JAMAL T. LEWIS
Jamal T. Lewis is a multidisciplinary artist, cultural worker and writer living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Their work interrogates and explores identity formation, loneliness, ugliness, desire(ability), race, class, gender, and sexuality. They are currently in pre-production for their debut documentary film, No Fats, No Femmes. Jamal is deeply invested in and concerned about creating and archiving stories that complicates and expands Black history, especially those of marginalized communities: poor, trans, gender non-conforming, fat, dis/abled, and various other locators language cannot reach, contain and/or hold. Put simply, Jamal is a Black faggot who won't hush his-her mouth.
CeCe McDonald is an activist, speaker and icon in the LGBTQ community. Rising to international recognition after surviving a white supremacist & transphobic attack, CeCe has graced stages across the country where she uses storytelling to articulate the personal and political implications of being both black & trans.
She fosters important conversations around mass incarceration, sexuality & violence and is the star of the recently released feature length documentary about her life & story, Free Cece!
Timothy DuWhite is the current Program Manager at New York Writers Coalition, a non-profit dedicated to providing writing workshops to under-served communities. Prior to his time at NYWC, Timothy worked as the Program Coordinator at Urban Word NYC, a champion in youth literacy, and as the Online Communications Specialist at Believe Out Loud, an online network invested in bridging the gap between the faith and LGBTQ communities. He received his BA in English/Creative Writing from Montclair State University, where he developed his love for spoken word poetry and performance.
Timothy’s work has been featured at venues/sites such as the United Nations/UNICEF, Apollo Theater, Nuyorican Poet’s cafe, The Rumpus, Bowery Poetry Club, La Mama Theater and many more. In 2015, Timothy developed a writing workshop entitled “HIV & the State: Coalition Building beyond the Condom,” in which he communally debunks popular narratives surrounding HIV as it relates to black people. Timothy’s political work and analysis has granted him appearances/keynote speeches at institutions such as San Diego State University, Columbia University, Oregon State University, Columbia College Chicago, and many more. When he isn’t off trying to save the world, Tim can be found working on his next play, and listening to 90’s R&B.
Preston Mitchum is the Policy Research Analyst at the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE). He provides ongoing in-depth analysis of new data, policies, and programs across sexual and reproductive health and rights—including HIV/AIDS, maternal health, family planning, and gender-based violence. Prior to joining CHANGE, Preston was a judicial law clerk at the D.C. Superior Court, and was a Policy Analyst for LGBT and racial justice at the Center for American Progress (CAP). Preston currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Washington Bar Association-Young Lawyers Division, and is an accomplished author publishing both scholarly work and social commentary for many online outlets. Preston received his J.D., with honors, from North Carolina Central University School of Law and his LL.M. in Law and Government from American University Washington College of Law.
Lydia Avila is the Executive Director of the Power Shift Network, formerly Energy Action Coalition – a diverse network of climate justice organizations that work with youth to build the US youth climate movement. Lydia is originally from a working class suburb of Los Angeles county, first generation Mexican-American, and attended UCLA where she was involved with student-initiated, student- run social justice service organizations and was a student activist. It was here that she learned that importance and strength of empowered youth.
After earning two Bachelors of Arts degrees- one in Geography/Environmental Studies and one in Psychology- Lydia wanted to dedicate herself to what she saw as the transcending issue of our time: the climate crisis. As a result, she became a community organizer for the Sierra Club in Texas where she led two major Beyond Coal campaigns, working side by side farmers and landowners in east Texas. Lydia then spent two years in graduate school, earning a Master of Public Administration degree, specializing in nonprofit management from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In 2015, Lydia rejoined efforts to change our energy future, halt the acceleration of climate change and address environmental justice through a powerful youth-led movement at the Power Shift Network.