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© 2016 by Hip Hop Bruha

The Hip Hop Bruha Squad

Founder, Editor, Writer, PodCast Host, Bruha Collective

DJ Kuttin Kandi also known as the "People's Hip Hop DJ Scholar" was born and raised in Queens, NY.  She is widely regarded as one of the most legendary and accomplished womxn DJs in the world. Kandi is a disabled PilipinX/PinXy-American Queer, Writer, Poet, Theater Performer, Educator, Hip Hop Feminist, and Community Organizer . She is a member of DJ team champions 5th Platoon; Co-Founder and DJ for the Hip Hop group Anomolies; Co-Founder of the famed NY monthly open mic “Guerrilla Words,” Co-Founder of the coalition R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop (Representing Education, Activism & Community through Hip Hop), and a Board Member of the new DJ Coalition, Freedom Sound DJ's.  DJing for over 20 years, Kandi competed in over 30 DJ competitions such as ITF Championships and Vibe Magazine DJ Championships. She is the 1998 NY Source Magazine DJ Champion and for 18 years she held the title as the only womxn DJ to be in the DMC USA FINALs. Kuttin Kandi has been interviewed and featured in numerous magazines and newspapers such as Source, Vibe, Vogue, YM, Rolling Stones, XXL, The New York Times, The Daily News, and the Vibe Hip-Hop Diva’s book. Kandi has performed all around the world with artists such as Bob James, Kool Herc, Jay-Z, Gangstar, LL Cool J, Mya, MC Lyte, the Roots, Young Gunz, Dead Prez, Immortal Technique, Black Eyed Peas, Common, Jean Grae, BlackStar, and punk Riot Grrrl group LeTigre, just to name a few. Kandi has been honored and performed at venues such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden for WNBA’s NY Liberty. She is a known Pop-Culture Political Essayist and has written for several anthologies and blogs. Kandi is also the Co-Editor of the book "Empire of Funk: Hip Hop and Representation in Filipino/a America" and is currently working on new writing projects.  When Kandi is not performing she is organizing on the ground with various grassroots community organizations, speaking, writing or lecturing. Kandi worked at UC San Diego’s Women’s Center for seven years specializing in social justice & diversity programming and within Student Life at Diablo Valley College in the Bay Area.  Today, DJ Kuttin Kandi continues to do community organizing work and provides various lectures on diversity, gender & sexuality, race, body politics, disability justice and etc.  

 

Kandi is proudly conscious-parenting her 2 children with disabilities with her partner Rob, along with their 2 furbaby dogs.  She loves the series "The Walking Dead" and other classic zombie films, spends her leisure time studying and reading political books, prides herself being a techy nerd and claims herself as a big Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. 

Originally, Hip Hop Bruha was Kandi's personal Hip Hop blog which has recently shifted to a shared platform which include diverse voices to further the dialogue on racial, gender and disability justice, and freedom for all peoples. 

 

Kandi's pronouns are she/her and "Kandi". 


For more info visit www.kuttinkandi.net

Editor, Writer, Bruha Collective

Julie Chang Schulman's passion lies at the many intersections of art, creative resistance, and community building. Emceeing since her early teens, Julie-C hails from the legendary Alpha Platoon crew of Seattle. As she watched the Hip Hop movement evolve parallel to her own growth, she began organizing in her early twenties with 206 Zulu. Since then, she has been blessed to connect with some of Hip Hop's most potent grassroots organizations, serving as education committee member of Hip Hop Association, and later as Northwest Regional Coordinator of Hip Hop Congress. In addition, she has also served on the board of Reclaim the Media, helped organize B-Girl Media and Hip Hop Occupies to Decolonize, and taught Hip Hop and media literacy through El Centro de La Raza's Hope for Youth Program, Seattle Urban Debate League, Seattle's Young People's Project, and Umojafest P.E.A.C.E Center. As a writer, she has served on the editorial board for the People's Tribune, written for Seaspot Magazine, and contributes as an editor and content developer for Coach Seattle. She is also a proud family member of Brain Child Learning Center where she has taught, developed curriculum, and fostered academic excellence for 1st generation Asian American youth for over 10 years. She was recognized as Seattle Sound Music Award's 2015 honoree for female emcee, and is eager to continue her love work of inspiration, self-determination, and community empowerment with Hip Hop Bruha. 

