Karina Oliva Alvarado - K's poetry is her water and sharing it, her breath. Born in El Salvador, she emigrated to the U.S., age four, and continues to live in Pico Union, known for its Central American population. From hardship and violence, she was made a warrior early on, yet her quest for social justice remains motivated by empathy. K's best learning emerges from mother-hood, gente and ancestor knowledge. As a Ph.D. student in Comparative Ethnic Studies, Berkeley, she challenges white greed supremacy and U.S. cultural imperialism to make way for a just world. Someday she hopes to bring on miracles of the mind, free the naked spirit, and nurture the human core. A visual artist, she remains committed to the spoken word and is grateful to the creative, intellectual, spiritual, and activist communities of which she belongs. Part of her academic focus is on Salvadoren/Salvadoren American cultural production related to place/memory/nostalgia informing identity politics. She's interested in hearing about your migration experiences through word/art.
For all inquiries contact: Justisfirst@yahoo.com, Karina_o@uclink.berkeley@edu

Abbye Jo Atkinson Says that the most revolutionary thing we could ever do is truly love each other. Of course, love is manifested in many ways and is not always a flowery and passive emotion as it is portrayed. Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Abbye sings and plays her magical guitar to save her soul and maintain her sanity in a world that tells her that dark-skinned, immigrant black women with short natural hair are not particularly welcome. Abbye is also a member of A Mic and Dim Lights Alumni and has performed at numerous colleges, universities and youth camps. Recently relocated to the Bay Area, Abbye teaches high school Special Education. With first hand knowledge that our children are under siege, Abbye encourages everyone to reach out to any young person within their path and, be a true revolutionary ...show them that they are loved...

Anayvette Maria Bran Is the daughter of a Salvadorian father and Nicaragüense-American mother. She strongly believes in the power of spoken word. As an activist, poet, organizer, follower of Yemaya and infiltrator at U.C.L.A majoring in Chicana Studies and Latin American Studies, she enjoys eating ripe mangos under a full moon and making love to her writing. Her inspirations and influences come from her colorful familia and two-spirited nature. She currently stands as "La Mera Mera" of La Gente newsmagazine, and continues to let the world have it palabra por palabra.

Adriana Cabrera-Garcia - Encourages creativity as cultural resistance! Born and raised in San Jo, Cal, she throws the spoken word with the California "END-Dependence Poets Collective." She graduated from SJSU majoring in public relations, with a minor in Chicana/o Studies last May. She is one Chicana reggae lover who can do it all...baila, pinta, escribe, sonríe, and creates! As a cultural worker and political activist, she has initiated multiple projects addressing the Chicano community among students, youth and the working-class. She has recently begun organizing efforts within the Filipino community as well...on the theme of art and spirituality. In addition, being involved in numerous collectives working with the youth and drawing from her personal experience, she uses and promotes art for self-healing and community transformation.

Johnny Chavarría is an Hondureño poet/rapper, activist and 'maestro' from the Mayan coast 'de la Ceiba.' He is an undergraduate at U.S.C., but he'd rather tell you that he works with the youth of South Central Los Angeles. Johnny is passionate about making social change a reality. His smile radiates energy, and his lyrics inspire others to want to take a stand against all forms of injustice. He is definitely a spiritual brother on a quest.

Camincha is from Miraflores,Lima,Perú. Calls the United States her second home and keeps close to her roots for she feels that "it is much easier to get where you want to go when you are proud of where you come from." Earned her M.A. in 1987 in Spanish Literature at San Francisco State University. Was selected by KDTV for their segment "One of Ours" to honor her contributions to the Latin American community in the Bay Area. Her poems,short stories and translations have been published in English and Spanish on Lit & E-Zines magazines. And has desktop published three chapbooks. The San Francisco Bay Guardian,says: "Camincha frames the ordinary in a way that makes it extraordinary, and that is real talent."


Janssen Chavarria was raised in South Central, Los Angeles. He was originally born in the Mayan Coast of La Ceiba, Honduras and immigrated in 1984 crossing Babylon's walls. He's motivated to make social change a reality by working with youth in the inner city, and hopes to create a community center that opens the doors to artistic minds. Janssen is currently majoring in International Development and Latin American Studies at UCLA. He is a rapper, poet and teacher of the Creator's love, who writes to reach souls and bring honor to all who fought before us because he believes our past history is extremely important in order to formulate our identities.


