WoW2012: The Naked Edition

Artist Roster 

Joi M. Sears is an artist : activist and the Executive Director of Theatre for the Free People, an organization which is dedicated to using the arts as a vehicle for social change. An Internationalist, she has traveled around the world discovering the innate ability of the arts to transform lives and mobilize communities.  She has earned her Masters degree in "Arts and Social Change" from New York University's Gallatin School of the Arts. 

 Carmen Mojica is an Afro-Dominican woman born and raised in the Bronx. She is a writer, teaching artist, dancer, certified birth doula and reiki practitioner. The focus of her multidimensional work is the empowerment of women and people of the African Diaspora, her keynote presentation being on the Afro-Latina Identity. In October 2009, she completed and self-published her literary work called ‘Hija De Mi Madre’ (My Mother’s Daughter), which is a combination of memoirs, poems and research material that not only explain the effects of race on identity from an academic standpoint but also shares her life as a living example.

Body Ecology is a performance ensemble that honors the creative, spiritual, scholarly and radical lived experiences of women of the African diaspora. Conceived after BDAC's creativity and transformation residency at Medgar Evers College, Body Ecology conceptualizes performance and learning experiences with communities to build a praxis of collective wellness and liberation. Associate Artists include:  Sydette Harry, Jessica Valoris, Heather Lee, Taja Lindley, Audrey Hailes, Kelly Thomas (Associate Artistic Director and Ebony Noelle Golden (Artistic Director).  

Aimee Meredith Cox is a cultural anthropologist and assistant professor of performance and African and African American Studies at Fordham University. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan where she also held a postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for the Education of Women. Dr. Cox’s research and teaching interests include expressive culture and performance; urban youth culture; public anthropology; Black girlhood and Black feminist theory. She is currently completing a book entitled, Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship.

Anusha Mehar is an activist, artisan, organizer and educator with a passion for truth and consciousness. She is a member of the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective (RDAC-BX), a grassroots Hip-Hop Community Center in the South Bronx, where she co-coordinates and facilitates classes for the Nuestra America Media Apprenticeship, a media literacy program designed to connect youth to their own creative agency. She balances her work at RDAC-BX with her work as Program Coordinator at Girls Write Now, a young womyn's literary mentoring organization. Anusha remains committed to being a part of the solution in all her endeavors.   

 Kayhan Irani is an Emmy award winning writer, a performer and a Theater of the Oppressed trainer. She directs participatory arts projects with government agencies, community based organizations, international NGOs and with the general public. She has led theater for change projects in conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq. She is trainer at the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory N.Y.; the oldest Theater of the Oppressed training center in North America.

 Producer/ Multi-Media Artist/ Activist, Phakiso Collins is an erotic power advocate residing in Brooklyn, NY. With 11 years of experience in the television industry she’s freelanced as Producer with BET,VH1, Bravo, MTV, OWN, amongst others. Founder and Co-Producer of “Breakin' Out!”, Phakiso facilitates workshops throughout NYC, D.C, and North Carolina aiming to liberate, heal, and empower women of color in their bodies. She is currently developing “Guilty Flesh”, a dance video project exploring the intersections of media culture, sexuality, and personal body empowerment.

Denae Hannah was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. She received her B.A. in dance from Stanford University and her M.F.A. from Florida State University. Denae also received training from the Ailey School and studied folkloric dance in the Republic of Panama. She has performed works by choreographers including Robert Moses, Matthew Rushing, Stephanie Powell and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. Keep up with Denae’s adventures at and @denaedance on Twitter. 

Farah Tanis is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Black Women’s Blueprint. She is an Almoner of the Havens Relief Fund which provides emergency grants in New York City. She serves on the Board of Directors of Right Rides which provides safe transportation to women and members of the LGBTQ community, and serves on the Board of Haki Yetu meaning “Our Rights” in Swahili, which works with survivors of Rape in the Congo region of Africa. 

Shani Jamila’s career path reflects her commitment to utilizing the power of art to reach and reflect our global community. Her work and studies have taken her to more than thirty countries over five continents, a journey she chronicles in her cultural work, journalism and writings on race, gender, justice and diaspora. Throughout her travels, Shani has led workshops on African American culture and history at gatherings like the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Switzerland and the World Social Forum in India. Her work has received international recognition in publications such as the Trinidad Guardian and Express newspapers, the London based literary magazine Sable, and ESSENCE -- as "One of the 35 Most Remarkable Women in the World."


 Malaika Adero, Vice President, Senior Editor of Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, works with authors such as Tananarive Due, Jewell Parker Rhodes,  T.D. Jakes, Zane, Common, Demetria Lucas, Lorene Cary, Pearl Cleage, Shirley Sherrod, Dorothy Cotton, Kevin Powell, Mikki Taylor, Toure and many more. The book publishing veteran is an author in her own right, including Up South: This Century’s African American Migrations and Speak, So You Can Speak Again, and found of Up South, Inc. an organization that promotes the art of storytelling.

Binahkaye Joy is a Visionary Space Activator. She facilitates dance experiments with communities around the world that cultivate awareness about the interplay of movement choices in our bodies and the spaces where we exist. She designs customized dance programs for people of all ages who want to discover the power, creativity, and intelligence of their bodies. A believer in the ancient wisdom of an elevated booty consciousness, Binahkaye is evolving her Liberated Booty dance curriculum and sharing its magic in all spheres of the globe. She is also an award-winning, published writer and a blossoming filmmaker. 

  Dayanara Marte is the Founder of In Bold Rebirth consulting and Behind the Movement Newsletter a public health journal dedicated to gender justice. She is nationally known for her work with young and adult women of color and the LGBTQ community supporting their journey of self healing from the  impact that oppression, trauma, violence and poverty has on their mind, body and spirit.

