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Moving Beyond The Accommodation: the Power of Language in Shaping Social Change
September 15, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CDT
The Writer’s Garret inaugurates its new space with panel discussion featuring Juanita Craft Residency Recipients Linda Jones, Laura Neal and Camika Spencer, with reception to follow.
Help us celebrate our move to Oak Cliff by joining us for our first public event at our new location! “Moving Beyond The Accommodation: the Power of Language in Shaping Social Change” will feature journalist Linda Jones, poet Laura Neal, and playwright and novelist Camika Spencer, with Stephanie KyeongSeon Drenka moderating.
Afterwards, join us upstairs for a reception to celebrate our new offices and home in the Cliff!
"Moving Beyond The Accommodation" Panel & Reception RSVP
Linda Jones is an award-winning old school journalist who navigates new media, and she is a global citizen who celebrates diversity through advocacy. As a freelance writing consultant, and owner of Mane Lock Communications, LLC. She is known professionally as a “writing doula,” and specializes in writing that helps clients tell better stories, preserve legacy and promote emotional well-being and self-care. Linda’s has been a staff writer or freelance contributor for many publications, including the Detroit News, Daily Beast, BlackAmericanNews.com, Dallas Morning News, USA Today Weekend, People, Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, AOL News, and Agence France Press.
Writing about ordinary people making differences in underserved communities has been her most gratifying work, as well as writing culturally oriented stories with an African-centered and global reach. She has written about Jamaican Rastafarians, Trinidadian Calypsonians, Afro Germans in East Berlin, Black Hebrews in Israel, Afro Cubans in Havana and Haitian residents, refugees, and would-be revolutionaries. She covered the historic South Africa nonracial elections in 1994. As a young summer volunteer for Operation Crossroads Africa, Linda worked on agricultural and construction projects in Gh
ana, clearing farmland using machetes to making bricks for use in building a foundation for a village school.
As founder of A Nappy Hair Affair, Linda has encouraged self-appreciation and promotes the choice to wear natural and African-inspired hairstyles without discriminatory backlash. In her spare times Linda enjoys engaging in a more rhythmic form of communication – playing African drums.
Laura Neal is a Dallas-based poet, greatly influenced by social and environmental narratives. She earned an MFA from the University of Maryland College Park and a BA from Bowie State University. Her work is published in Academy of American Poets, Birmingham Poetry Review, Boston Art Review, FreeBlackSpace, Green Mountains Review
, and Appalachian Review, among others. She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown, MA), CALLALOO (Providence, RI), Juniper Writing Institute (Amherst, MA), Hambidge Center for Creative Arts (Rabun Gap, GA), the Oak Spring Garden Foundation (Upperville, VA) and the Juanita Craft Artist-in-Residence Program (Dallas,TX). She currently teaches creative writing at the University of Texas at Dallas and is a contributing writer for Southwest Contemporary magazine and BURNAWAY magazine. Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and finalist for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Her zodiac sign is Capricorn and her favorite cheese is smoked gouda.
Camika Spencer is a best-selling author, playwright, editor, educator, workshop facilitator, former background singer for Jonathan Tyler and the Northern Lights, and Podcast curator.
Camika Spencer holds a B.S. in Broadcast Communications, M.A. in Playwriting, and an M.F.A in Creative Writing Education. She taught English Language Arts at the middle school level for four years and Theater at the middle school and high school levels for two years.
Camika is the author of best-selling novels: When All Hell Breaks Loose (Random House), Cubicles (Random House/Villard) and He Had It Coming (St. Martin’s Press). Her playwright credits include: Blind Seven, Middle of NowHere, Teach, Things That Go Bump, Pious (with Kyndal Robertson), Super (with Kyndal Robertson and Lindsay Jenkins), Stalled, and Silver Anne Gold.
She has Directed shows for many of Dallas’ finest Theatre Companies such as: The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Soul Rep Theater, Bishop Arts Theater, Lancaster Independent School District, and Junior Players in conjunction with Kitchen Dog Theater Company.
Camika is currently working on personal projects as well as being available for script consultation and coverage.
Stephanie KyeongSeon Drenka is a Korean adoptee writer and co-founder of the Dallas Asian American Historical Society, whose mission is to research, preserve, and amplify the legacy of Asian Americans in the Dallas area. Stephanie previously served as Communications Director for Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation, part of a national 14-place initiative by The W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She also founded VISIBLE Magazine, an online publication that actively privileges the work of those whose voices have been historically excluded from traditional media outlets. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from DePaul University, with minors in Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies.