Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a member of the Mvskoke Nation. Her seven books of poetry, which includes such well-known titles as How We Became Human- New and Selected Poems, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and She Had Some Horses have garnered many awards.  These include the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers Circle of the Americas; and the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America, and Pen America Award for her memoir Crazy Brave. She has produced award-winning CD’s of original music won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year. She performs nationally and internationally with her band, the Arrow Dynamics, and performs her one-woman show, Wings of Night Sky, Wings of Morning Light, which played at the Wells Fargo Theater in Los Angeles, Public Theater in NYC and La Jolla Playhouse. She has received a Rasmusson US Artists Fellowship and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. Harjo writes a column “Comings and Goings” for her tribal newspaper, the Muscogee Nation News. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Lori Bable is a philosopher and devotee of processes and organizations that are committed to increasing the empowerment of women and people in poverty. She currently serves with Pio Decimo Neighborhood Center, a social service agency supporting the residents of Barrio Viejo since 1946, where she is developing a Microloan Program. Previously, Lori served as the Homeowner Services Director with Habitat for Humanity. Before transitioning into the nonprofit world, she paid the bills with a range of positions in Commercial Lending including Assistant Relationship Officer and Policies and Procedures Writer, A.V.P., for a tri-state bank holding company. Lori currently serves on the board of the Pima County Community Action Agency and has served on committees helping launch the Tucson Youth and Peace Conference and Advancing Bridges, Inc., a national nonprofit supporting communities implementing Bridges Out of Poverty. She holds an M.A. in Philosophy with emphasis in Continental Ethics and sees her work of affecting positive social change as an actualization of these ideals. Lori calls Tucson home, loves the outdoors, and completed her first Half-Iron[wo]man in June 2013.


Jacquelyn Jackson, National Communications Volunteer, is a communications executive and writer with national and regional experience in strategic marketing, branding creation and implementation. She worked for 25 years in Washington, D.C. as chief lobbyist for the Times Mirror Company, Director of Communications and Outreach for a national PBS program that was produced by the Washington Post Company and Newsweek Productions. She also served as Director of Communications for the National Osteoporosis Foundation and as Director of Outreach for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Director of Government Relations for Pima Community College and Founding Executive Director for Tucson Values Teachers, a business-education collaborative that works to attract and retain teachers. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Airport Magazine,, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Inside Tucson Business and the Arizona Daily Star.

Leslie Shipman, Assistant Director at the National Book Foundation, NYC, has been active in literary and educational programming for close to twenty years. Her poetry has appeared in a number of journals, including BOMB, The Kenyon Review, Mid-American Review, Bellingham Review, Cortland Review and The Laurel Review, and has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2005. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, was the Alan Collins Tuition Scholar in Poetry at the Breadloaf Writers conference in 2008, and holds an MFA in Poetry from the Warren Wilson Program for Writers.