Writer, Bruha Collective

Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano is a San Diego born-and-bred, 2nd generation queer-identified Pinay who believes in storytelling as healing. Her scholar-activist research builds from women-of-color theories to understand how experiences of racism, classism, and heteropatriarchy affect our lives across generations and families. With a B.A. in Sociology (UCSD), an M.A. in Asian American Studies (SFSU), and a Ph.D. in Education (UCSC), she currently teaches courses in ethnic studies and gender studies at institutions throughout the Bay Area. Melissa resides in San Jose, CA with her 2 little boys Mateo and Dante, and loving partner, Dennis.

Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano

Writer, Bruha Collective

Dawn-Elissa Fischer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies at San Francisco State University, where she teaches courses concerning race, gender and sexuality in international Black popular cultures. Her publications reflect her research, activism and policy consulting. Dr. Fischer has co-founded and continues to work with a number of community based social justice and creative arts organizations. Dr. Fischer serves as an Associate Editor for FIRE!!! The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies, and she is the Fall 2016 Nasir Jones Fellow at the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute, Hutchins Center, Harvard University.

 

 

My book is about Blackness, race, gender and sexual identity poetics in Japanese hiphop, manage and anime.

Dawn-Elissa Fischer

Writer, Bruha Collective

Pinay scholar-activist, mother of a teen and toddler, immigrant daughter and more, Dr. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez is an Associate Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis who earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her teaching and research is critically informed by her organizing and activist commitments.  Being angry (magalit) is in her blood. She descends from a Filipino revolutionary who changed his name to reflect his defiance to colonialism.  The main issues that the “Mad Professora” has worked on over the course of her life include ethnic studies, educational justice, and im/migrant workers’ rights. Just as importantly, she is a steadfast supporter of anti-imperialist and national liberation struggles from Palestine to the Philippines. Rodriguez was the founding member of Asian Sisters for Ideas in Action Now! (A.S.I.A.N.!) in Santa Barbara, as well as the League of Filipino Students (LFS), the Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (CHRP) and the Collective for Critical Filipino/ Filipina Studies (CFFSC) in the San Francisco, Bay Area. She also played a key role in supporting the formation of Migrante-San Francisco.  While living on the East Coast, she was a core member of the New Jersey Civil Rights Defense Committee and the New Jersey May 1st Coalition.  Presently, she is working with the Filipino American Educators Alliance of California in developing K-12 curriculum that incorporates the Filipino immigrant experience. Rodriguez is an acclaimed, widely read scholar who has authored four books nearly thirty publications ranging from book chapters, academic articles to journalistic pieces. She is also a highly sought-after speaker who has lectured lectured on her organizing work and academic expertise to over one hundred community groups, colleges, universities and other academic organizations throughout the United States and around the world. Some of the notable institutions where Rodriguez has lectured include Oxford University (U.K.), McGill University (Canada) and Frankfurt University (Germany), though her proudest achievements include presenting her work to immigrant workers in places like Hong Kong, Vienna, and Los Angeles and in serving as a chant-leader at different protests around the planet.

Dr. Robyn Magalit Rodriguez

Writer, Bruha Collective

Poesi(a) Mari(A)rte is a Visual Creative thinker based in Occupied Coast Salish Territory Manifesting Creative Rebellion every millisecond reflecting generations of rebellions, Poetically narrating the teachings of ancients. Born in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero Poesi(a) migrated with her family in the early 90s to the Pacific Northwest. She is Hip Hop artist with Batallones Femeninos, a womxn's hip hop collective based in Mexico and does multi-media production & autonomous hip hop movement building with Shades of Silence in Seattle, WA. She is currently in the process of applying to Film School in hope of supporting womxn in Hop Hop thru video, audio & music production. She loves fluffy things, flowers and oceans.

Poesi(a) Mari(A)rte

Blogger, Bruha Collective

Soohye is a former Korean actor, currently working as a performing arts producer based in Seattle, New York and Seoul. She is a founder of Chaeknuna Project, a nonprofit organization spreading a culture of reading books to children through arts education. Since 2007, her focus was in international performing arts production working with global arts productions such as Cirque du Soleil, Parsons Dance Company, R16 B-Boy Dance Competition and directing international dance festivals.