Tonya Cherie Hegamin is the multiple award-winning author of the picture book, Most Loved In All the World (Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt)as well as the young adult novelsM+O 4EVR (HMH) and Pemba's Song (Scholastic).  Tonya began her career as a community educator and sexual assault counselor for Women Against Rape and Planned Parenthood. She culled the stories of Firebug from her own childhood experience and from the patterns she saw in the actual cases she worked.  Hegamin says, "I wrote Firebug not only to give voice to sexually abused children who unconsciously perpetuate the cycle by abusing other children, but also to express the vicarious trauma I experienced as a social worker."

Mahogany Browne, a Cave Canem Fellow, is the author of several books including Swag & Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-line, recommended by Small Press Distribution & listed as  Best Poetry Books of 2010. She has released five LPs including the live album Sheroshima. As co-founder of the Off Broadway poetry production, Jam On It, and co-producer of NYC’s 1st Performance Poetry Festival: SoundBites Poetry Festival, Mahogany bridges the gap between lyrical poets and literary emcee. Browne has toured Germany, Amsterdam, England, Canada and recently Australia as 1/3 of the cultural arts exchange project Global Poetics. Her journalism work has been published in magazines Uptown, KING, XXL, The Source, Canada's The Word and UK's MOBO. .

Kamilah Aisha Moon's work has been featured or is forthcoming in several journals and anthologies, including Harvard Review, jubilat, Sou'wester,
Oxford American, Lumina, and Callaloo. She has taught English and Creative Writing at Medgar Evers College, Drew University and Adelphi University. She
has led workshops for various arts-in-education organizations and in settings as diverse as libraries and prisons. A featured poet in conferences and venues around the country, Moon received her MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poetry collection, She Has A Name, is forthcoming from
Four Way Books: 

SAMANTHA THORNHILL is a poet, educator, and published children's author. She has been invited to perform on stages across the United States as well as South Africa and Hungary.  After receiving her poetry MFA (Masters in Fine Arts) from the University of Virginia Samantha moved to New York City where she currently serves as writer in residence at the Bronx Academy of Letters and teaches poetry to actors in training at the Juilliard School. Numerous literary journals and anthologies have featured her poems while her young adult novelSeventeen Seasons is forthcoming from Penguin/ Putnam.  

Dominique Morisseau, actress/playwright/writer, is an alumni member of the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, and a current member of the Women's Project Playwrights Lab and the Lark Playwrights Workshop.  Her work has been produced at Premiere Stages, and developed with the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Classical Theater of Harlem, the Kennedy Center, and with Voice and Vision.  She is a two-time NAACP Image Award recipient, a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award honoree, and a runner-up for the 2011 Princess Grace Award. Currently she is developing a 3-play cycle on her hometown of Detroit at the Public Theater. 

Paloma McGregor is a choreographer, writer, teacher and founder of Angela's Pulse, which creates collaborative performance work. An eclectic movement-maker, she has choreographed a rollicking extravaganza honoring James Brown at SummerStages; the roving, multi-disciplinary closing performance of the Negritude exhibit at Exit Art; the emotional dance-theater adaptation of Patricia Smith's collection of poetry, Blood Dazzler. She is currently developing a new work, Building a Better Fishtrap, about water, memory and home. Paloma toured nationally and internationally as a dancer with Urban Bush Woman and Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange, and has taught workshops around the world. 

As a performance artist, writer, educator, and life coach Piper Anderson has dedicated the last twelve years to holding space for community, peace, and power to manifest. From public schools, non-profits, to detention facilities, and Ivy League universities Piper Anderson is well known for her dynamic, inspiring, performances, workshops, and lectures. Piper’s performance work blends poetry, song, movement, storytelling, and video to create work that explores the experiences of women and their relationship to Spirit, healing, and power. 

Safiya Ellis Bandele recently retired after 34 years of service to Medgar Evers College CUNY. Under her leadership, the college's Center for Women's Development provided counselling, advocacy and programming for women students pursuing their academic degrees.  The Center also served as an institutional model for commitment to and active engagement with the community on  family justice issues.In January 2011 Sister Safiya's  "Readin n Riffin" performance at Daddy's Basement Bookstore inaugurated  her series addressing (im)prisoned love and elder diva sexuality. In March 2012 she will teach a (Free) Mini-Course) on the great Ida B. Wells Barnett atTrue South Bookstore in Bedford-Stuyvesant. 

 Maritri is a working musician from Southern California now living in Brooklyn. She has toured the world and currently works with the Soulfolk experience, featuring V. Jeffery Smith and David Pilgrim. Her work is available on Itunes and Amazon.

Una-Kariim A. Cross [unakariim] is an artist, writer, and educator with over 11 years combined experience in all disciplines. Her current video work "Same Difference and Other Meditations" created during her residency at The Wexner Center for the Arts, is an exploration and reflection upon contemporary culture of people of the African Diaspora. unakariim sees her arts and culture writing, specifically around performance and visual artists, as central to her life's work.  Most recently unakariim interviewed Alicia Hall Moran currently the Audra McDonald understudy for Porgy & Bess, Sanford Biggers, and photographer Laylah Amatullah Barrayn. 

Learning to play flute at the tender age of seven, Houston-native Delandria Mills’ formative years found her firmly rooted in many musical traditions, including classical, Broadway musicals, soul, gospel, 80’s rock, and opera. Some of her mentors included world-renowned flutists Hubert Laws and Marina Piccinini. Having graduated from Prairie View A&M University and The Peabody Conservatory of Music, Delandria’s impeccable ability earned her numerous awards including top prize at the International Association of Jazz Educators' Sisters in Jazz Collegiate Competition in 2005, resulting in a European tour.