Claudia Love Mair is the Coordinator of the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative. She is the author of a memoir, and biography, and 8 novels, including Zora and Nicky, now optioned for a movie. Claudia lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky.
LeTonia Jones is a social justice advocate, writer, columnist, producer, managing editor and poet. She lives in Lexington, KY with her boston terriers, Mojo and Peggy. As a storyteller, Jones uses poetry and prose as a means to articulate her own life as well as what she has borne witness to in nearly 30 years of social justice advocacy. Jones is a 2020-2021 graduate of the Carnegie Center Author Academy. Her first full length poetry collection, Black Girl at the Intersection is to be published by Accents Publishing in late 2022.
Col. JC McPherson Kentucky Colonel Goodwill Ambassador, has a background in writing, electricity, and general troubleshooting. During his time at the Carnegie Center, he has worn many hats. Currently he is an agent for the Kentucky Black Writers Collaborative, Creative Writing Instructor, Rental Staff, and Staff Support. He is the author of On My Mind (blacoetry press), Jupiter’s Child (Winged City Chapbooks), and Hey Batta Batta (Lefthanded JuJu). In his spare time, he likes to cook, drink ice cold Pepsi, garden, build model rockets, and listen to music.
Queen Mother Osunnike is the founder of the “Healing Through the Arts” program. She is a natural healer who utilizes her poetry, performing arts and creative writing gifts, training in psycho-spiritual counseling, drama therapy, energy, and sound healing to assist others in rewriting their story. She is the Paramount Queen Mother, co-founder and president of the Institute of Whole Life Healing and the founder of One Million Wombs United. She believes emphatically that we are being called to give birth to a “New World” and that we have that innate POWER to do so. It is our inherent feminine birthright deeply embedded within the womb.
It was Bre Ashley’s passionate dance with justice that assisted her through her highs and lows and led her to law school. Mindful melodies and faithful fashion fill her ears daily and soulful sounds pacify corporal pain and renew the mind. Her passion for elevating the experience of Black people leaps off the pages and her poems have a mantra-like quality to them. Bre’s poetry is vulnerable, up close, yet cool and can also be described as emotional and lyrical. She is humble, astute, yet cultured and verifies all vibes. She is the author, the story, the creator, the designer, and is just like you. #princessofjustice
Veda Stewart holds a degree in Elementary Education from Midway University, a Master’s in Library Media Science from EKU, a Rank One in Educational Leadership from WKU, and a doctorate in Education Policy/ Leadership Program from EKU. She is a former teacher, media specialist, and principal. Veda serves as Division Director for Educator Recruitment and Development at the Kentucky Department of Education. She enjoys reading and writing both plays and poetry. She believes in the power of hard work and dedication to family and community. One of her favorite African proverbs is “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Marcus Wilkerson is a singer and songwriter who hails from Louisville. He has performed at several local venues, and was the Artist in Residence for The Kentucky Hall of Fame. Marcus is also an entrepreneur whose products and services support health and wellness. He lives in Lexington, KY.