The Freya Project is excited to host a collaborative event with Jennifer Baker for her short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life. Jennifer read at the first Freya Project fundraiser in January 2017 and she has been a steadfast supporter of our work since then. We are thrilled to not only support her amazing anthology but to also raise awareness and funds for The Trans Women of Color Collective.
About Jennifer Baker
Jennifer Baker is the recipient of a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship and a 2017 Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant (as well as the QCA Jr. Board Artistic Excellence Award) in Nonfiction Literature. Her essay, “What We Aren’t” was also listed as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2018.
She works as a production editor, is a contributing editor to Electric Literature, and is the creator and host of the podcast Minorities in Publishing (a finalist for the 2018 Digital Book World Best Use of Podcasting in Book Marketing).
Jennifer was panel organizer and social media manager for We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization that sprang to life from the #WeNeedDiverseBooks media campaign to increase minority representation in literature. She was the social media director and a writing instructor for Sackett Street Writers' Workshop. Additionally, she freelances as a proofreader/copyeditor/development editor and has conducted interviews for LitHub, School Library Journal, and Poets & Writers; and has contributed to sites such as Forbes.com and Bustle.com.
Everyday People is a dazzling collection of contemporary short fiction written by People of Color/Indigenous people. This gorgeously wrought anthology represents a wide range of styles, themes, and perspectives on a variety of topics. The carefully selected stories depict moments that linger—moments of doubt, crossroads to be chosen, relationships, epiphanies, moments of loss and moments of discovery. A celebration of writing and expression, Everyday People brings to light the rich tapestry that binds us all.
Who We’re Supporting
This event will support the Transwoman of Color Collective (TWOCC). TWOCC works to uplift the narratives, lived experiences and leadership of trans and gender non-conforming people of color, their families and comrades as they build towards collective liberation for all oppressed people.
There is a critical need for more trans people of color led initiatives that create opportunities to engage in healing and restorative justice as trans and gender non-conforming people of color are disproportionately impacted by structural oppression that is inextricably linked to physical violence.
TWOCC is a grass-roots funded global initiative created to offer opportunities for trans people of color, their families and their comrades to engage in healing, foster kinship, and build community. They strive to educate and empower each other through sharing skills, knowledge, and resources as they build towards the liberation of all oppressed people.
Bani Amor is a queer travel writer whose work has appeared in CNN Travel, Teen Vogue, Bitch Magazine, and in the anthologies Outside the XY: Queer Black and Brown Masculinity and the upcoming Where We Stand: Brown and Black Voices Speak the Earth. Follow them on Instagram @baniamor.
NANA EKUA BREW-HAMMOND
NANA EKUA BREW-HAMMOND is the author of Powder Necklace, which Publishers Weekly called "a winning debut." Named among 39 of the most promising African writers under 39, her short fiction was included in the anthology Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara. Her work has appeared in African Writing, Los Angeles Review of Books, Sunday Salon, and the short story collection Woman's Work. She was a 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, a 2016 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence, and named to the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship shortlist in both 2015 and 2014. In April 2015, she was the opening speaker at TEDxAccra. Every month, Brew-Hammond co-leads a writing fellowship at Manhattan's Center for Faith and Work. Also noted for her personal style, Brew-Hammond's fashion sense has been captured by New York Magazine, Essence Magazine, and The New York Times, among many other outlets. Recently, she founded the made-in-Ghana coat line Exit 14. Currently, Brew-Hammond is at work on a new novel.
Kavita Das worked in social change for fifteen years on issues ranging from homelessness, to public health disparities, to racial justice, and now focuses on writing about culture, race, feminism, social change, and their intersections. Nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize, Kavita’s work has been published in Longreads, The Atlantic, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Washington Post, Kenyon Review, NBC News Asian America, Guernica, Quartz, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. Her first book, Poignant Song: The Life and Music of Lakshmi Shankar (Harper Collins India, Winter 2018), is a biography about the Grammy-nominated Hindustani singer, who played a pivotal role in bringing Indian music to the West. Kavita is also at work on a collection of personal essays.
Tracy O'Neill is the author of the The Hopeful, one of Electric Literature's Best Novels of 2015, and Quotients, forthcoming from Soho Press. In 2015, she was named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan Prize, and was a Narrative Under 30 finalist. In 2012, she was awarded the Center for Fiction's Emerging Writers Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, the New Yorker, LitHub, BOMB, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Literarian, New World Writing, Narrative, Scoundrel Time, Guernica, Bookforum, Electric Literature, Grantland, Vice, The Guardian, VQR, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She holds an MFA in fiction from the City College of New York and an MA in communications from Columbia University. She currently teaches at the City College of New York and is editor-in-chief of the literary journal Epiphany.
Dennis Norris II
Dennis Norris II is the author of the chapbook Awst Collection—Dennis Norris II published by Awst Press in February 2018. Their writing has been supported by The MacDowell Colony, Tin House, and Kimbilio Fiction, and their short stories have garnered nominations for the 2017 Pushcart Prize and been named a finalist for the 2018 Best Small Fictions Prize. Their story Last Rites appears in the anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life, recently published by the Atria Books imprint of Simon and Schuster. They currently serve as Fiction Editor at Apogee Journal, Assistant Fiction Editor at The Rumpus, and co-host of the popular podcast Food 4 Thot. They are currently at work on their debut novel. You can learn more at www.dennisnorrisii.com.
Melissa Rivero was born in Peru and raised in Brooklyn. Her writing has taken her to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the VONA/Voices Workshops, and the Norman Mailer Writers Colony. In 2015, Melissa was an Emerging Writers Fellow at the Center for Fiction. She is a graduate of NYU and Brooklyn Law School. Her debut novel, The Affairs of the Falcóns, will be published by Ecco in April, 2019.