Our student leadership team is agile with a wide range of cross-disciplinary skills and experience. They are passionate creatives and literary art practitioners working to grow the collective and champion its members.
Sandy Navarro is working on her BA in English at San José State University and is involved with the department of World Languages and Literature. She assists the Center for Literary Arts (CLA), an organization affiliated with the university’s English and Comparative Literature Department, and she is also an avid photographer.
Ume Ali is working towards an MFA in Fiction and Poetry at San José State University. Her work deals with issues of patriarchy in immigrant families, third culturalism, and displacement. Ali has served as contributing editor for Azizah Magazine which is written for and by Muslim American women. She has also been the nonfiction editor and marketing lead at Reed Magazine.
Book Club Manager
Nora is a feminist, sustainability, fashion writer and contributor to The Green Hub’s online magazine. She is also a content creator for her Mexican-based fashion podcast, Recóndito Universo de la Moda, where she shares innovative, inclusive, and sustainable Latinx fashion brands. Nora believes that changing the world starts from home; it can take any form, from helping to shift community mentality to marching for a earth justice.
Community Outreach and Social Media Strategist
Kalena Zamora is earning a MA in English from Bowie State University. She examines social inequity issues in educational and institutional systems. She aspires to teach through multimedia presentations and literary works, telling and sharing stories to create unity within the community. Her participation in the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center has prepared her to lead and to create diverse and inclusive spaces in which others can collaborate.
Carmen Kennedy founded the DPWC and has worked to make it a vibrant student organization that platforms activist thought and writing. She is also finishing thesis work as a Creative Writing, MFA, at San José State University. And she has long worked as a writer in Silicon Valley where she creates visual and written content for tech: you can view her portfolio at carmenkennedy.me.
Intracollegiate Alliance Strategist
Denesia is both a San José University junior in Communication Studies and an aspiring author. She is creative and entrepreneurial in her approach to everything from student involvement to community activism. And her work with government entities and philanthropic organizations evidences this.
Keenan Norris, PhD
Dr. Norris is a novelist, essayist and short story writer: keenannorris.com.
He holds an M.F.A. from Mills College and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. He was a 2017 Marin Headlands Artist-in-Residence and garnered a Public Voices fellowship (2020), a Callaloo fellowship (2016) and two Yerba Buena Center for the Arts fellowships (2017, 2015).
Dr. Norris teaches American Literature and Creative Writing at San José State University and serves as a guest editor for the Oxford African-American Studies Center.