#Virtualandia! 2021 is an exciting opportunity for students from eligible Portland metro area high schools to take part in a dynamic virtual slam poetry competition, and to win prizes like the title of #Virtualandia Grand Slam Champion and a corresponding $1,000 Visa gift card. Tickets for this exciting and inspiring event are offered on a sliding scale basis with free entry for educators and students.
MEET OUR #VIRTUALANDIA JUDGES!
Se-ah-dom Edmo, Shoshone-Bannock, Nez Perce & Yakama, is MRG Foundation’s Executive Director. She brings deep experience in community organizing for racial and social justice work across the nation. She is co-editor of the Tribal Equity Toolkit 3.0: Tribal Resolutions and Codes for Two Spirit and LGBT Justice in Indian Country and American Indian Identity: Citizenship, Membership & Blood. Prior to joining MRG, she served as the Sovereignty Program Director at Western States Center, where she was the coalition convener of Tribal History: Shared History (Senate Bill 13, 2017) in Oregon. This law established and funded teaching of Indian History and Sovereignty in K–12 schools across the state. A hallmark of her career has been fostering relationships and collaborations between tribes and organizations that do social, racial, environmental, and economic justice work across the region. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of Oregon Recovers and is an ALF Senior Fellow. She lives in Portland with her husband, James and their children, Siale, Imasees, and Miyosiwin, as well as her parents, Ed and Carol Edmo.
Se-ah-dom’s ancestors are from Celilo, a fishing village along the Columbia River and one of the oldest known settlements in the West.
Mitchell S. Jackson
Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years received wide critical praise. Jackson is the winner of a Whiting Award. His novel also won the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. His honors include fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center, the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, TED, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has been featured on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, Time Magazine, and Esquire Magazine, as well as in the New Yorker, Harpers, the New York Times Book Review, the Paris Review, the Guardian, the Washington Post Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and elsewhere. His nonfiction book, Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family was published in the spring of 2019 and named a best book of the year by fifteen publications, including NPR, Time Magazine, the Paris Review, the Root, Kirkus Reviews, and Buzzfeed. He teaches in the Creative Writing program at the University of Chicago.
Jackson is also a well-regarded speaker who has delivered lectures and keynote addresses all over the world, including the annual TED Conference, the Ubud (Bali) Writers and Readers Festival, and the Sydney Writers’ Festival, as well as at esteemed institutions, among them Yale University, Brown University, Cornell University, and Columbia University. A formerly incarcerated person, Jackson is also a social justice advocate who, as part of his outreach, visits prisons and youth facilities in the United States and abroad.
Maurice King has a deep love for literature and storytelling and has been a supporter of Literary Arts since 1997, when he and his wife attended their first lecture. King has served on boards, councils and community impact teams, and is currently the Immediate Past Chair of All Hands Raised. A commerce and production professional, he has worked for a variety of global companies including Gap, Inc, The Limited, The Walt Disney Company, and Nike.
“As the grandson, son, brother, husband, and father of educators, I believe in the power of literature to change lives. Literary Arts’ commitment to authors, storytelling, and this community through an equity lens is inspirational. There is no better way to honor the educators in my life and support this community than by joining [the Literary Arts] board.”
S. Renee Mitchell
Award-winning former journalist S. Renee Mitchell, MBA, is best described as a Creative Revolutionist, who expresses herself through poetry, storytelling, grant writing, teaching and creating multimedia experiences. She considers creative expression, in all forms, as her heARTwork. Renee spent 25 years as a newspaper journalist in Seattle, Orlando and Detroit, among other cities, and is most known locally for her years as a Metro columnist for The Oregonian, where she was nominated twice for the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Renee is a published author of four books of poetry, a novel, five plays and a children’s book about courage in the face of bullying, called “The Awakening of Sharyn: A Shy and Brown SuperGyrl.” Renee’s deepest desire is to use her creativity to help others let go, gather up and move on. You can find out more about Renee’s work at www.ReneeMitchellSpeaks.com
Karis Stoudamire-Phillips, a native of Portland, is the Vice President of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and Community Initiatives at Moda Health and Delta Dental of Oregon. Prior to joining Moda, Karis was the Corporate Relations Officer with the Legacy Health Foundations and prior was the Foundation Administrator at Damon Stoudamire, Inc. With her extensive background in public affairs, marketing and non-profit management, Karis currently serves as Chair of the Multnomah Exposition Recreation Commissioner (MERC), Grantmakers of Oregon and Southwest Washington Board Member, Urban League of Portland Board Member, Boise Neighborhood Association Treasurer and is also active in several many other civic organizations. Karis graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Child Development and earned her master’s in public affairs from Washington State University. She is very happily married to Mike Phillips, a world-renowned jazz saxophonist, and they are the proud parents of 11 year-old, Michael, Jr. and 6 year-old Tyson.