Currently pursuing her MFA degree in Arts Leadership at Seattle University. She works as a journalist for Korea Dance Webzine in association with Dance Magazine USA. Since 2015, she started volunteering at more than 20 organizations in Seattle to research about volunteer management and community engagement practice in small arts organizations. She is currently working with 206 Zulu (http://www.206zulu.org/) in Ubunye Project, a community project to host free arts events at Washington Hall, Seattle. With her passion for capturing diverse stories in the city, she is an active student advocate leader for social/racial justice, dancer, and illustrator. she has been also hosting Rooftop Session, a video series project to present diverse talents in Seattle Area. More details of her work can be found at http://soohye.com

Soohye

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Bruha Collective
 
Past Bruha Contributors

Contributing Writer

Aisha Fukushima is a Singer, Speaker, Educator, and ‘RAPtivist’ (rap activist). Fukushima founded RAPtivism (Rap Activism) a global hip hop project spanning 10 countries and four continents, highlighting the ways culture can contribute to universal efforts for freedom and justice by challenging oppression with expression. She is a multilingual, multiracial African American Japanese woman whose work is influenced by her global upbringing with roots spanning from her birthplace of Seattle, Washington to her other hometown of Yokohama, Japan.

As a leader of the ‘RAPtivism’ project, Fukushima has done solidarity building work through hip-hop from the United States and to France, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Japan, Belarus, Germany, England, South Africa, Senegal, India, Denmark and beyond. Fukushima’s ‘RAPtivism’ work has been featured by Oprah Magazine, KQED Public Television, The Seattle Times, TV 2M Morocco, The Bangalore Mirror, HYPE, South Africa’s #1 Hip Hop Magazine, among others.  

As a vocalist, Fukushima’s musical sound consists of an unparalleled style blending soulful melodies, poetic lyricism, looping and beatboxing. In 2012, Fukushima released her global “RAPtivism” (rap activism) compilation album featuring more than 20 leading political hip hop acts from around the world including Black Noise (South Africa), Positive Black Soul (Senegal) and DJ Noize (Denmark). Additionally she has been featured on a number of albums including MAD lines’ “MAD Habits” (2012), Street Poet Inc.’s “Origins” (2012), Ras K’dee’s “Cloudwriter” (2011) and Emile YX?’s “Conscious Rhymes for Unconscious Times” (2010). She has also shared the stage with the likes of Dead Prez, KRS-One, Afrika Bambaataa, Jasiri X, Boots Riley, Oum, Amadou & Mariam, and Ursula Rucker.

As a public speaker, Fukushima combines the art of performance and lecture. In her speeches she links themes such as hip hop, global citizenship, empowerment, feminism and cultural activism with live musical performance. She was the first non-Native person to deliver a keynote address at Montana’s 2012 Schools of Promise Conference for Indigenous youth and has presented at such diverse venues as Stanford University, the National Conference On Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), People of Color in Independent Schools (POCIS) conferences, UMass Amherst, TEDxSitka, TEDxWhitman, TEDxUWCCR, Rock The School Bells, Osaka University, among others.

Over the last 8 years, Fukushima’s passion for empowering young people through the performing arts has led her to build educational programs such as Turn Off The Stereotypes (2005), Whitman Institute of Summer Enrichment (2006) and SISTARZ, an all-girls hip hop club (2012). She has also been honored with a number of prestigious fellowships from institutions such as Duke University’s Ralph Bunche Institute of Summer Enrichment, Humanity in Action’s European Program (The Netherlands) and the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. Further, in 2014 World Trust named Fukushima their “Love In Action” awardee for Global Hip Hop Leadership.

Fukushima holds an honors degree in Rhetoric and Film Studies from Whitman College (2009) with minors in French Literature and Gender Studies. She currently lives in the San Francisco, and when she is not in the Bay Area she can often be found immersed in Copenhagen, Denmark’s dynamic hip hop scene. Fukushima is fluent in French and is building proficiency in Japanese, Arabic and Wolof.

