Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega was born and raised in El Barrio, also known as Spanish Harlem and East Harlem, New York City. The global movement for Black lives and collective liberation inspires Dr. Moreno-Vega’s unwavering vision for a better world. Her steadfast commitment throughout her long career—creating new spaces, opportunities, and possibilities for our communities to see themselves in an empowering light while challenging oppression—is her legacy. She is the Founder, Builder, Leader and Visionary who created the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and created just a little over 2 years ago, the Creative Justice Institute, with the intention of building an intergenerational, inclusive platform to confront systemic inequality. Dr. Moreno-Vega believes that arts and culture organizations representing Black/African and African Descendants, Latinx, Native, Arab, Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, Appalachian, LGBTQIA+/Two Spirit and People with Disabilities communities remain chronically underserved and underfunded.
Neyda Martinez is a long-time cultural worker with more than 20 years of experience. She is an Associate Professor in the School of Media Studies/Media Management, and Co-Director of the Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative at The New School. She has led successful initiatives for institutions such as the Chicago International Art Expo, El Museo del Barrio, The Public Theater, and PBS’s POV and America ReFramed award-winning documentary series and more. Neyda is also the producer of acclaimed independent documentary films, Decade of Fire, about the destruction of the Bronx due to an epidemic of fires in the '70s and a portrait of the community which saved it; and, LUCKY a portrait of a young single homeless LGBTQ mom who dreamed of stardom as a way out of poverty and violence. Neyda is working on a new feature documentary, and mentoring two young filmmakers with short documentaries in-progress.
In the second half-hour, frequent guest and friend Ukumbwa Sauti is an initiated Elder in the Dagara tradition from Burkina Faso in West Africa. He is a diviner, numerologist, and spiritual counselor. Ukumbwa is a Producer and Partner at Moja Mediaworks, developing the World Ancestor Concert, and facilitating Social Justice workshop experiences along with forwarding progressive messaging through online merchandising. Ukumbwa presents discussions and workshops through the Men’s Work initiative, engaging patriarchy and men’s violence against women and the LGBTQ community. He has taught Cultural Media Studies and Video Production for 17 years in higher education; and has been active in the Pan-African movement, Black Lives Matter, and other anti-racism works and the Occupy/Decolonize to Liberate movements. Ukumbwa has presented at spiritual conferences and political events in the New England region, California and Barbados; and has been active in creating ritual work in Boston, New York, and Toronto. He can be reached for bookings and consultation on Facebook, Twitter, and email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his current work at www.worldancestorconcert.com on Facebook and other Global Media Network platforms.