Define American, Artist-in-Residence
A nationally-acclaimed poet, educator, performance artist, and speaker. Born in Guerrero, Mexico, and raised in Eastside San Jose - California, Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work. The Advocate named Reyes one of “13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World” and Remezcla included Reyes on their list of “10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know.”
Executive Director, Hmong Innovating Politics
Cha Vang is the co-founder and Executive Director of Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP), whose mission is to strengthen the power of disenfranchised communities through innovative civic engagement and strategic grassroots mobilization. Founded in 2012, HIP set out to address the lack of representation and voices at the decision-making table. Prior to being the Executive Director of HIP, Cha work tirelessly as a community organizer to improve outcomes for children and families in the Sacramento region. Cha has worked on issues ranging from education to food justice to civic engagement. Cha was born in the refugee camps of Thailand and raised in South Sacramento.
President & CEO, TransLatin@ Coalition
Bamby is a national and international transgender Latina Woman who received her Master’s Degree in Latin@ Studies from California State Los Angeles. Bamby is the President and CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition, a national organization that focuses on addressing the issues of transgender Latin@s in the US. Bamby developed the Center for Violence Prevention & Transgender Wellness, a multipurpose, multiservice space for transgender people in Los Angeles.
Bamby’s remarkable and wide-ranging activist work has brought voice and visibility to not only the trans community, but also to the multiple overlapping communities and issues that her life has touched including migration, HIV, youth, LGBT, incarceration and Latin@ communities. Through her instinctive leadership, she has birthed several organizations that created community where there was none, and advocate for the rights, dignity, and humanity for those who have been without a voice. Bamby’s work as a collaborator and a connector through a variety of organizations reflects her skills in crossing various borders and boundaries and working in the intersection of multiple communities as well as the intersections of multiple issues. Bamby has served and participated in many local, national and international organizations and planning groups. This work mediates intersections of race, gender, sexuality, age, social class, HIV+ status, immigration status and more.
Her activist public speaking has ranged from testifying to governmental bodies, human rights and social justice organizations, universities and colleges, demonstrations and rallies, and national and international conferences as featured speaker. Bamby speaks to diverse audiences on many topics and intersecting issues. Bamby has spoken about transgender-related issues, social justice, healthcare, social services, incarceration, immigration and detention as well as professional and economic development for transgender people. Bamby has been invited to participate in several panels at the White House including in 2016 The United State of Woman where she share stage with Vice President Biden at the opening plenary session and in 2015, Transgender Women of Color and Violence and LGBTQ People of Color Summit. Bamby has also participated as the Opening Plenary Speaker at several conferences, including The 2015 National HIV Prevention Conference, The United States Conference on AIDS in 2009 and 2012. She has participated as facilitator with The PanAmerican Health Organization while developing the Blue Print on how to provide competent health care services for transgender people as well as health care for LGBT people and Human Rights in Latin America and The Caribbean.
Her powerful, sobering and inspiring speeches and her warm, down-to-earth presence have provided emotional grounding and perspective for diverse gatherings. She speaks from the heart, as one who has been able to transcend many of her own issues, to truly drop ways of being and coping that no longer served her, issues that have derailed and paralyzed countless lives. Her words and experience evoke both tears and laughter, sobriety and inspiration through the documentary made about her life called TransVisible: Bamby Salcedo’s Story. Bamby has been featured and recognized in multiple media outlets such as People en Español, Latina Magazine, Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, OUT 100 and featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List, among many other. Bamby has also being recognized for her outstanding work by multiple national and local organizations.
Define American, Managing Director, Creative Initiatives
Elizabeth’s passion for harnessing the power of story to create positive social change has led her to her role at Define American, a media and culture change organization that uses powerful narrative to shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.
Elizabeth left her fifteen-year career as a television showrunner and content creator for networks such as VH1, OWN, and Lifetime Television to design and implement long-term culture change strategies at Define American.
She currently oversees all in-house video production, arts programming and ongoing work within the entertainment industry for the organization and spends her time imagining new narratives that are inclusive, accurate, compelling and can change the hearts and minds of mass audiences.
Elizabeth holds a B.A. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a M.A. in Social Entrepreneurship from Pepperdine University.
Felonious Munk is a comedian, social commentator, and above average beardsman.
He appeared regularly on Comedy Central’s THE NIGHTLY SHOW WITH LARRY WILMORE and at the legendary Second City Chicago as co-creator, host, and writer for the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed shows AFROFUTURISM and BLACK SIDE OF THE MOON.
Recently Munk wrote and starred in the hit play NOTHING TO LOSE (BUT OUR CHAINS), produced by The Second City. NOTHING TO LOSE had its world premiere at The Wooly Mammoth Theatre in DC to outstanding reviews.
Munk recently had a scripted series in development with Comedy Central and is the host of a new podcast with Fusion, called THE BRAVE.
Munk performs standup regularly across the country, including headlining at The Gotham in NYC, Stand Up NYC, The Stand NY, The Laugh Factory Chicago, Zanies, New York Comedy Club, and The Stand Room in NYC.
Vice President, Black Women United
Elika Bernard has been teaching visual and performing arts in Sacramento for ten years. She began her pursuit for social justice with Sacramento Area Congregations Together. There, she has served on committees addressing community concerns around police accountability, transparency and law enforcement hiring practices. It was through this work she realized that there was a lack of concern for the lives of Black women affected by police brutality and domestic violence. BWU has given her a platform to raise the voices of Black women and bring what is invisible to light.
Poet + Producer / Creative Director, Sol Collective
Salvin Chahal is the next evolution in the tradition of storytelling through poetry. A tangible voice for Generation Y, Chahal’s talent and technique rhyme make him a relatable voice to crowds all over the world, specifically young people of color. Chahal is a championed slam poet, poet-mentor and a published author currently documenting other poets of color as well as immigrant narratives.
An enthusiastic curator of multi-medium experiences, he has organized numerous sold out shows, launched online platforms and conducted workshops with the youth focused on constructive expression and deconstructing masculinity. His book, ‘Verses From Above’, a collection of poetry and workshops, reached #3 on Amazon’s Bestseller Asian American Poetry list landing him on stages from Stanford to SXSW.