Aisha Fukushima

Contributing Writer

Janice Lobo Sapigao is a daughter of Filipina/o immigrants.  Her first book, microchips for millions, critiques the Silicon Valley and its exploitation of immigrant women workers (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc. 2016). Her second book, like a solid to a shadow, about fatherlessness, grieving, and family lineages is forthcoming (Timeless, Infinite Light). She is the author of the chapbook toxic city (tinder tender press, 2015). She is a VONA/Voices Fellow and was awarded a Manuel G. Flores Prize, PAWA Scholarship to Kundiman for a Poetry Fellowship. She is the Associate Editor of TAYO Literary Magazine, and a co-founder of Sunday Jump, an open mic in Los Angeles’s Historic Filipinotown. She earned her M.F.A. in Writing from CalArts, and she has a B.A. in Ethnic Studies with Honors from UC San Diego. If you want, you can learn more at janicewrites.com

Janice Lobo Sapigao

Contributing Writer

 D’Lo is a queer/transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American interdisciplinary artist whose work ranges poetry and spoken word, stand-up comedy, solo theater, plays, films and music production. He is a member of Teada Productions (theater company creating work around the stories of immigrants and people of color), on the board for Brown Boi Project (organization that works to build leadership, economic self sufficiency, and health of young masculine-of-center people of color) and a co-producer for DisOriented Comedy (Asian-American nationally-touring stand-up comedy showcase).

 

D’Lo also holds a BA from UCLA in Ethnomusicology and is a graduate of New York’s School of Audio Engineering (SAE). D’Lo is the creator of the “Coming Out, Coming Home” writing workshop series which have taken place with South Asian and/or Immigrant LGBTQ Organizations nationally, which provide a transformative space for workshop participants to write through their personal narratives and share their truths through a public reading. These workshops are specifically designed to provide emotional and spiritual support for individuals working through the complexity of their intersecting identities. His work has been published in various anthologies and academic journals, including: Desi Rap: Hip Hop and South Asia America and Experiments in a Jazz Aesthetic (co-edited by Sharon Bridgforth) and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics.

 

Aside from touring and facilitating workshops on the university/college circuit with “D’FaQTo Life” (defacto), D’Lo tours “Ramble-Ations: A One D’Lo Show” (dir. Adelina Anthony) which received the NPN Creation Fund Grant inclusive of residencies in 9 US cities with additional support from the Durfee Foundation Grant.

 

In 2010, D’Lo was selected for the Asia Pacific Performance Exchange (APPEX) – an international three‐week intensive residency in Bali with a particular focus on American and Asian artists through UCLA’s Center for Intercultural Performance.

 

His full-length stand-up storytelling show D’FunQT (defunct), directed by Steven Sapp of Universes in NYC (Ken Sawyer in LA), has toured internationally (SF, NY, Manchester, UK and 7-city tour in India and Sri Lanka - with additional funds received by through the Ford Foundation travel grant to host workshops for queer & trans theater artists in Chennai, India).

 

The documentary by Crescent Diamond based on D’Lo’s life/work, called Performing Girl, won the best short documentary award at Outfest 2013 and he was also profiled in the emmy-nominated online docu-series by Rhys Ernst and Zachary Drucker This is Me. His tv/film credits include co-starring in the HBO series LOOKING as Taj, on the Amazon series TRANSPARENT and the Netflix series SENSE 8. This year he is featured in Sundance Fellow Adelina Anthony’s feature-length film BRUISING FOR BESOS in the supporting lead role of Rani. He also appears in various Buzzfeed videos, and in the web series EASTSIDERS and DYKE CENTRAL. His own web-series PRIVATE DICK is in post-production and set to be released this fall.

 

He is currently working on the follow up show to D’FunQT called To T, or Not to T and his screenplay GodFreaQ. dlocokid.com 

D'Lo

Contributing Writer

Rev. Joseph Allen Ruanto-Ramirez (aka "Rev JoJo) is a Katutubo American scholar-activist of Aeta, Igorot, Lipi, Moro, & Yloko ancestry. Their work looks at the role of global indigenous peoples, their relationship to the nation-state, and their im/migration to the the United States. They are also a part of the Downe community - an Asian American - based LGBT identity that was created in California in the late 90s/early 2000s. Rev. JoJo is currently a graduate student pursuing their PhD in Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University. Sometimes referred to as a "drunk scholar," Rev. JoJo's academic work and intellectual and political conversations are at best with a glass (or three) of wine. 

