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Safia Elhillo is Sudanese by way of D.C., by way of Brooklyn, and is currently a senior at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in “Poetry as a Tool for Therapy” and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies. Safia has performed at the Kennedy Center in DC and the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and has shared the stage with Questlove and Black Thought of The Roots, Gil Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, and Sonia Sanchez. She is a founding member of Slam NYU, the 2012 national collegiate championship team, and a 3-time member and former coach of the DC Youth Slam Poetry team. Safia was a finalist in 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam, and is currently working on her second chapbook.
Jani Rose is poet, activist, curator and performer who was born in Spanish Harlem and raised in the Bronx. She began writing poetry at the age of 7. She is a product of Sylvia Plath and Method Man, Poe & Julia De Burgos. As a Fellow & part of the leadership of the Acentos Writers' Workshops she takes to the the stage and page to share her love of art & words, survival of the psyche, motherhood, life, love and the Nuyorican experience.
Hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, Arielle John has been involved in arts education and youth advocacy for a number of years, mainly initiated by her work with Arts-in-Action. The Brooklyn-based legal studies graduate has participated in a number of initiatives that promote the empowerment and development of women through art. Some of these ventures include the facilitation of poetry workshops at the Trinidad female prison, being a cast-member in Brooklyn College’s 2011 ‘Vagina Monologues’ presentation, being an associate of the ‘Group for Women’ cancer treatment center in NYC, and researching community theater in South Africa in a production of the award-winning, youth-devised play ‘Fence’ with an all-female cast.
Maria Aponte is a poet, performance artist, and playwright. Born and raised in New York City’s East Harlem (El Barrio), she has worked extensively in Latino Theatre and in video productions that deal with racial discrimination, and women’s rights in theatre and film. Maria’s one-woman show, “Lágrimas de Mis Madres” is a biography about the women in her family. She also wrote and performed “I Will Not Be Silenced,” based on the life of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexico’s first feminist poet and playwright. In April 2010, Maria received the Vagina Warrior Award, a special recognition from the Eve Ensler Organization for “someone who has suffered or witnessed violence, grieved it, transformed it, and then does extraordinary work to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else in their community.”
TAHANI SALAH is a dynamic performer, poet, educator and activist from Brooklyn. She’s a member of the 2007 Nuyorican National Slam Team and a graduate of Columbia University. She has a wide variety of work experience from the United Nations to nonprofits like Urban Word NYC, Family International Support Team, and the AAFSC. Tahani is the Youth Outreach Coordinator, an Urban Word NYC Board Member, and Slam Team Member. She is working on her collection of poetry available this spring. Performed on a number of world famous stages from the Apollo Theater to universities in South Africa and Munich. She has appeared on the HBO series Def Poetry Jam. As a Muslim PalestinianAmerican woman, Tahani is committed to bringing light and solutions to problems faced by people from communities and experiences whose voices are silenced.
Love, Light & Lyrics - A One Billion Rising event with The Women Worldwide Initiative
Katherine George is a 19 year old Dominican singer, poet, and actress from Bronx, NY. She has been blessed with the opportunity of performing at the Apollo Theater, Bowery Poetry Club, Carnegie Hall, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and Radio City Music Hall. She was a member of the 2012 Urban Word Slam team which participated in Brave New Voices. She also recently debuted her one-woman show, "Tundra and Other Dry Lands" (directed by award-winning choreographer/director Nicco Annan) at New York Live Arts, Wild Project Theater's and Poetic License Festival. After experiencing it firsthand, she believes art can change lives and looks forward to transforming others through all forms art and expression.
Camonghne was featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices as a member of the Urban Word 2010 team, who became the 2010 National Brave New Voices Champions. She is a two time New York Knicks Poetry Slam Finalist and the 1st Runner-Up of the 2010 NYC Youth Poet Laureate Program. She is currently (2011) the 17th ranked poet in the world. In early 2011, Camonghne opened for esteemed writer Sapphire, author of the book PUSH and has been honored to share stages with Talib Kweli, Common, Rosario Dawson, Mahogany L Browne, and La Bruja. In November of 2011 she was profiled in The Forward as a Young Jewish Philanthropic Hero.
Ne Ne Ali
Born in Hip Hop’s origin, Bronx, New York, Ne Ne was destined to become a Poetic Emcee. Ne Ne is heavily influenced by old school hip hop artists such as Queen Latifah, KRS One, Sistah Soldier, Public Enemy, Grandmaster Mele Mel and more. At the age of 15, Ali has a passion for the healing power of words and the ability to deliver mind-blowing performances. Ali captures her audience (which has included many high profile politicians and community leaders) with a magical force all her own. She speaks out against hunger, racial injustice, homelessness, gang violence and the lack of love within the inner city community. After each performance, Ali gets nothing less than a standing ovation and walks away with the inspiration to continue to try to make this world a better place.
Peggy is a Latina educator and award winning emotionally evocative writer who believes that the power of words can heal and transform destinies. This former teen mom uses her passion for poetry and prose to bring awareness to social issues, such as relationship and sexual abuse, and focuses on themes of identity and spirituality. Her undeniable and unapologetic “raw truth style” has made this petite powerhouse the recipient of the 2012 “Mujeres Destacadas Award”, a recognition given annually by El Diario La Prensa to the most outstanding women in the Latino community. She was also awarded second place in the category of Best Poetry Book in English by the 2012 International Latino Book Awards, and she received the 2012 Womyn Warrior Award presented by Casa Atabex Aché. She was selected to perform at the 2012 Lincoln Center Out Of Doors Festival and will be featured in next installment of HBO’s Habla series.
Born and raised in the Far Rockaway & Jamaica sections of Queens, True is no stranger to the struggle that hides behind the facade of well kept lawns and pretty houses. Tired of the ups and downs of family life, True hit the streets intent on making a name for herself. After years of dealing with death, True realized her greatest gift was her ability to give eternal life to those who lacked a voice through her poetry. In 2005 she self-published her first book of poems entitled "Where Do I Begin?" True has performed in some of NYC's historic poetry venues including the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe and The Bowery Poetry Club, as well as the Roseland Ballroom. As an educator, True has facilitated writing workshops at several correctional facilities, public schools and universities. A founding member of El Grito de Poetas, it is True's mission to tell the world the stories of the desolate and unwanted, no matter how vivid and full of pain, so that they will never be forgotten.
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