. A psychologist with deep roots in the bayous of Louisiana, Sabir is interested in ancestral memories, dream tending, and using art to stimulate forgotten conversations, especially among Diaspora descendants. Sabir has an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco. www.wandaspicks.com
Shizue Seigel, Japanese American poet, memoirist, and visual artist, has contributed poetry, prose and art to many anthologies and journals Her seven books, including the Write Now! Anthologies, have been supported by the California Arts Council, California State Library, San Francisco Arts Commission, Zellerbach Foundation and others. www.shizueseigel.com
Dr. Sriram Shamasunder is a published poet and essayist who believes that untold stories can shift minds and hearts. A full-time teaching physician at UCSF, he co-founded the HEAL Initiative to promote international health equity health through training fellowships in developing nations. In 2020, HEAL responded to the Navajo Nation’s COVD crisis with 40+ UCSF nurses and doctors and 50+ HEAL fellows. www.healinitiative.org
Kim Shuck, the 7th Poet Laureate of San Francisco, thinks about many things, including string figures, basketry, geometry, history, and languages. She is deeply into her communities of writers, artists, San Franciscans and indigenous communities. She has published eight books and edited 10 “chapthologies,” anthologies, and collections. www.kimshuck.com
Kimi Sugioka is the poet laureate of Alameda, California, whose work appears in many anthologies. A mother, educator, and poet with an MFA from Naropa University in Boulder, she has published two books of poetry; the newest of which is Wile & Wing, published by Manic D Press. Sugioka believes that creating community through art is a revolutionary act.
Elizabeth Travelslight, who draws on transnational Filipinx and white roots, has taught math, science, and media studies at the California College of the Arts (CCA), the University of San Francisco, and the San Francisco Art Institute. She has worked for equity through the Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, Bay Area Society for Art & Activism and teachers' unions. www.elizabethtravelslight.com
Elaine Chu and Marina Perez-Wong (Twin Walls Mural Company) have created 30+ murals in the Bay Area and New York City. At Precita Eyes, they learned to capture visual narratives that reflect a community's history, struggles, dreams, and intentions. “The smaller the world expects us to be, the larger the surfaces we’ll paint!” www.twinwallsmuralcompany.com
André Le Mont Wilson teaches storytelling and writing to adults with disabilities in Oakland. His chapbook, Hauntings, interweaving racial violence past and present, won the Newfound Prize and will be published in 2023. His work has also been published in Essential Truths, Civil Liberties United, Ina: A Queer Erotic Anthology, Changing Harm to Harmony: Bullies & Bystanders Project, Rattle, RFD Magazine, and Obsidian. @awilsonstoryteller