Rev. Joseph Allen Ruanto-Ramirez

Contibuting Writer

Ilankai Tamil Blood, Manchester Born, Texas Bred and Brooklyn Brewed, YaliniDream conjures spirit through her unique blend of theater, song, storytelling, and dance-- reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in the lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream.  As half of the Hip Hop duo Brooklyn DreamWolf, YaliniDream collaborates with Hip Hop MC & photographer Jendog Lonewolf, sharing stages with icons such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, and Rah Digga.  Mx. Dream's been in the clubs for over 20 years-- schooled and shaped by the whirleds of Popping, Voguing, and Waacking, as well as influenced broadly by African, American, Asian and European folk, classical, contemporary, and street dance forms.

She uses performance to open space for heavily silenced issues in Sri Lanka’s diaspora including the legacy of war, gendered violence, and Queer sexuality.  YaliniDream's work has performed at esteemed venues & events such as NYC’s Lincoln Center, New York Live Arts (formerly Dance Theater Workshop), War Resisters International's Opening Ceremony, House Dance International, and numerous universities.

She was Artistic Director of APIA feminist performance company Mango Tribe, a recipient of the Jerome Foundation's Fellowship in Literature, an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Michigan's Center for World Performance Studies and founding member of the Audre Lorde Project's SOS Collective.  Additionally, YaliniDream has sixteen years of experience using artistic tools for healing, organizing, and dignity with communities contending with persecution, exploitation, displacement, and violence.  She is a consultant with Vision Change Win, a specialist with Arts & Wellness organization EM Arts, and teaches "Social Justice Pedagogy and the Arts" for the Graduate Program in Human Rights at the University of San Francisco.

Photo by Hanna Thiem, Fashion by BlackSnow

YaliniDream

Contributing Writer

SAMMAY (Samantha Peñaflor Dizon) is a Bay Area-based choreographer/producer and interdisciplinary performing artist of Kapampangan, Ilokano, and Bikol descent born and bred in Carson, CA/Tongva Territory and now reclaiming space in San Francisco, CA with honor and gratitude to the Ohlone. She holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Sociology and minors in Dance & Performance Studies and Global Poverty & Practice from UC Berkeley. Sammay defines her body as a “tool of resonance” for spiritual intercession and envisions a future in which our indigenous traditions co-exist with(in) our urban landscapes.

Sammay has performed in the works of Jack Gray, Rhodessa Jones, Alleluia Panis and has been featured through Diego Rivera Art Gallery, RAW Artists, and Dance Mission Theater’s D.I.R.T. - Dance In Revolt(ing) Times Festival among others. Sammay has taught throughout the Bay Area and was a guest artist through Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU where she taught for DANCES WITH WOLVES: Indigenous Contemporary Dance Master Class Series and performed in the first ever Indigenous Dance Forum. Her desire to discover global bodymindspirit connections and uncover the secrets left behind by her ancestors during Spanish colonization has also led her to Brazil, Philippines, Cuba, and most recently New Mexico for Dancing Earth Summer Intensive led by Rulan Tangen.

 

Sammay is a two-time recipient of the "Presented by APICC" Artist Award which has enabled her to produce, choreograph, and curate for URBAN x INDIGENOUS at SOMArts Bay Gallery. Recently, she took part in the inaugural cohort of the CrossOver Collaborative Residency at Red Poppy Art House curated by Zena Carlota Pearl and Amara Tabor-Smith. This September, she will be traveling to Vancouver, BC to perform and present at the Third International Babaylan Conference. Sammay is the Featured Artist for APAture 2016: Here and Performing Diaspora Artist-in-Residence at CounterPulse where she will be presenting new work this December.


Sammay is grateful for the opportunity to shed stories and share light as a contributing writer-warrior for Hip Hop Bruha and reshape her online presence to elevate her purpose: to uncover/discover. To follow her journey, visit www.sammaydizon.com.

SAMMAY

Contributing Writer

Janet C. Mendoza Stickmon is an educator, author, and performer.  Stickmon is the founder and facilitator of Broken Shackle Developmental Training and the Black Leaders and Mentorship Program.  Stickmon’s Crushing Soft Rubies—A Memoir and Midnight Peaches, Two O’clock Patience—A Collection of Essays, Poems, and Short Stories on Womanhood and the Spirit have been used in courses at several colleges and universities across the country.   Stickmon is best known for her essays, “Blackapina,” “A Perfect Ordinary Day,” and “Beauty Revealed:  Bringing Out the Best in Others,” all featured in Midnight Peaches, Two O’clock Patience, and her latest blog series, To Black Parents Visiting Earth:  A Guide to Raising Black Children in the 21st Century.     She currently is a professor of Humanities at Napa Valley College, teaching Africana Studies and Filipina(o)-American Heritage.  She is also leading a collaborative effort between the Humanities Department and the Associated Students of Napa Valley College Cultural Center in Spring 2016.

