Daysha Veronica is an award-winning writer, spoken word artist, and digital content creator/influencer. She is most known for her work at BuzzFeed as a Video Producer/Personality. While at BuzzFeed, Daysha produced viral short-form video content, with a focus on gender, race, sexuality and body positivity. Her videos have been featured on The Huffington Post, Bustle, and Refinery29, among other media outlets. Prior to BuzzFeed, she graduated Cum Laude from Scripps College with a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Psychology. She has been the recipient of numerous artistic awards-- both from the Claremont Colleges and around the world.
Drian Juarez has led a career fighting for transgender issues and programs to secure basic housing and employment for transgender people. She has served as the Program Manager for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Project (TEEP), serves as Board President of Gender Justice LA. She has also graduated from the Los Angeles Police Department LGBT Community Police Academy and has become a certified trainer for the Los Angeles Police Department. As a Latina Transgender immigrant, Juarez has witnessed firsthand the effects of unemployment discrimination, underemployment, and bigotry that many transgender people endure. In 2005, Juarez became active in the West Hollywood Transgender Taskforce, which ultimately became the West Hollywood Transgender Advisory Board and was the first government-recognized board in the nation to advise a city council on transgender issues. -- Drian will be offering a workshop that explores transhumanism through movement-- posing the question how do we move into a space within ourselves that allows us to break through the labels that bind us??
Leon Wu is the Founder and CEO of gender-equal/neutral fashion label Sharpe Suiting (www.sharpesuiting.com), which creates custom luxury clothing for people of all genders and identities and has become a rising name in Hollywood. Aside from Sharpe Suiting, Wu recently launched a financial planning practice with Northwestern Mutual, a top 5 financial institution and fortune 100 company, based on his passion and conviction to educate and build financial wealth and abundance in the LGBTQ community. He holds a B.A. in Economics at UCLA and an M.B.A. at New York University Stern School of Business with an emphasis on Marketing, Change Leadership and Luxury & Retail focus. -- Leon will be leading a workshop on financial abundance and how to unblock and simplify our relationship to money, abundance and overall well-being.
Michelle Tea is the author of five memoirs: The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America, Valencia (now a film), The Chelsea Whistle, Rent Girl (illustrated) and How to Grow Up (Penguin/Plume), currently in development with Amazon Studios. Her novels include Mermaid in Chelsea Creek and Girl at the Bottom of the Sea, part of a Young Adult fantasy trilogy published by McSweeneys, and Rose of No Man’s Land. Black Wave is a dystopic memoir-fiction hybrid. Forthcoming works include Castle on the River Vistula, the final installment of the YA series, and Modern Tarot, a tarot how-to and spell book published by Harper Elixir.
Tea is the curator of the Amethyst Editions imprint at Feminist Press. She founded the literary non-profit RADAR Productions and the international Sister Spit performance tours, and is the former editor of Sister Spit Books, an imprint of City Lights. She created Mutha Magazine, an online publication about real-life parenting. Her writing has appeared in Harper’s, Cosmopolitan, The Believer, Marie Clare, n+1, xoJane, California Sunday Magazine, BuzzFeed and many other print and web publications. -- Michelle will be leading a writing workshop.
Mary Elizabeth Evans (aka Spirit Speak), born in Nashville Tennessee was influenced early on by her environment. Dark and playful southern folk art and storytelling have become the bones of Mary's work. Folk art, serving more as a craft than "high art" is a reoccurring theme. Raised in the church, from a young age she was attracted to ritual and mysticism. Themes of the occult materialize themselves from a feminist perspective in naive line work that dance and tumble on paper. In her practice she honors craft as a form of expression that is accessible to many and can be used as a tool for self reflection. -- She will help us explore tarot as a tool to build our intuitive nature using abstract image making, partner readings, and discussion that focuses on radical self reflection and breaking the traditional binary in tarot. Primarily self-taught, Mary’s approach to teaching and reading tarot focuses on creativity and empowerment
Panda is a non-binary artist, dancer, spiritual coach, and facilitator. They are really interested in the intersection of gender, creativity, spirituality, vulnerability and movement. They have a dedicated improvisational movement practice for Instagram, a profound curiosity for people and their stories, a humble connection to their emotional depths, and a deep to desire to connect at a heart level. They too experience the privileges related to having a middle-class upbringing, being perceived as a cis white female, and no disabilities. -- Panda will be leading a movement-based workshop is designed to allow participants of all identities, expressions, and experiences the opportunity to co-construct a non-judgmental, safer space within which to move freely and to process and/or transform bodily experiences.
