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Writer's Forum Panelists

Yolo Akili Yolo Akiliis an award-winning author, performance artist, Iyengar yoga teacher and social justice advocate. He is the founder and CEO of Akili Inc., a healing arts organization dedicated to producing interactive educational experiences that enlighten, entertain and heal. Akili’s career and work emphasis is on gender and sexuality social issues, LGBTQ rights, HIV & AIDS and spiritual wellness. As a performance artist, he is the author of the poetry chapbook Poems in the Key of Green and the spoken word album Purple Galaxy. He has been a featured performer at the National HIV Prevention Conference, State of Black Gay America Summit, Southeastern Students Against Sweatshops Conference, Harlem Pride, MAGNET San Francisco and more.

Aaron Anson Aaron Anson is an inspirational writer and new thought coach; he lives with his partner in Washington, D.C. He has participated in missions that address homelessness, and is passionate about empowering teenagers, gay and straight alike, who struggle to find their place amid excessive political and religious rhetoric. Mind Your Own Life: The Journey Back to Love is his first book. AaronAnson.com
Jade Foster Jade Foster now writes under the name Chloe Hodge. cereusarts.tumblr.com
Bettina Judd Bettina Judd is a poet, artist and scholar whose work never seems to be confined to poetry, song or academic discourse. She is a Cave Canem fellow, alumna of Spelman College, and is currently in pursuit of the Ph.D. in women’s studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her poetry can be found in literary journals such as Torch and Mythium.
Michelle Sewell Michelle Sewell is an award-winning screenwriter, poet and founder of GirlChild Press. Throughout her work as a poet and a social worker, she has maintained that there must be a place for women and girls to develop and express their truest selves. With that in mind she has created open mics, workshops, and writing circles to foster that “sacred space” environment for women. The Jamaican-born artist/activist’s work has appeared on NPR, in Sinister Wisdom, does your mama know?, Other Countries: Voices Rising, Campaign to End AIDS Anthology and Port of Harlem magazine.
Alan Sharpe Writer/director Alan Sharpe is founding artistic director of African-American Collective Theater (ACT), a Washington, D.C.-based theater and film production company whose primary focus since 1971 has been to showcase contemporary black LGBT life and culture. He is recipient of several artists fellowships and Larry Neal awards for dramatic writing from the D.C. Commission on the Arts, and in 2008 was chosen to be a Kennedy Center playwriting fellow. Sharpe received a 2009 Distinguished Service Award from the Gay and Lesbian Activists’ Alliance (GLAA) for his plays and films and later that year an award from Us Helping Us (UHU) for his entire body of work. His online drama, “Chump ChangeS,” was one of the first and remains one of the most widely viewed web series to feature black LGBT themes and characters. On Sunday, May 29, 2011, ACT will present “Damage Control," its 13th consecutive showcase reading of a new play by Sharpe in observation of DC Black Pride.
2011 DCBP Sponsors
Metro Weekly US Helping Us DC Office of Human Rights Washington Blade Whitman-Walker Health The Rubber Revolution AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Glo Tv The DC Center National gay and Lesbian Task Force