        

Stickmon holds a Master’s of the Arts Degree in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University, a Master’s of the Arts Degree in Religion and Society from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Irvine. Professor Janet Stickmon’s professional and educational background have informed her work in the classroom and the community, influencing thousands of adults and adolescents for the last twenty years.

Janet C. Mendoza Stickmon

Contributing Writer

Jana Lynne (JL) Umipig (www.janalynnecreativeproductions.com) is a creator- a multidisciplinary artist who uses her talents and skills to create transformative artistic experiences. She has dedicated her life to using art as a medium for healing, education/understanding, empowerment and building community and connection. 

 

JL has continually witnessed and produced work that speaks to upliftment of the human spirit. Her training is rooted in classical and physical theatre work as she received her formal training at New York University, The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at The University of California, Irvine and The Accademia Dell' Arte in Arrezzo, Italy. Much of her career has been heavily rooted in collaborative based, applied and experimental theatre that focuses on human rights advocacy, art therapy/ healing connected to the development of her work around "For the Movement Theatre" and "Theatre as Spiritual Practice." 

 

In particular she seeks to elevate the narratives of Pilipina wom*n-  as a reflection of her own life's journey toward decolonizing, re-indigenizing and humanizing self. She draws her inspiration from being raised by strong wom*n in her family and by countless circles of sisterhodo that have lifted her throughout her lifetime including mentors and comrades from- The Center for Babaylan Studies, Damayan, Af3irm (Gabriela Network), Gabriela NYC,  The El Puente Global Justice Institute, and Kababayan at UC Irvine.  She is the creator of the acclaimed Movement Theatre production "The Journey of a Brown Girl" that has traveled internationally empowering diverse audiences through what has been noted as a "transformative human experience through the lens of the Pinay Narrative."

 

JL continues to develop works with intergenerational performers and community groups with the core purpose of guiding others in sharinga and elevating the stories that they hold within them- for learning, for understanding and for empowerment of all. 

 

Twitter: JLcreates Instagram: @jahel_umi, Facebook:Jana Lynne Umipig, Snapchat: Jahel_umi 

Jana Lynne (JL) Umipig

Contributing Writer

Vaimoana (Moana) Niumeitolu is an Artist (Painter/Muralist, Poet, Singer and Actress) and Educator. She was born in Nuku’alofa, Tonga; raised in Hawa’ii and Utah. She has been living and creating in New York City for the past 17 years. She is the founder of Mahina Movement, an all woman music and poetry trio. Moana is the author of a poetry, performance text, and visual art chapbook, tonga provo harlem. She has been designing curriculum and facilitating education initiatives all over New York City, and have led community based art programs in Alaska, California, Utah, Texas, as well as internationally in Italy, Ireland, and South Africa. She has directed and written over 20 educational theater productions with youth including, a production being performed at Lincoln Center in New York City last year. She has completed community murals in Los Angeles, the Bronx, New Zealand, Australia, Utah and Brooklyn. She has been seen acting at the Metropolitan Opera and sharing her one woman show, Tongue-in Paint, which had it’s world premiere at Performance Space 122 in NYC. Her other production, A Prayer for Tonga, premiered at Harvard University. She graduated from New York University in painting and performance, earned the Ellen Stoekel Fellowship/full scholarship in painting & drawing from Yale University and attended Columbia University’s Graduate Program in Acting. She loves that she is getting older. Life has just begun.

Vaimoana (Moana) Niumeitolu

Contributing Writer

Angelica "Angles" Tolentino is Pinay healer, teacher, and dancer from South East San Diego. She dances with Time II Rock Crew and Soul Heavy Crew. She works and lives to create and tell stories of struggle and resistance of people of color, womyn, queer communities, indigenous peoples and those at the margins. You can catch and see her work in the cyphers, classroom, or on the interwebs.

