Chrissy Anderson-Zavala, policy and program management consultant, is a Xicana writer and educator from Salinas, California. She studied and taught poetry in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People at UC Berkeley, where she graduated with a dual degree in English literature and peace and conflict studies. She received her MA in education from Stanford University and was a recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission’s 2008 and 2010 Cultural Equity Individual Artist grants. She worked with WritersCorps and the Performing Arts Workshop as a teaching artist and teacher coach for several years, as well as the co-deputy director of Streetside Stories. She is currently pursuing her PhD in social and cultural context of education at UC Santa Cruz.
Gisela Insuaste, program associate, is an artist, educator, and cultural worker. As a Brooklyn transplant, she loves exploring the San Francisco Bay Area on bike, and making sculptures and drawings inspired by urban and natural spaces. Recently, she managed art, nature, and wellness programs at Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center in the Bronx. She has many years experience working in cultural organizations in Chicago, Washington DC, and New York, including the Smithsonian Institute, Columbia College Chicago, the History Museum of Chicago, and El Museo del Barrio in NY. She holds a BA in anthropology and studio art from Dartmouth College and an MFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Minna Dubin, training coordinator, is a writer, performer, and creative writing workshop facilitator for teens. She holds an MA in transformative language arts from Goddard College. She has written and starred in a one-woman show, produced plays written by pregnant and parenting teens, and is the recipient of an artist enrichment grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Minna has worked with youth communities since 2000. She is currently working on #MomLists, a San Francisco Bay Area public art project on identity and motherhood.
Melissa Hung, program manager (on leave), is a writer, editor, curator, and educator. Prior to joining WritersCorps, she worked as a journalist, writing stories about people, social issues, and criminal justice. In 2002, she co-founded Hyphen, an award-winning magazine about Asian American culture, and led the publication for more than five years as its editor in chief. She also founded a film festival in her hometown of Houston, which she continues to curate. Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s creative writing and journalism programs, and is a speaker and panelist on the topics of independent media and literary arts education.
Maddy “MADlines” Clifford is a rapper, writer, educator, and youth advocate. Maddy has facilitated workshops with youth in her hometown of Seattle, throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and in both South Africa and Uganda. She holds an MFA from Mills College, has independently released three musical projects, and performed widely, including opening for Souls of Mischief. Maddy recently served as a Hip-Hop Ambassador to Uganda through the Next Level Program, a project of the US Department of State and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her ultimate goal is to leave an indelible footprint in a shifting cultural landscape, one in which young people’s dreams for peace can take root.
Roseli Ilano is an educator and cultural worker with more than a decade of experience in community organizing and youth development with an emphasis on integrating creative writing, storytelling, and arts into youth-led social justice campaigns. She has worked with several San Francisco Bay Area youth development and media organizations including Independent Television Service, The Ella Baker Center For Human Rights, and Asian Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership. She is co-editor of “Walang Hiya,” an anthology of Filipino and Filipino American writers and poets (Carayan Press, 2010).
Sandra Garcia Rivera is an award-winning Nuyorican poet and vocalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has captured audiences throughout the US, Caribbean, and Europe as a solo artist and alongside musical legends. She has published two chapbooks: “Shoulder High” and “Divination of the Mistress,” has been anthologized in numerous Caribbean/Latino literature collections and journals, and has contributed vocal performances on numerous Latin/Jazz albums. She is the curator and host of the monthly literary series Lunada Literary Lounge at Galería de la Raza, holds an MFA in Poetry from Antioch University, and is a 2015 Artist-in-Residence with the Headlands Center of the Arts.
Annie Rovzar has worked in youth development and education for the past seven years. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco and has taught creative writing to youth through ExCel After School Programs. She has also worked with college students as a community coordinator for a study abroad program in El Salvador, and as an English composition instructor at San Quentin Prison through Patten University. She is passionate about work that connects creative writing and social good. Annie is currently working on a book-length work of poetry based on her recent experiences walking the Camino de Santiago (Road to Santiago) in Northern Spain.
harold terezón is an educator and poet from Pacoima, California. He received the San Francisco Foundation’s James D. Phelan Literary Award in 2013. harold has taught the Poetry for the People class at City College of San Francisco, and transfer classes for newly admitted students at UC Berkeley. His work has appeared in POECOLOGY, Puerto del Sol, PALABRA, Rushing Waters Rising Dreams: How the Arts Are Transforming a Community, and The Acentos Review, among other publications. harold is working on “Hunting Izotes,” a collection of poems inspired by his family’s immigrant experience.
Judith Tannenbaum, training coordinator, served on the training staff of WritersCorps since the program’s inception in 1994 until fall of 2014. A keynote speaker on prison arts and education, she has taught in public schools and prisons for 40 years. Her books include “Teeth, Wiggly as Earthquakes: Writing Poetry in the Primary Grades;” “Disguised as A Poem: My Years Teaching Poetry at San Quentin;” and “By Heart: Poetry, Prison, and Two Lives” (New Village Press, April 2010). Read Judith’s blog and learn more about her work and about teaching arts and prison arts at her website.