Author and Co-Founder & Artistic Director / Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival
Kevin Coval is the author of ALA “Book of the Year” finalist Slingshots: A Hip-Hop Poetica and Everyday People. He is co-founder and Artistic Director of Louder Than a Bomb: The Chicago Teen Poetry Festival, subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name, airing on the OWN network in Fall 2011.
“Coval’s greatest strength is his rhythmic, beautiful prose and his willingness to speak truth to power, no matter what the personal cost.”– URB
A regular contributor to Chicago Public Radio, and a four-time HBO Def Poet, Coval teaches at the School of the Art Institute and in high schools around Chicago. His forthcoming collection L-vis Lives will release from Haymarket Books in September of 2011 and be accompanied by a national tour of the L-vis Lives one-man show.
Journalist, Author and Managing Editor and Host / Public Radio's Latino USA
María Hinojosa is a journalist and author as well as the managing editor and host of public radio's Latino USA. Throughout her career, Hinojosa has garnered many awards and honors. Since 1995, Hispanic Business Magazine has named her one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the United States three times.
In 1991, Hinojosa won an Associated Press award for her coverage of Nelson Mandela for WNYC Radio. That same year, she won a Unity Award and the Top Story of the Year Award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists for her NPR story Crews, about New York gang members. The NPR story evolved into the book Crews: Gang Members Talk to María Hinojosa.
She received both the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Radio Award and the New York Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Award for her NPR report Kids and Guns. For Manhood Behind Bars, a story for NPR that documented how incarceration has become a right of passage for men of all races, Hinojosa received the Robert F. Kennedy Award. She was inducted into the "She Made It" Hall of Fame of Women in Media. She is the author of the book Raising Raúl.
Filmmaker, Writer, Anti-Sexist Activist
Byron Hurt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a published writer, and an anti-sexist activist. His most recent documentary, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. It was later broadcast nationally on the Emmy award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, drawing an audience of more than 1.3 million viewers. To date, Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes (BBR) has been selected to appear in more than 50 film festivals worldwide and The Chicago Tribune named it "one of the best documentary films in 2007."
Executive Director / Citizen Engagement Laboratory
Ian Inaba is the Executive Director of the Citizen Engagement Laboratory. Ian is an award-winning director and producer with a wide range of experience in media, technology, and business strategy. His directorial credits include the 2006 Sundance Award-winning documentary American Blackout and the MTV Video Music Awards-nominated music video for Eminem’s “Mosh.” He is a co-founder of Video the Vote and co-author of the book True Lies. A former investment banker and Silicon Valley executive, Ian is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business and the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
Co-Founder / Sparkwise
Wendy Levy is a co-founder of Sparkwise, where she pursues strategic partnerships and builds relationships with key members of the nonprofit and business communities. She has spent the last ten years envisioning and executing international programs that bring together art, technology, and social justice, including the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies and the Impact Dashboard, which inspired Sparkwise.
Wendy is in high demand as a speaker, workshop leader and consultant to nonprofit organizations, foundations, conferences and festivals around the world. Her past work as Creative Director at BAVC led to the 2010 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. She is a media advisor with the Sundance Institute and has served on the Board of Directors of Frameline and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
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