In this More Than a Single Story conversation, arts activist Tess Montgomery will explore the intersections between financial independence and historical trauma on people of color and how it affects them in their daily lives as parents, as children of parents who have struggled financially, and as workers and artists today during the pandemic. Featuring Suleiman Adan, Anthony Ceballos, May Lee-Yang, Sagirah Shahid and Jna Shelomith.
via Zoom Wednesday, April 28 at 6:00 pm
Sponsored by Ramsey County Library
Suleiman Adan is a writer and educator in the Twin Cities. He is a graduate of The University of Minnesota (Twin Cities). Suleiman is also an organizer and community leader. Suleiman is currently a Program Manager at Reading and Math inc where he oversees early Math and Reading literacy programs in over 40 schools across the Twin Cities metro area.
Anthony Ceballos’s poetry has been featured in Yellow Medicine Review, Midway Journal, Sleet, Writers Resist, Great River Review and Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose, and Pride. In 2016 he was selected to be a Loft Literary Center Mentor Series mentee. He is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Randolph University in Virginia. He lives, breathes and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He can be found penning staff recommendations at Birchbark Books and Native Arts.
May Lee-Yang is a writer, performance artist, and teacher who often uses pop culture and humor to interrogate race, gender, and identity. Her theater-based works include The Korean Drama Addict’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity and Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman. She has been featured on CNN’s United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell and has spoken at TEDx Minneapolis. She is a founding member of F.A.W.K. (Funny Asian Women Kollective), a group that uses comedy to combat the invisibility and dehumanization of Asian women’s stories. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota.
Sagirah Shahid is an African American Muslim poet, arts educator, and performance artist. She is a recipient of a Loft Literary Center mentor series award in poetry and a Twin Cities Media Alliance performance and public art fellowship. She is a Tedx Minneapolis 2020 speaker. Her debut collection of poetry Surveillance of Joy is forthcoming from Half Mystic Press.
Jna Shelomith grew up in a family that spoke six different languages, with Jewish roots in Morocco and Russia. Jna found poetry at the intersection of Arabic, which was created to write down sacred poetry- and Riot Grrrrl, which was created for punk rock feminist expression. She is a Board member of Mizna, and a member of two writing groups: Women From the Center and Mizna Writing Collective. Growing up without housing on and off for 25 years, she now co-owns her first house. For pay, Jna’s work focuses on community engagement, collaboration and systems change addressing complex challenges impacting the communities of Ramsey County.
Tess Montgomery is a young communicator and visionary living in Minneapolis. She is a Digital Marketing Specialist at TPT-Twin Cities PBS and Marketing and Communications Manager for More Than a Single Story. She is a 2018 Fellow with the Josie R. Johnson Leadership Academy, a 2017 Fellow with New Sector Academy, and serves on the board of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities. Tess is passionate about the power of grassroots, community-led organizing. She holds a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from Drake University.