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Meet our Authors for 2018


 
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Yolo Akili Robinson

Yolo Akili Robinson is an author, speaker, artist and the Executive director and founder of BEAM. Yolo began his career in public health supporting Black communities as an HIV/AIDS counselor. He then branched into violence prevention, working as a family intervention counselor with Black men and boys for Men Stopping Violence. In this role, Robinson began to work with the Department of Justice's Office of Violence Against Women, serving on numerous roundtable's and as one of their youngest federal peer reviewers. Feeling strongly about the need for more feminist work with men, Yolo co-founded Sweet Tea: Southern Queer Men's Collective, a collective of gay and queer men who came to come together to address sexism and misogyny in LGBT communities.  In 2015, he was recruited by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to lead a 10 million-dollar National Institutes of Health research initiative focusing on improving health outcomes for young Black and Latino men, the Healthy Young Men's study (HYM). 

Alongside Robinson’s counseling and training work, he has written for numerous publications on wellness including the Atlanta
Journal Constitution, Ebony, The Huffington Post and Everyday Feminism. He is also the author of the social
justice themed affirmation book "Dear Universe: Letters of Affirmation & Empowerment For All Of Us, a book which led him to be named a "Health Hero" By BET.Com. In 2009, he was awarded a ZAMI scholarship to complete his 200 level certification as a Hatha yoga teacher.
 
 
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Ian Haddock

Ian L. Haddock is the author of two fictional books, Practice Boy and Dope Boy. He has had the honor of writing for publications such as Huffington Post, Outsmart Magazine, EFNIKS Magazine, TUV Magazine, Spectrum South and Houston Chronicle. He is also featured in the Fall Edition of Urban Socialites Magazine. Further, he is the Vice President of Impulse Group Houston: the 21stchapter of the international affinity group Impulse United. They empower communities through elevated social activations that encourage participants to live better lives, lead healthier sexual conversations and build a sense of camaraderie amongst one another. He can be contacted at info@ianlhaddock.com.  
 
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Monika M. Pickett

Monika M. Pickettis a veteran of the United States Army. She is an advocate and activist for the LGBTQ community. Her debut novel, Pretty Boy Blue is available on Amazon. Pickett is a former advertising sales executive with the Washington Times and the National Society of Black Engineers. She is a veteran of the United States Army. She served as a medic in Operation Desert Storm and received an honorable discharge in 1991. She earned a Masters of Human Services degree from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania in 2001 and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, Maryland in 2005. She is a contributor with HuffPost, EURWeb. Medium and The Unleashed Voice Magazine.
 
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Tarik Daniels

Tarik Daniels is an AfroQueer writer from Detroit, Michigan. He has written and produced four plays, THE COUNSELING SESSION, Rose University, STIGMA, and PrettyBoy Realness. His writings focus on telling stories about the realm of intersectionality and the bondage of queer people of color. Tarik founded and serves as Executive Director of Whatsinthemirror?, a social movement that provides mental health awareness and suicide prevention through art and advocacy to communities of color.  
 
No Bonds So Strong his 1stnovel, is a coming of age drama about four black queer friends growing up in Detroit. Plagued by the absence of the black father, Trayvon, Eman, Robert, and JayJay must rely on their friendship with each other to survive the adversities of being young, black, and queer in inner-city America. In a culture of drugs, rape, disease, and violence against their very existence, their future isn't promised and without guidance, their lives start on a journey of heartaches and heartbreaks. After losing one of their own, and having new dreams to move forward in Atlanta, they are now faced with the challenge of making it to the next chapter of their destiny, when far too many don't. 

Social Media Information:
Instagram: mistertelltales
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Toni Newman

Toni Newman is the author of memoir, I Rise-The Transformation of Toni Newman,  detailing her transition from male to female and overcoming obstacles to now becoming the Executive Director of St. James Infirmary in San Francisco. The memoir was turned into short film Heart of a Woman.
 
