Sandrine Malary is a Haitian artist, designer, dancer, mother & lover of life! She is an artist who specializes in Haitian themes and the use of recycled materials. Her Oakland-based, custom creative arts business, Alouba, is currently gaining recognition in the domain of up-cycling. Alouba creates everything from funky red carpets and lamps to original costuming, pinatas to up-cycled jewelry. Her goal is to create things of beauty from recycled, organic or natural materials. Alouba makes every effort to maintain harmony with the planet and educate others on different ways that can be done. Ms. Malary is also a dancer, having performed in the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, currently dancing with Rara Toulimen and more. She is an educator, homeschooling children since 2005. Sandrine remains active in supporting her homeland’s forward progress through organizations like Ayiti Resurrect. The exploration of Vodou and Afro-centric themes dominates her artwork. Her pieces contain veve and lwa symbology. In her current body of work she explores texture through mixed-media layering while maintaining Haitian vodou culture as the focus. The intention of Sandrine’s creative process is to serve as a reminder of the beauty and majesty of her Haitian lineage by way of the mandala like veve.
Jora Trang is an attorney and the current Managing Attorney with Worksafe. Believing strongly that everyone should have access to the law, Ms.Trang provides pro-bono legal services to artists and artist collectives to assist them with their artistic and business. Ms. Trang has over eighteen years of experience as a civil rights attorney. She also has over 25 years of experience as a grant-writer, having raised over $200,000 for the YMCA for their Youth Literacy Program, $100,000 in legal scholarships to fund her education, $50,000 for artists’ projects for various artists in the Bay Area, and close to a million dollars to fund collaborative legal projects for Worksafe and three legal aid and worker center partners. In 2016, she was awarded the National COSH Social Justice Award for her innovative work to advance occupational health and safety protections for low wage and immigrant workers.
Ms. Trang is an artists at heart. She has served as the Artistic Director for an Asian American theatre troupe, Funky Fresh Pan Ethnic Asian girls, danced for Culture Shock and AftaShock, and performed as a spoken word artist with Liquidfire and in poetry slams all across the country. She blogs about race equity, empowerment, and moving mountains one stone at a time on her blog.
Naru is an Educator with over 20 years experience in early childhood development. He currently works at Walden Center and School in Berkeley California, where he directs the after school program, and assists in administration, and conflict resolution. As a community activist, Naru initiated a Black men’s forum, a playgroup for children of color, and he has lent his talents to various events surrounding youth education, environmental awareness, political prisoners, AIDS, and healthy life styles choices. Naru is also a veteran in the Bay Area Hip Hop scene. In 1987 (as “Sir Quickdraw”) he became one of the first artist from Oakland to to record a rap record. He was on the Malcola label with an early Easy E and the Egyptian Lover. He has performed with Run DMC, George Clinton, Last Poets, Spearhead, Digital Underground, Askari X, Dead Prez, The Coup, Zion I, Living Legends, Azeem, Black Dot, Sir Mixalot, Medusa, XZibit, Ea ski and CMT, Mr FAB, the Luniz, Dru Down, and Hammer, among many. Naru was the cofounder and lead vocalist of “Organic Creations”, which blended Hip Hop, Jazz, Spoken Word, and Theater. His company “Hip Learning” uses hip hop as a means to cultivate minds with rhyme, focusing mainly on science and life skills.
Naru’s 1998 NAP (Never Again Project) was a ground breaking Double CD that featured spoken word, hip hop, and a touch of jazz, and soul. His project, Hip Science, was awarded the 2009 Oakland Indie Award for Youth Empowerment. To learn more about Hip Learning, visit Mr. Kwina’s website: www.hiplearning.org.