About the Facilitators:
As an artist, poet, and educator with a focus on marginalized youth. Gina Duran is the founder and a teaching artist for the IE Hope Collective; an outreach that helps people living on the streets and in shelters, and provides poetry, art, and yoga workshops for low-income, homeless, foster, refugee, and LGBTQ2S+ youth. She was the Guest Editor of Boundless 2022, of The Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival, and a Certified Community Health Worker for San Bernardino County, in 2015. She is currently the Host for The Collective on KQBH, and a LitCit Podcast host at Antioch University. Duran teaches yoga, mindfulness, poetry and art workshops for EOPS, NextUp, CalWorks, the CARE Program, and Foster Youth at Chaffey College, and has taught workshops at the University of Redlands, Pitzer College, Ontario TAY Center, Joshua Home: an LGBTQ Youth Safe Haven, and the Pomona School District. Works from her debut collection of poetry “…and so, the Wind was Born,” published by FlowerSong Press (2021) can be found in the Her Story Mixed Tape Collection at the Autry Museum of the American West, in LA and Life in Quarantine project, at Stanford University. Her research Sexual Violence and the Assimilation Response of LGBTQ2 Female Identified Latina and Indigenous Americans, published by the University of Illinois Urbana-Chanpaign (2018) informs her art, poetry, and efforts for marginalized youth. When she's not making art and building community, Duran is a first semester MFA Grad student at Antioch University (in LA) while she works as a Substitute teacher, Yoga Instructor, Massage Therapist, and youth program director. She feels art and community can and will lead to positive change.
Matt Sedillo has been described as the "best political poet in America" as well as "the poet laureate of the struggle". His work has drawn comparisons in print to Bertolt Brecht, Roque Dalton, Amiri Baraka, Alan Ginsberg and various other legends of the past. Sedillo was the recipient of the 2017 Joe Hill Labor Poetry award, a panelist at the 2020 Texas book festival, and a participant in the 2011 San Francisco International Poetry Festival, the 2022 Elba Poetry Festival. Sedillo has appeared on CSPAN and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Axios, the Associated Press among other publications. Sedillo has spoken at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba, at numerous conferences and forums such as the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education, the National Association of Chicana/Chicano Studies, the Left Forum, the US Social Forum, and at over a hundred universities and colleges, including the University of Cambridge, among many others. Matt Sedillo is the author of Mowing Leaves of Grass (FlowerSong Press, 2019) and City on the Second Floor (FlowerSong Press, 2022). Both of which are taught at universities throughout the country. Sedillo.ie the current literary director of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Los Angeles California.
Lydia Theon Ware i is a published poet in MUSE, the Riverside City College literary magazine, and a winner of the RCC’s Student of Distinction for Creative Writing Award 2006. She is the author of “Signs” a tiny gift book, and “D.I.R.T.: “A Poem Song”. Her latest body of work is entitled Awe; Love Letters to the Most High, a praise compilation of poetry and love letters to Jesus. She is a self-taught poet, an actor and a Certified Peer Support Specialist. She loves to create new words and new moments. She has spoken at five Jefferson Transitional Program’s Community Education Film Series throughout the Inland Empire. Lydia has taught poetry to the homeless population with the Riverside Art Museum’s ArtReach Grant. She has also performed her work at L.A. City College, at USC, and at UCLA. Lydia has been a Peer Artist teaching poetry at the Art Works Gallery Recovery Arts Corps. She was involved with the performance troupe Acting Out Loud in the original play “Jubilee” a play of Recovery and Hope. Lydia has also taught a Ten Week Intensive called "Cartless” for the past four years [2017-2020] with the Riverside homeless population; in partnership with Inlandia Institute. Poets & Writers, National Endowment of the Arts, Riverside City Council, and The Path of Life Ministries.