I Rise is the true story of Toni Newman’s transformation from an internally conflicted male to a proud, transsexual. Born the eldest son into a strict Christian family, Toni admits knowing from her earliest days that she “was a different bird born in the wrong body.” With laser-guided sincerity, curiosity, and above all, humor and compassion, Toni tells her story of being a “sissy boy,” a scholarship student, a business professional, an escort, a drag queen, a NYC prostitute, an LA dominatrix, and finally, a transsexual attending law school in order to help her transsexual sisters in need.

 
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Leo Brown

Leo Brown is the author of the best-selling book "Honey, I'm fabulous and so are you!" When he's not writing, he is busy empowering lives through speaking engagements and workshops across the country. Leo blends the spiritual and metaphysical with the natural and he knows how to cook a mean steak.  He lives in Houston, Texas.
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Dontá Morrison

Dontá is a Los Angeles based author and an advocate who works tirelessly to eradicate
homophobia and HIV stigma within communities of color. His weekly podcast The
Dontá Show engages persons from all walks of life in discussions about sex, sexuality and sexual behaviors in an effort to normalize views about each.
 
He is the recipient of numerous awards honoring his work and has been highlighted in various magazines and newspapers that published his views on the impact of HIV within marginalized communities. He is the author of two novels -The End of the Rainbow, and Yesterday Clarified- and recently listed among HIV Plus magazines top 20 most amazing HIV+ people of 2018.

 
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Jayce Baron

Jayce is a published author (Absolutely Me), social entrepreneur, influencer, and advocate for the LGBT millennial. Executive Director of the nationally recognized Kiss & Tell Networks, he has an organic desire to bring a conscious conversation to the community through live events, media, and digital platforms. He is a contributing blogger for several publications including HIV Equal and Message Magazine and has been the face of campaigns with the CDC, Hornet, and Jack'd. In 2016, Jayce was invited to The Capital to continue to bring awareness to sexual assault, specifically with men, and was part of passing bill SB816 with Assemblymember Mike Gipson and Attorney Gloria Alred revoking the statute of limitation on rape in the state of California. Since then, huge national movements such as #MeToo, the Bill Cosby case, and several unresolved rape cases have made their way to court. Jayce is currently shopping his family dramedy pilot "Literally Annoyed" and you can catch him every Friday on the west coast black spicy podcast Kiss & Tell Radio alongside pop culture journalist Shar Jossell.
 
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Jair, The Literary Masturbator

He is the author of, “Touch: Poems & Other Writings of Love, Erotica, & Sensuality” and, “Collage: An Assemblage Of Divergent & Juxtaposed Poetry”. His work has appeared in/on "Mighty Real: An Anthology of African American Same Gender Loving Writing",  "Tapestries of Faith: SGLBT African American Stories of Faith, Love & Family", "Black Gay Genius: Answering Joseph Beam's Call", ION TV Presents Poets Jazz House, Myne Mic Radio Show, Sequoia Magazine, Down Side Up, In The Meantime “Statements of Pride Issue”, Gentle Chaos, Third Thursday LA, gbmnews.com. He has appeared at/or coordinated events for numerous festivals and spoken word events including, Revolve: Oakland Pride Creative Arts & Film Festival, QBall-National Queer Arts Festival, Good Gumbo Ready, "Is Gay Male Culture Dead?", Smack Dab, The African Marketplace & Cultural Faire, Pan African Film Festival, “Sabor Con Fusion”, Carlotta’s Fine Art, West Hollywood Book Fair, Soulful Salon, Los Angeles Black Book Expo, The Love Movement, Yoshi’s, Abbot’s Habit, UnUrban’s “ReallyBigShow” 5th Street Dick’s, Lucy Florence, San Francisco Library, Oakland-BlackOUT, Oakland Queer & Trans Open Mic, Poets For Ferguson, Nashville Black Gay Pride, For The Love of Levie, Oakland BeastCrawl, Oakland LGBT Center World AIDS Day, “B/Glam; A Family Reunion Read”, Counter Narrative Project, and many others.
 
