More Than a Single Story: Visions of the Future for Men of Color

April 25, 2018 @ 6:30 pm
Hamline Midway Library
1558 W Minnehaha Ave
St Paul, MN 55104
Bailey Veesenmeyer

Local writers, artists, and activists will discuss masculinity and the danger of stereotypes that narrowly define us. David Mura leads a conversation with Art Coulson, Ezekiel Joubert, Shinaah Thao, and Michael Torres, with an opening poem by Anthony Ceballos.


About the discussion
The group will talk about their views on how men of color see the future – both what we need for ourselves and what our communities need from us. How can we critique and discard toxic models of masculinity? How do we create a masculinity which helps both us and our communities move forward? How do we heal from our wounds and how do we help provide the next generation with new ways of seeing themselves as men? How do we create new definitions of masculinity that take into account intersectionality, especially in regards to the ways we deal with gender, orientation and an increasingly diverse population?

More Than a Single Story is a series of panel discussions/public conversations where writers of color discuss issues of importance to them in their own voices and in their own words. Founded by Carolyn Holbrook in 2015, the program is loosely based on Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful TED talk, The Danger of a Single Story where she warns against fostering stereotypes by treating one story of a people as their only story.


About the participants

Anthony Ceballos has been a guest on KFAI’s Write on Radio and Fresh Fruit radio programs and has read for Intermedia Arts Queer Voices Reading Series, Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s Night of Native American Music and Poetry, The Many Faces of Two-Spirit People gallery show at Two Rivers Art Gallery, and more. In 2014 he won the George Henry Bridgeman Poetry Award from Hamline University and was selected to be a Loft Mentor Series mentee in 2016. His work has been featured in The Fulcrum and Yellow Medicine Review. Ceballos received his BFA from the Creative Writing program at Hamline University in 2015, and is working on his first collection of poetry.

Art Coulson is a writer, editor and storyteller who served as the first executive director of the Wilma Mankiller Foundation in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, after a 25-year career in journalism. He was a senior editor at the Pioneer Press for six years and has written for dozens of publications, including the New York Times, Miami Herald, the Star Tribune, The Cherokee Phoenix, and Native Peoples magazine. Coulson is the author of the children’s book The Creator’s Game and Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Beat Army, forthcoming in 2018.

Ezekiel Joubert III is an educator, community involved scholar and creative writer.  As a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Instruction-Culture and Teaching at the University of Minnesota, his work with pre-service teachers focuses on how to make social change in and out of their classrooms by engaging in historical injustices. His current projects include gathering life histories of black elders living in rural metro Detroit, forming an urban-rural Black Southeast Michigan collaborative and writing a collection of speculative poems and short stories on teaching in underserved schools.

David Mura is a poet, creative nonfiction writer, fiction writer, critic, playwright and performance artist. A Sansei or third generation Japanese American, Mura has written two memoirs: Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei and Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality and Identity. He is also the author of the novel Famous Suicides of the Japanese Empire and four collections of poetry, most recently The Last Incantations. Mura has taught widely; currently he teaches in the Stonecoast MFA program and the VONA Writers’ Conference.  He is Director of Training for the Innocent Classroom, a program designed to address the racial achievement gap by training teachers to improve their relationships with students of color.

Shinaah Thao is a Men and Boy’s Coordinator at ManForward, a local Twin Cities Asian men’s group, and also a Program Coordinator with the Men and Masculine Folks Network. In both capacities, he works with a web of non-profits and individuals to organize men, boys, and masculinities to end gender based violence. Besides ManForward, Shinaah also works on the intersections of queer rights, food justice, and deportation. He believes the work he does will push against systems that harm communities, and push for a healthy future where violence isn’t the norm.

Michael Torres was born and brought up in Pomona, California where he spent his adolescence as a graffiti artist. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Sun, Copper Nickel and Green Mountains Review among others. He has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Jerome Foundation. Torres is a VONA alum and a CantoMundo Fellow. Currently he teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato and through the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.

This program is presented with the Hamline Midway Library Association and supported, in part, by the Metro Regional Arts Council, through Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.