Bios are listed in order of appearance in the session schedule.
M. Carmen Lane (Carmen | they) is a two:spirit African-American and Haudenosaunee (Mohawk/Tuscarora) artist, writer, facilitator, and birth/postpartum and end-of-life doula living in Cleveland, Ohio. Carmen is founder and director of ATNSC: Center for Healing & Creative Leadership and the Akhsótha Gallery. Carmen’s work has been exhibited in galleries and published in numerous journals and anthologies. Carmen has been an artist-in-residence with Creative Fusion, Room In The House at the historic Karamu theatre, and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities at Northwestern University. Carmen has been awarded a Joyce Award, the AU/NTL Segal-Seashore Fellowship, and the Hal Kellner Award. Carmen is an Amanda Fouther scholar/member of NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science and Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers. Carmen holds a BA in Women’s Studies from Earlham College and an MS in Organization Development & Change from American University.
Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes (she | her) excitedly brings her deep roots in New Orleans’ indigenous culture to her work as Executive Director of Efforts of Grace and Ashé Cultural Arts Center. Prior to joining Ashé, she previously served at the New Orleans Business Alliance and the City of New Orleans’ Mayor’s Office, as well as coordinating and executive producing a wide range of cultural festivals. Asali has taught in New Orleans public schools, universities, and prisons, and continues to utilize her spoken and written word as a platform for societal change. She is a 2019 Tulane University Mellon Fellow who counts among her honors President Obama’s 2012 Drum Major for Service Award, the New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council’s 2013 Queen’s Scribe Award, and Essence Magazine’s 2018 Excellence in Service Award. Asali holds a BS in English Literature and Secondary Education from Vanderbilt University.
Lion’s Tooth Project—bio to come
Mississippi Center for Cultural Production (Sipp Culture)—bio to come
Lolly Bowean (she | her) is a program officer for Media & Storytelling at the Field Foundation. She is a Pulitzer prize nominated writer who lives on the South Side of Chicago. Before joining Field, she was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune and at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. She has been published in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, Lenny Letter and Longreads. She has served as a contributing instructor for the Poynter Institute and lectured at the Art Institute of Chicago. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, former program officer for the Chicago Headline Club, a Studs Terkel Award winner, and was a 2017 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. In 2019 she became the first African-American awarded the Gene Burd Urban Journalism Award.
Tempestt Hazel (she|her) is a curator, writer, and founder of Sixty Inches From Center, a Chicago-based arts publication and archiving initiative that has promoted and preserved the practices of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ artists, and artists with disabilities across the Midwest since 2010. She is also the Arts Program Officer for the Field Foundation. At Field, she works with organizations, collectives, and artists to give grants and other support to arts-focused, justice-driven, and cross-sector community care work led by BIPOC organizations in historically divested communities of Chicago.
Patty Berne (she | they) is the Co-Founder, Executive and Artistic Director of Sins Invalid, a Disability justice-based performance project centralizing disabled artists of color and queer and gender non-conforming artists with disabilities. Patty’s experiences as a Japanese-Haitian queer disabled woman provides grounding for her widely recognized work creating “liberated zones” for marginalized voices and establishing the framework and practice of disability justice. Patty’s training in clinical psychology focused on trauma and healing for survivors of interpersonal and state violence. Their professional background includes advocacy for immigrants who seek asylum due to war and torture, community organizing within the Haitian diaspora, international support work for the Guatemalan democratic movement, work with incarcerated youth toward alternatives to the criminal legal system, offering mental health support to survivors of violence, and advocating for LGBTQI and disability perspectives within the field of reproductive genetic technologies.