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Craig Stewart

First in his immediate family to graduate college, Stewart attended Hampton University, where he received a degree in Mass Media Arts. Despite his passion and several opportunities to work with established music artists and producers, Stewart eventually realized that his future was not limited to music. He turned his attention to writing his first play, A Day in the Life, which opened to a sold-out crowd at Atlanta’s 14th Street Playhouse. He showcased his skills and ambition, with his debut stage production—A Day in the Life. The show finished a successful run in Atlanta with sold-out performances while establishing Stewart as one of the nation’s up and coming artists.
 
Today, Stewart is a three-time author, host of SO MUCH TO SAY podcast and has a passion for literature, music, and theatre.  His latest is also titled "So Much To Say".

Social Media Information:
Website: www.CraigTheWriterStewart.com
Instagram: CraigTheWriterStewart
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Tra A. Ahia, Ph.D.

Tra A. Ahia, Ph.D., is recognized as a national profound published author, consultant, lecturer, and advocate for LGBTQ youth. Dr. Ahia is a consultant that conducts live video chats, and teleconferences to integrate her work in various settings, schools, healthcare agencies, and behavioral health fields. Her work for the past 30 years includes owning and operating an outpatient clinic in New Jersey and Arizona. She has created and implemented several therapy groups that include HIV, substance addiction, family, and youth. Also, two specialized training programs of healing called Transforming Individuals with Care (TIC) and the Family Improvement Training (FIT) program. Unlike traditional methods, TIC training program meets each client where they are and empowers each individual according to their emotional, physical, mental, spiritual position in the universe, while working to transform each individuals thoughts, beliefs and experiences that was associated with the motivating force that lead them down a path of destruction, confusion and addiction. 
 
Along with authoring the book, Call Me An Addict?: War on
Women, was created over many years in an effort to illuminate the condition that has plagued the female gender since human creation. Over the years various aspects of life presenting itself fueled the stop and go efforts to present these stories.
Dr. Ahia has instructed at Estrella Mountain Community College, and Essex County Community College and University of Phoenix. She is a member of the Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Advisory Council and the Human Rights Council,
American Counseling Association, Epidemiology, 
and Prevention of Public Health, the Arizona Association of School Psychologist, American Mental Health Counselors Association. 

Social Media Information:
Twitter: 1DrAhia
Email:  detract.flscc@gmail.com
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Victor L. Carrington

Victor L. Carrington born in Nuremburg Germany but raised in the United States. He enjoys spending time with his friends, including his best friend Carolyn Stephens. He likes to travel, read, and shop. Victor also loves to laugh. With all he has endured, laughter keeps him going. He currently works in Corporate America and volunteers at food banks and shelters. Victor received his B.S. from Shaw University and currently resides in Dallas TX. 
On December 2015 the best selling memoir Just When You Thought You Knew Me – The Highs & Lows in the Life of Victor L. Carrington” was released and it spent the first four weeks in the #1 spot on Amazon.com. Since the release of his critically acclaimed life story, Victor completed a 6 state – 17 city book tour; and he has been interviewed by CBS, NBC, I Heart Radio and a host of Internet radio shows. Victor has been invited to share his story with recently released men and women and prior to relocating to Dallas in 2014, he volunteered as a Regional Coordinator with the North Carolina Department of Corrections, where he mentored inmates with less than a year before release. Once they were released, Victor assisted them with resume writing, job searching, interview skills, life skills and housing research. 