Angelica "Angles" Tolentino

Contributing Writer

Dr. grace shinhae jun is a choreographer, educator, performer, scholar, wife, mother, and child of Hip Hop culture. She is the artistic director of bkSOUL, a collective of dancers, poets, and musicians who promote positive expressions of hip hop culture as an accessible vehicle for activism, resistance to oppression and racism, and social change. grace believes in the power of movement and embodied knowledge which she practices daily and teaches at UC San Diego, San Diego City College, and for transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project. Holding a BA in History and a BA in Dance from UCSD and an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College (New York), grace received her PhD in Drama and Theater from UCSD in 2014. She is most proud of her two young children who keep her on point.

Dr. Grace Shinhae Jun

Contributing Artist/Designer

Alfie Ebojo (aka alfienumeric) became a modern day urban warrior, a hunter and gatherer – hustling to make her dreams come true but also making sure there is space for other artists to showcase their work and thrive. She is your typical Jill-of-all-Trades and Master of Self: graphic designer/illustrator/visual artist, writer, producer, performer (theater and live painting), teacher/lecturer and community organizer, all while holding down a day job that allows her to daydream. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for FilAm Arts but shines best in the curating and producing art and music shows all over California.  She has showcased her work nationally and abroad including San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, New York, Honolulu and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Alfie Ebojo (aka alfienumeric)

Contributing Writer

rogue pinay/ katrina pestaño is a force to be reckoned with, causing all types of ruckus as an emcee, cultural worker and community organizer. with a deep love of hiphop discovered as an immigrant youth, rogue pinay wrote verses as a way to reconnect with their roots and claim space as a queer filipina with a lot on their mind. since 2006, rogue pinay has been inciting love and rage with incisive rhymes and raw delivery.

born in southern mindanao, philippines, katrina survived immigration and assimilation in vancouver washington, finding solace as an emo nerd dreaming of a better life. in seattle, the brilliance of black and brown womxn guided them to their own power. katrina’s artistry is grounded in the collective work and movement building they first encountered through pin@y sa seattle (now gabriela seattle) and the ladies first collective (a project of cara- communities against rape and abuse). in the last decade, katrina has evolved as a writer and producer, weaving in multiple forms of media: counter-narratives of those often invisibilized yet in the front lines of change.

these days, katrina can be found on the streets making gains through collective mobilization and more often than not, with the fierce queers of bayan queer collective. through base, a community self-defense and wellness class, they are building autonomy and safety for everybody by centering trans and queer people of color and immigrant survivors of violence. katrina’s daily grind at api chaya is supporting the self-determination and safety of survivors of domestic and sexual violence and economic exploitation and building resources for our communities to respond to harm as a means to take power away from police and prisons.

 

katrina deeply believes that our bodies are sites of resistance– as workers, women, queers, indigenous people, artists, etc. and we must produce art, media and culture that not only reflect our daily struggles but also create the world we want to see.

rogue pinay

Contributing Writer

Sima Lee, a native of Norfolk, Virginia, has more than 20 years of involvement with liberation movements and human rights activism. Sima founded the direct action grassroots group "Food, Clothing & Resistance Collective" and currently is a part of "The Peace House DC," a local activist/artist collective focusing on social justice, community and advocacy. She is a mental health peer advocate who highlights trauma healing and restorative justice in her daily work.

Sima has organized with Autonomous Black Panther Units in Virginia and DC, "Uhuru Movement" and "Occupy The Hood" among others. An Early Childhood Educator by training, Sima is also a seasoned Hip-Hop Lyricist, Poet and Writer with the Indy Label "Soul Trust Records".

As an Afrikan & Native Two-Spirit, Queer, Anarchist, Womanist, Mother, Survivor and Warrior Woman the ultimate goal for her is to achieve liberation and self-determination in her lifetime..."by any means necessary!" - (Malcolm X)

Sima Lee

Contributing Writer

JM is a queer child of the chinese diaspora, roots reaching back to fujian province in mainland china via malaysia and now turtle island. home can sometimes feel elusive  but they find ground in relationships and interconnectedness. they are passionate about the ongoings of the world and matters of gender, race, class and health. they believe, as many before us did, that the point is not to interpret and philosophize the world, but to act to change it. 