Amanda Gloria Valdes discovered Yoga while seeking a balance to her creative world as a actress and dancer. Amanda began diving deeper while studying at Yoga Vida where she obtained her 200 RYT Vinyasa Yoga Teacher program in 2012 under the direction of Heather Lillieston , Alyssa Arroyo, Domenic Savino, Kyle Miller, Jessie Bar, and Cat Acquaviva. Amanda went on to a mentorship under Alyssa Arroyo. Amanda began teaching in various communities from athletes , non-traditional communities, universities and yoga studios in New York City. Amanda then found her new hOMe away from home at Laughing Lotus NYC where she completed 325 RYT hours in Advanced Teaching Training. Promgrams completed include Ayurveda, Bhakti, Energy & Suble Body, Fly, Hands on Assists & Alignment, Restorative Yoga, and Super Sequencing . Amanda completed the Advanced Teacher Programs under the direction of Dana Flynn, Sheri Celenatno, Kenny Frisby, Ali Cramer, Mary Dana Abbott, and Deb Langley.
About Camp directors
Stephanie Sidjakov embarked on a journey of self-discovery that led her to sobriety at age 21. She is passionate about sharing the tools that have helped her stay alive and creative.
Stephanie's yoga practice started at the age of 12, sparked by her mother's study of Ashtanga. She credits that practice as her introduction to spirituality through movement. Stephanie’s teaching is dedicated to the empowerment of others through the experiences that many of us share, including being queer, drug addiction, abusive relationships and the loss of loved ones. Stephanie is certified with Yoga Alliance and continues to teach with love nationwide.
As an artist, Stephanie found her creative voice in an unlikely place; a corporation. She worked her way up the corporate ladder and ultimately became part of the Banana Republic Global Flagship Creative Team dealing with stores in New York, San Francisco, Paris, London and other major cities. As the amount of time spent in meetings increased and the mindfulness diminished, Stephanie left the corporate world to sharpen her graphic design skills by enrolling in a continuing education program at Parsons (on a scholarship). During her last semester, she was hired by Parsons to launch The New School Store campaign and served as graduation speaker. She was also chosen as a facilitator for The Louis Vuitton Executive Training Program, bridging the communication gap between creative and financial roles.
Most recently, Stephanie was honored to open a non-profit center in New Orleans. The Center is dedicated to making mindful practices accessible to all. She is continually inspired by how mindful practices bring people together and creates community. Spirituality is a unique path for all — it is vital we stay connected as we explore.
Stephanie lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
Rocco Kayaitos is an organizer, an artist, a healer and an educator. He is driven to change the world. He is driven to change the world for the better through art, expression and self actualizing. He dedicates his work to empowering others to find their voice and use it and to improve health and happiness. He does so through teaching how to eat well, live well and realize a dream life. Rocco is a certified holistic health and wellness coach, meditation teacher and accomplished multidisciplinary artist. He uses artistic expression to invite people to explore a deeper connection to self and spirituality. He connects through his own hard-won path to wellness and recovery, in an effort to make a beautiful and peaceful life more accessible to those that feel it may be unreachable.
He has spent nearly two decades on the road touring colleges, rapping (he was the first ftm rapper) offering motivational speaking, performances and workshops that focus on educating about queer/trans identity, intersectional feminism and the evolution of masculinity in western culture. He has performed, spoken and presented at hundreds of college campuses across America and beyond. He expertly engages young people in discussion about identity, self worth, spirituality, love and self care. He is also co-creator (along with photographer Amos Mac) of Original Plumbing Magazine, the world’s first trans male quarterly magazine. This magazine is dedicated to showing the multidimensional lives of men who happen to be transgender.
He currently lives in Los Angeles and recently led the video education department at BuzzFeed, where he trained all the junior and entry level employees in producing viral content. In his time there, he hired and trained over 200 content creators, helped launch hugely successful education programs and content verticals. He continues to work on many creative projects and events. In all realms of his work, Kayiatos shows kindness, patience and understanding.