Johannil is a multimedia artist, activist, and art therapist. As an Afro-Dominican Haitian, her paintings, drawings, photography, and multimedia work depicts personal reflections of Blackness and Womanhood in relation to society and culture. Her passion is to continue to use art as a tool for healing and social change to empower marginalized communities and Black women and girls. Johannil has had work featured at Woman Made Gallery, Rumble Arts Center, and painted a permanent mural through the Mariposa DR Foundation in the Dominican Republic. View more of Johannil’s work at jnartist.com.
Naimah Thomas is a Chicago-based art therapist and graduate of the Masters of Arts in Art Therapy program from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Naimah has been creating art based on what she has been witnessing in the media, within her community, and the impact it has on her identity. The art that she has been working on recently puts Black women and Black girls in the center. Naimah says, “in a world constantly tells you that your Blackness is a weakness, I think it’s important to use art to create more visibility. We not only need more visibility when it comes to Blackness, but more visibility around what it means to be a Black woman.” Read more about Naimah’s art practice at naimahthomas.com.
Anurag Lahiri is a queer Muslim artivist, community organizer, and social worker based in Chicago. They are on the steering committees for the Queer South Asian National Network and DeQh, the Desi LGBTQ Helpline. Anurag has also been on the programming committee for A Long Walk Home for a few years, where they have been able to tap into their more creative side. Anurag believes that art and activism are inherently connected, and that a piece of art, music, or performance, has the power to transform the artist as well as those who are viewing and experiencing it.
Kara Rodriguez is a Chicago-based performance artist and zine-maker. They use their art to remind women, femmes, and queer people of color of our resilience, worth, power, and magnificence. In recent years, Kara began to see that there was very little difference between how they wanted to create art for their people and how they create movement art. Kara became inspired by these realizations and knew that they wanted to use their art to flesh out their liberation hopes and dreams. Kara is currently a core organizer with Lifted Voices.
Nicole Trinidad, a queer brown femme, is a self-taught artist and entrepreneur from a little home in Indiana. With her older sister as inspiration, she works passionately in creating radical art and interactive media for transformative spaces; her former internship at AFSC during the summer of 2016 being one of them. She studies crystals and herbalism in her spare time and enjoys reading and researching all things related.
Serena Hodges is a videographer based in Chicago. Serena currently organizes with Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR), a collective of radical South Asians looking to address racial, economic and other social violence and injustice. Serena believes art is rooted in so many things and historically is often works off of and pays homage to ancestors and movements that have come before. View some of Serena’s work on Vimeo.