Maya Chinchilla - A Guatemalan writer, journalist and member of Epicentro Poets, is originally from Long Beach and now lives in San Francisco Mission District. She has worked in public radio over the past 8 years, ranging from music director and DJ, to newscaster and producer. She loves world music and Rock en Español, finds guilty pleasure in film and is a fervent advocate for immigrant rights. She believes deeply in the intersection of politics and art and has enjoyed organizing events showcasing artists who celebrate that intersection, over the past 10 years. Some of her creative highlights include starting the first artistic latino magazine in Santa Cruz, La Revista; her all female-hosted rockenespañol radio show en plena acción, human relations training in high school before and after the LA Riots, and her involvement in Rainbow Theater, Noche de Artistas and the Multicultural Festival in Santa Cruz. She loves to be challenged and to challenge others. epicentropoet@yahoo.com

César A. Cruz Is a human rights freedom fighter from Jalisco, Mexico. Currently, César teaches for the Peaceful Schools Project of the Bay Area in San Pablo, CA. He serves as a member of Pacifica Radio's Program Council at KPFA in Berkeley, CA. He has just become the new Director of Youth Ministries at Albany Community Church in the Bay Area. As a poet, César is a co-founder of the ENDdependence Collective and has recently released a spoken word CD entitled "Lyrical Demonstration." You can pick up his cd at: www.teolol.com You can also reach Cesar via email at: CesarACruz@juno.com

Mark Gonzales - A member of the original End-Dependence tour, Mark is a spoken word artist and prison abolitionist currently infiltrating UC Riverside as a student. Raised by his father since 1989, Mark moved from Alaska to Colorado, then to California. As a member of the 2001 Long Beach West Coast Slam Champions, Mark witnessed the power of words to move masses and dedicated himself to doing so. As founder of the Civil Writes Project, he assists in the development of radical methods of re-education through spoken word based curriculum; as co-founder of The Non-Prophets Poets, he works with at-risk youths to emphasize self-expression as a form of self-actualization; as a member of Mic and Dim Lights Alumni, he travels nationally with other artists to universities, conferences, and classrooms to advocate Social Justice via spoken word and the arts. "Poetry is more than art, it is audio liberation. For we are the voices that will no longer subject themselves to the state violence of silence."

Gabriela López (a.k.a. Sasparella) - Mexicana artist/actor/writer, was born and raised in Norwalk, CA in an artistic and musical family. Writing has been her main form of self expression all her life, and was a member of the original End-Dependence Tour. She has been published in a few anthologies throught the years, has participated and conducted writing workshops and open mics in Whittier and presented a motivational arts workshop for high school girls at the "1st Annual Young Women's Empowerment Day" at Rio Hondo College. In 2001, she released her first self-produced poetry cd, "Sasparella: Words & Music" with the help of music producer Shug. She has performed her work most recently at CASA 0101. Currently she's developing a performance art piece for TeAda Theater Productions titled "Apparitions of the Virgin Mary" scheduled to open late August. When she's not writing and performing, Gabriela also co-owns a graphic design firm, Soap Design Co. in Los Angeles. She would like to thank the END-dependence Collective for their continuing inspiration and collabo!
You can pick up her cd at: www.teolol.com. Contact: sasparella@hotmail.com / 213.842.6817

Charles (Bomani) Watson currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he first began writing as substitute for conversations he didn’t have with his father as a youth. Sharing his stage time as a performance poet, he earned a BS in Electrical Engineering. Bomani is also a photographer and member of A Mic and Dim Lights collective traveling the U.S. performing spokenword in various cities. His writing encompasses a unique blend of social-politics, reality, fantasy, hip-hop, and love. He is currently working on several spokenword projects including his own CD.

Adriel Luis, Is a Chinese American poet from the Bay Area scene. Born in '83 and raised in Union City, CA, he grew up with the steadfast principles of capitalism, social acceptance, and success through standardized evaluation, institutionalized deep within his persona until his unleashed passion for poetry and spoken word woke him up from the Amerikan Dream and helped transform him into the raving yellow-skinned nightmare he is today. His newfound perspective in life was nourished through running with the L.A.V.I.S.H. (Lifeforms Achieving Valence in Shaping Hip-hop) family, and he is now also an affiliate of the Youth-Speaks Bay Area spoken word organization and CAPAA (Council of Asian Pacific American Affairs). Adriel was a finalist in the 2002 Bay Area Youth Poetry Slam. His current projects include working on his solo debut album, The Life and Depth of Adriel Luis, and his first chapbook, Cutloose. When he is not looking for love in the Bay or within the restlessness of himself, Adriel can be found at the University of California, Davis, working on his Bachelor of Sciences in Community and Regional Development, with a certificate in Asian American Studies.

