“Music is not just sound based, but it takes a deeper uprooting of the very psychology of what is noise, texture, home, love, to communicate to people. What I do is translate a feeling from something that cannot be put into words, and use a sonic medium to tell a story.”

Bryan Andrew Medina // CEO+Composer+Arranger at @quantumwaves // Miami, Florida
Photo cred @speedyphoto


“There is value in every small detail. I am a big believer in that everything happens for a reason. I have my mom to thank for that. As a family we’ve gone through the loss of a loved one, which has turned our world upside down for the past 8 years. I have had my personal battles, and so have my mother and sister. Life has a lot of darkness but it is within those moments where you can see the light. I guess I find value in failure and rejections, as much as I do in success and approval. You have to live a life of balance. Recognize the good in the bad, and the bad in the good. That’s what I write about lyrically and I hope the soundscape of the music conveys the same feeling. Nothing is insignificant!”

@catalinasmusic // Musician // Nashville, Tennessee

“Latinx immigrant women have inspired me, and motivated me in the fight for social justice since I was a teenager. It is these mothers, often single, working 2-3 jobs to provide for their children and who still show up to a meeting or a community action that make me feel that anything is possible. Continue reading

“I place great value in human connection, empathic listening, and personal reflection. I believe we can design better public policies, programs, and services through collaborative problem-solving but only if we are willing to examine our own tendencies and biases first. I believe empathic listening, which is all about listening to learn from others rather than listening to respond, can be a tool to heal the deep ideological divide our country currently faces. However, true empathic listening can be a challenging feat; one that I often struggle with myself. Continue reading

“My life has been shaped by so many people, it’s incredible. The village that surrounds me and the ones who have been a part of my past, are mostly powerful women who have shared their wisdom and love through words and actions. Most importantly, their tough love. My father and four older brothers have taught me to value hard work. My mother is my hero, she came as an immigrant with two kids, and later in life, she learned english and became a truck driver. Continue reading

“Trying” by James Riley

I once had a lady in my bed of bones
Who I’d call every night on the telephone
I think her name was Sorry or Goodbye
She’d speak about the days ahead
And never mention me, instead
She’d talk about the lilies and the lies Continue reading

“Contributing to the community makes me feel like I am more connected. Anything that you can contribute is important whether one hour, one dollar, one smile, or one piece of advice. There is no better feeling in this world then giving your true gift back to a community and being of service. Continue reading

“I believe we are capable of so much love and compassion— when we share our stories and our love for our history and our traditions in community, we lift up values that can be lost in a time where social media and technology promote individualism.

I am a daughter of immigrants, my grandmother and mother worked hard and made many sacrifices so that I could have a better education and more opportunities than they did— I don’t forget that. I feel like if I can be my best self and contribute in a positive way to those in my community, I can honor the hard work of my parents, grandparents and ancestors.”

Denise Cepeda // Founder and Director of Taller Bombalele // Oakland, CA

“As a young man I was extremely fortunate to attend a college preparatory high school in San Francisco. Through the generosity of a sponsor and the sacrifices of my parents, I had access to incredible technology, clubs, sports and academic resources. The school’s student population was very affluent, a point that was addressed one day in our Junior English class. Continue reading

“I am passionate about making sure students have access to the resources and skills necessary to their ongoing success— from academic tutoring and social emotional supports to opportunities to explore their own passions in music, art, and beyond. Through my work with various nonprofits, I seek to ensure Bay Area youth has access to the resources they deserve. Continue reading

“I create because it makes me feel better. I create when and because there is something inside of me asking to be let out. I create because it is an inherent part of being human. We are constantly creating in every moment, although what we create relies heavily on choice.

I create because I am human; I choose to create music and poetry the way I do because it’s what feels the most natural and fulfilling for me personally. And quite perfectly, my creations usually make others feel better too.”

Monica Fimbrez // Musician // San Francisco, CA

“I thought I was good and no one felt the same. It became a mission to prove em’ wrong which eventually turned into an obsession. I came across two people who told me I could grow, and sho’nuff I did. So the reason I create is to do just that, grow.”

@jah.kel // Hip Hop Artist // Berkeley, CA

“I’m a seeker finding freedom and healing through creativity. My dress embodies accents of my heritage. It’s an expression of the strong women who came before me. Some who didn’t and do not have the opportunity to wear whatever they desire and others who risked and continue to risk their lives to live independently and safely.”

@Ruby.mountain // Vocalist, Songwriter, & Producer // Oakland, CA

“Sewing and clothing creation were common practice in my grandparent’s house where I mostly did my growing up. I however did not gravitate towards those practices unil much later— around 27 years old. Years before that however I found my taste in fashion and style from skateboarding culture— I began to realize much of what I wanted in apparel did not exist without a huge price tag. Continue reading

“Music gives me a platform to share pieces of myself— it has given me the ability to connect with others, it has given me the ability to make people laugh, make people cry, make people nostalgic, make people joyful.

It is giving me the ability to be more of my accurate self.”

Peter Feliciano // Musician // San Francisco, CA

“I’m a believer in people power. We are actively creating culture, not just consuming it. As a queer Asian American teenager growing up in Seattle, I felt invisible— rarely reflected in mainstream media. Do it yourself ethos lead me to where I am now.

As a teaching artist, writer, and organizer, I feel honored to work with LGBTQ communities, people of color, and youth. I tell my students that we are not just here to explore queer/trans history— I want them to also consider their own role in documenting, creating, and making visible history. Our stories have value.”

Celeste Chan // Queer Artist, Writer, and Organizer // San Francisco, CA

“I place tremendous value in learning from other people’s life experiences, which usually happens through conversations with people— but mostly from listening.  As a result I have been mentored by women throughout my life, whether it’s been at school, work, or just through life in general.

I took these opportunities to listen to my mom talk with her friends when they would come over to my house and share a cup of coffee. A lot of times it was about the chisme of the neighborhood, but a lot of times it was a conversation on how to support someone in need or deal with a problem.

Learning how to listen at a young age has rippled out into my adult life.”

James Sarria // Founder & Chief Disruptor at the Perucano Institute // Oakland, CA

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