Victor has also assisted multiple ex-
felonsreceive their rights back in VA, which allowed them to vote in all elections.  Victor enjoys helping others along this path because he believes ex-felons helping ex-felons is the key to their success. With the success of his book, he has been able to reach audiences unknown with his story and has helped other ex-felons to see there is success outside of the gate.
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Victor Yates

Victor Yates is the winner of the 2017 Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers. He won the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Debut Fiction for his book, A Love Like Blood and Honorable Mention at The New England Book Festival. Recently, he was awarded a grant from the City of West Hollywood to direct a documentary, Genitalic. The documentary interweaves narratives of eight older gay men and focuses on identity, race, racism, ageism, HIV/AIDS, and West Hollywood.  
 
In 2012, he had two poems published in the anthology, For Colored Boys, which won the American Library Association's Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction. He is the recipient of an Ahmanson Foundation grant and the Elma Stuckey Writing Award (1st place in poetry).
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Greg Wilson

Greg Wilson was born and raised in California. From an early age, Greg identified his passion and love for the arts and helping other people ignited his excitement around advocacy.  His 1stbook titled Metamorphosis of A Heart which speaks to his life’s perspective, shares what many of the youth today are experiencing and relates to those that may have felt for so long that they’ve had no voice, felt misunderstood, and that has overcome many struggles they weren’t expected to survive. This book has been used as a tool of empowerment and will add to Greg’s effort to connect with the community on a deeper level. Greg’s contributions are extended through Consulting and Capacity Building services nationally. Facilitating Life Skill workshops, addressing Self-esteem concerns that are often over-looked and helping develop strategies for other youth-serving agencies to strengthen the leadership component of their programs. 
 
Currently, Greg serves as a Senior Manager at In The Meantime Men’s Group, Inc., a non- profit agency in Los Angeles, that focuses on the Mental, Physical, Spiritual and Emotional Wellness of Black Gay Men.   Standing Tall, Firm and Bold; sharing stories not often told. Greg is truly a voice for a community that was once afraid to speak up; now he’s encouraging all to embrace their Metamorphosis and find their Power.
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John Collins

John Collins is an author, activist, freelance writer, actor, award-winning LGBT slam poet, and playwright, originally from Detroit, Michigan. He is the eldest of two children raised with, both parents in the household. He is a decorated Navy Combat Veteran who served 8 years Active duty and 6 years Active Reserve duty, before accepting an Honorable Discharge in September 2012. He attended Southern Illinois University, studying Healthcare management. Writing started for him at the age of 15, by keeping a small journal that held many questions surrounding his sexuality versus religious doctrine. Motivated by an English teacher, he was encouraged to use his talent as a storyteller to capture a glimpse of the world through his own personal life experiences. This challenged his perspective and his voice, as he chose to bridge the gaps that separate folk into the categories of the moral and the abominable. The idea of writing a novel came about after he wrote a three-page short essay illustrating the outcome when his parents discovered he was Same Gender Loving (SGL). He began the manuscript to Virgin to the Life in early 2007, self-publishing his first work in March of 2013. His follow-up novel, Sounds of Burned Silence, was released February of 2014, making way for the third installment, Poetic Violence, to add more depth to the series. God Ain’t Call Me Fag, is his fourth installment and a departure from the series. John is actively developing new prose and poetry for his growing following which covers a vast array of topics helping to reaffirm the unique identities of Black Gay Men and how they perceive themselves. John’s literary work and activism seeks to promote self-love, healing, understanding, excellence, empowerment, and most importantly unity.  

Social Media: Information:
Email:        johncollinspresents@gmail.com
Twitter:     
authorjcollins        
Instagram:  
johncollinspresents
 
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Dr. Frederick Smith

Dr. Smith is the author of three LA-based novels focusing on Queer People of Color identities: Play It Forward, Right Side of the Wrong Bed, and Down For Whatever. He's Director of the Cross Cultural Centers at Cal State LA. Fred recently earned a doctoral degree at Loyola Marymount University, focusing on Educational Leadership for Social Justice.


Social media information: 
Websitewww.FrederickLSmith.com
Twitter: 
FSmith827
Instagram: FSmith827