Carlos "Solrac" Mena- Grew up in a musical family and always made poems. It wasn't until he found hiphop that he understood how much more powerful the two were together than alone. Born in Puerto Rico, raised in Brooklyn, he spent part of every summer with relatives in the Dominican Republic, soaking up the vast array of sounds and musical idioms he naturally folds into a kind of personal hiphop fusion. The layered sounds of a Brooklyn block on a summer evening led him to the sonic experiments that make his new CD, HipHop Meditations, as original as it is affecting. Solrac started spinning at fourteen, back when the hits and his own tastes lined up perfectly. New York in the 80s found him Djing house, salsa, and hiphop, sometimes on the same night. With a move to California in '89, he added reggae to the mix, and joined the hiphop trio 10Bass T as emcee and producer. The group beat out more than 300 other local bands for a spot on the Lollapalooza tour, and went on to open locally for the Fugees, Counting Crows, Roots, Shoenen Knife and other well known bands. Solrac's first efforts as a producer brought forth 10Bass T's debut album, Do You Know the Way? In 2001, he built himself a home studio and founded his own Oakland-based CASAMENA label. Seven months later, his first solo album, HipHop Meditations, started getting heard for the first time. Featuring world-renowned bata drummer Michael Spiro, as well as up-and-coming Bay Area talent, the CD is an audacious blend of contemporary street idioms, cool Buddhist flutes, and the ideas and rhythms of the Yoruba and Lucumi religious traditions, of soul, social criticism, and self humor. The result is soothing and challenging in equal measure, a record to live with for a long time. Currently touring the US on its behalf, Solrac is polishing his chops as entertainer/provocateur. He has also recently received an artistic fellowship grant from the City of Oakland for his work on HipHop Meditations. A generous and riveting performer, he's not too shy to tell you that while he makes you dance, he also wants to save your soul. carlos@casamena.com

Palomar Sanchez Is a Xicano slam poet from the Bay Area who is taking UC Santa Cruz by storm. He has been raised to be a human rights freedom fighter. His no holds barred approach both inspires and gives hope to the youth. He is not afraid to bring it 'on the real' and is willing to put his body on the line to even shut down the infamous "School of the Assassins (Americas)."

GusTavo Adolfo Guerra Vásquez, a.k.a. Tavo - Is a multi-disciplinary artist born in Guatemala City and raised both (t)here and Los Angeles, California. He is currently moonlighting as a graduate student in the Comparative Ethnic Studies Doctoral program at UC Berkeley so the kind of writing he does is for the most part academic, but he needs to be creative in order to purge himself of all the negativity in this world and be able to survive the madness that surrounds us. Tavo believes in social change as an art form as well art as a tool for social change. He has produced various pieces-written, visual and performative -on the injustices that many different peoples face in this country and around the world. patojo_fregon@yahoo.com

Michaelle D'Jenane Ventura (AKA: aLpHa6) Reppin the LA area, Michaelle D'Jenane writes for the people. Her writing stems from personal and worldly experiences that have created the person she is today. She strives to encourage the youth of this world to write and create their own freedom of expressions so that their voices can be heard in this place of loud, obsolete, biased noise. A transfer student from UC Santa Cruz, currently attending UC Riverside, Michaelle D'Jenane integrates her mixed racial background (Mexican, Chinese, Portuguese & Blackfoot Indian) as a premise to express understanding and pride as a Womyn of color. She has had her poetry published in UC Santa Cruz's 2002 collective publication "La Revistas" and artwork displayed in "Las Girlfriends." In creating often raw and direct poetry, Michaelle D'Jenane seeks to tackle societal issues full on in the hopes of opening doors for others to do the same. You can catch this mujer doing everything from writing verses on store receipts while driving to sewing up fits that break commonality. With the influence of hip hop, jazz, East La rolas, and rock music, this female writes with the passion that so many had before her with the beat of indigenous drums in her heart... MichaelleDjenane@yahoo.com

Ruby Veridiano, a.k.a. Tali Amani - Although Ruby is new to the spoken word scene, her work isn't any indication of it. Her ability to intertwine words to paint images makes her poetry not just a joy to hear, but also to visualize. Influenced by her awe of underground hip-hop, she transcends the beauty of its culture through her writing and performance. Ruby has also begun tapping into her Filipina roots, taking her own experiences, as well as her developing knowledge of her culture and background to scribe poetry that is as personal as it is beautiful.



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