William Johnson is a Brooklyn based essayist, cultural critic, and arts administrator. His writing has appeared in numerous art catalogs and periodicals, including CrushFanazine, LitHub, and Spunk. He is currently the Deputy Director of Lambda Literary, an organization dedicated to promoting LGBTQ literature.
Lovia Gyarkye is the associate editor at The New York Times Magazine Labs. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Believer, and The New Republic.
Jeremy O. Harris (Playwright) is a writer and performer living in New York City. His plays include Slave Play, “Daddy,” Xander Xyst, Dragon: 1 and WATER SPORTS; or insignificant white boys. His work has been presented or developed by Pieterspace, JACK< Are Love, The New Group, NYTW, Performance Space New York and Playwrights Horizons. In 2018, Jeremy co-wrote A24’s upcoming film Zola with director Janicza Bravo. In television, he is developing a pilot with HBO and consulted on their new series “Euphoria.” He is the 11th recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Paula Playwrighting Award, a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist and under commission from Lincoln Center Theatre and Playwrights Horizons. Jeremy is a graduate of the Yale MFA Playwrighting Program. Upcoming: A Boy’s Company Presents: “Tell Me If I’m Hurting You,” “Daddy.”
Sheri Parks, Ph.D. is Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. Previously, she was Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming and Director of the Center for Synergy at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has been Principal Investigator (PI), Co-PI or Community Liaison on a number of sponsored projects, including those funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Commerce. She led Baltimore Stories: Narrative and the Life of an American City, which was named a national model of deep community conversations by NEH. Sheri is also a public intellectual, quoted in a variety of media, and a national award-winning National Public Radio affiliate host and commentator. She is the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Strong Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman, selected as an editor’s pick by Essence Magazine and the lead editor of Baltimore Stories, forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press. Her academic field is Public Aesthetics, or how ordinary people weave aesthetic forms and meanings throughout their everyday lives. She currently serves as the President of the board of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.
John Jairo Lugo is the Co-founder and Community Organizing Director of Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA) in New Haven. His work for prisoners’ and immigrants’ rights is informed by his own experience being detained by the Colombian government and US immigration authorities until eventually granted asylum in the US. Before dedicating himself full-time to ULA, John Jairo worked for 15 years at Community Mediation, Inc., directing a program in New Haven Superior Court diverting first-time offenders from prison. He is a recipient of the Center for Community Change’s “Emerging Change Champion Award.”
Jyothi Natarajan is a writer and editor based in Portland, OR. She is Editorial Director at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, a national literary nonprofit working at the intersection of race, migration and social justice. She has been a book and magazine editor for over a decade.
Ciona Rouse is the author of the chapbook Vantablack (Third Man Books, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in The Account, Talking River, Gabby Journal, Matter: a journal of political poetry and commentary and other publications. She is poetry editor of Wordpeace. Along with poet Kendra DeColo, Rouse hosts the literary podcast Re/VERB.
Margaret Malone is the author of the story collection People Like You, Finalist for the 2016 PEN/Hemingway Award and Winner of the 2016 Balcones Fiction Prize and was recently selected as one of Powell’s Books 25 Books To Read Before You Die. A co-host of the artist and literary gathering SHARE, Margaret lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband filmmaker Brian Padian and their two children.
Elizabeth Jordan is the CEO of BookPeople, the largest independent bookstore in Texas. She has worked at BookPeople for the past seventeen years starting as a bookseller and then moving into a variety of leadership roles, including a ten-year stint as the Adult Book Buyer and Inventory Operations Supervisor. She has served on the Bookseller Advisory Committee for the American Booksellers Association and the Board of Directors of the Independent Booksellers Consortium. She was named a finalist for the 2018 Publishers Weekly Star Watch Award.