JM

Contributing Writer

Hailing from the birthplace of hip hop itself, New York City native Tara Crichlow, affectionately known as “big tara,” is a pioneer in the world of hip hop.  As a self-proclaimed New York club culture ambassador, she is an innovative artist best known for her contribution to the art form as an international teacher, performer and curator of related programs. 

big tara promotes New York’s underground music and dance culture accurately and positively through music, battling, performing, and teaching workshops, as well as, giving lecture/demonstrations. Her expertise lies within breaking, as well as proficiency in hip hop, house, waacking, vogueing, lindy hop and pole dance.  At her core, she is a Bgirl and mc who has had the opportunity to perform her way onto many stages across the US including the Apollo, BB Kings,the Manhattan Center, and Lincoln Center.  She has worked with Run DMC, the Roots, Erykah Badu and LL Cool J to name a few and has presented her own work at events like Central Park Summer Stage, DMC World Championship, Bgirl Be, Allied Media Fest, Ladies Hip Hop Get Down, Under the Radar Festival, Ladies of Hip Hop, J.U.I.C.E. Hip Hop Dance Festival and Howl Fest.  big tara is a founding member of the Anomolies Crew, as well as a member of other crews including MAWU, HeartBreakerz, and the 2006 We Bgirlz Championship squad, Fox Force Five.

 

She is a true global hip hop ambassador as she has shared her talents and knowledge cross borders into France, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Portugal, the Ukraine, Mexico and Nigeria. As a member of the Next Level 3.0 team, she has now taken this mission on to work with the U.S. State Department to help create bonds of peace through hip hop centered culture and education. big tara consciously uses her platform to empower women, people of color, and other under represented communities.

“I am honored and excited to share my perspective on this platform that engages the readership to think more critically about their environments and how to create positive change. My sibling Kandi has always inspired me towards activism and standing up for human rights. Contributing as a writer to Hip Hop Bruha is another opportunity to explore that as an ally so I am down 1000%.”

Tara Crichlow (Big Tara)

Contributing Writer

Hollis Wong-Wear is a poet, performer, songwriter, and community advocate who lives between Seattle, WA, and Los Angeles. She is the lead vocalist of the Seattle-based electronic R&B trio The Flavr Blue, and was GRAMMY nominated for Album of the Year for her vocal performance of “White Walls” on The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.


With her roots in spoken word and slam poetry through the nationally recognized Youth Speaks program, Hollis has facilitated youth creative writing workshops and mentored teenage spoken word poets while continuing to write and perform in her community and beyond.

She has been a featured speaker at conferences, conventions and speaker series, sharing her spoken word poetry and her candid insights on her experience as an independent artist and engaged activist. In November 2015, Hollis had the honor of sharing the stage with Gloria Steinem and Cheryl Strayed at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall; she also recently appeared as a keynote speaker for the Planned Parenthood Teen Council, LA Music Creators, and 2015 TedX U of Washington.


A native of the Bay Area, Hollis graduated from Seattle University with a major in History and a minor in Global African Studies, and was recently named the recipient of Seattle University’s 2016 Outstanding Recent Alumna Award.  She is also an alumna of the Hedgebrook Songwriter’s Retreat, and is a Humanity in Action Senior Fellow.


Hollis serves on the Seattle Center Advisory Commission and Seattle Music Commission, and sits on the Board of Directors at 4Culture, King County’s public arts agency.

photo credit:  Ellie Stills

Hollis Wong-Wear

Contributing Writer

Nikkita "KO" Oliver is a Seattle-based creative, teaching artist, and anti-racist organizer.

She is an attorney and holds a Masters of Education from the University of Washington.

Nikkita is a writer-in-residence with Writers in the Schools at Washington Middle School, and is a teaching artist and case manager with Creative Justice, an arts-based youth diversion program that provides alternatives to incarceration for youth who are court involved.

Nikkita is the 2015 recipient of the Seattle Office of Civil Rights Artist Human Rights Leader Award, the 2014 Seattle Poetry Slam (SPS) Grand Slam Champion, the 2013, 2014 and 2016 Seattle Poetry Slam Women of the World Poetry Slam representative, a three-time Seattle Poetry Slam national team member and coached the Seattle Poetry Slam national slam team twice. She has opened for Cornel West and Chuck D of Public Enemy and performed on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert.

Nikkita "KO" Oliver

Contributing Writer

Bio coming soon!

Leslie Quintanilla

Contributing Writer