Ms. Kira’s Experience


embbodi mapping retreats, Winsor, CA

Write This Second: Exploring Our Roots, Oakland, CA

Magnolia Women’s Recovery Program, Oakland & Hayward, CA

Juvenile Hall, Pittsburg, CA

Health Professions Partnership Initiative (HPPI), Oakland, CA

Henry J. Kaiser K-8 Art Magnet School, Oakland, CA

The Alameda County Office of Education & the McKinley Act Grant, Hayward, Berkeley, Fremont, CA

  • Created curriculum for and carried out six-week poetry as self-empowerment projects
  • Worked with students on developing public speaking skills
  • Gave written feedback and kept 1-on-1 appointments with to improve confidence
  • Arranged and hosted culminating readings; created self-published anthologies of students work

VisionBoards for the New Year, Oakland, CA

Mother & Daughter Body Tracing Workshops, Oakland, CA

Poetry & VisionBoards, 3 generations each/4 families, Oakland, CA

  • Lead participants in setting intentions, selecting and placing images from calendars, magazines and art supplies to illuminate goals/patterns and empower conscious choices thru visualization

Host of the Write This Second Poetry Series at LaPeña Cultural Center, Berkeley, a second Wednesday’s of the month with featured readers and open mic

California State University Monterey Bay, Monterey

  • Developed and implemented an intensive seminar on teaching poetry as self-empowerment in community for 40 students in the class, Creative Writing and Social Action; Furnished ground rules, guidelines, and curriculum for use with their own students

Mills College/ Mills Cares’ Alternative Spring Break, Oakland, CA

  • Formulated an interactive presentation on teaching poetry as self-empowerment in community to act as a model for 22 students volunteering in Bay Area non-profits; Furnished ground rules, guidelines, and curriculum for use with their own students

Mills College and Chrysalis, Oakland, CA

  • Conceived, facilitated, and raised funds for the Why Reclaim Our Lives: poetry workshops
  • Drafted press releases, flyers, programs and personal invitations, set up radio appearances
  • Arranged venues; hired musicians and caterers for public readings; led Body Tracings work

Student-Teacher-Poet (STP) with Poetry for the People (P4P), UC Berkeley/ Berkeley High/ SF Mission Cultural Center

  • Conducted in depth research and wrote curriculum for African American, Latinx and Asian American poetry units
  • Wrote, published and publicly read my own poetry
  • Taught P4P’s poetry groundrules/guidelines; workshopped 10 UC Berkeley student’s poetry
  • Provided detailed written comments, office hours, prepared students for public readings
  • Taught poetry with equal vigor for six weeks with 35 students at Berkeley High and 45 adults at San Francisco’s Mission Cultural Center


Write This Second: A Poetic Memoir, published by Nothing But the Truth, April 2019

“Learning to Thrive” – first published essay in All the Women in My Family Sing, editor Deborah Santana, Feb 2018

“To Abide Being A Black Lesbian in Amerikkka”, “Mommy, Is Grandpa in Heaven or in a Grave”in Endangered Species, Enduring Values, editor Shizue Seigel, Apr 2018

“Know Justice, Know Peace” – Tayo Literary Magazine, editors Radhiyah Ayobami & Tasha Keeble, March 2016

“Write This Second”, Clear Hearts Roar ~ Sing ~ Shine, editor Kira Allen, Nov 2013

“Papillion Mariposa Butterfly”, What I Need Right Now, ed. Gary Chandler, Summer 2001

“If I Name My Truth Who Will Hear Me”, “The Compass”, “I Pray You”, Full Circle, ed. John Fox, Spring 2001

Ravens Speak /Butterflies Flutter /and the Dance Lingers On, Spring 2000, My second chapbook containing 25 pages of original poetry

“Spark”, “This is Who I am” On the Wings of Words, Spring 2000

“For the One Who Defined Me” The Walrus, 2000: The Mills College Literary Review

“What is a Home Language Poem to a Girl Who’s Never Belonged Anywhere”, Listen Up: Oakland Poets Speak Out Chapbook, April 1999

“My Ruth Forman Poem”, “Martín Espada”, The Walrus, 1999: The Mills College Literary Review

“The ABC’s of War” We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For: Poetry for the People Spring 1999 Anthology

“Disregarded”, “My Ruth Forman Poem”, Survival Take a Verse: A Collection of Revolutionary Student Poetry Fall 1998

Touching Stones, My first chapbook containing 36 pages of all original poetry and prose, Fall 1998

“Martín Espada” Mahfouz: Our Right to Our Words: Poetry for the People Spring 1998 Anthology

“How I Define How I Put Myself on the Line”, “Sister of My Soul”, Wrong Is Not My Name, Edited by June Jordan, 1996

“The Secret Shadow” Sing Your Own Song, Edited by Janice Mirikitani, 1995


Master’s Degree in Transformative Arts; JFK University, Berkeley, CA; Sept 2002

Bachelor’s Degree in English/Creative Writing; Mills College, Oakland, CA; May 2000


Roussel Sargeant Peer Teaching Award from Mills College, Apr 2000

Mary Atkins Poet of the Year, Apr 2000

Breaking the Cycles Award from Glide Memorial Church, Dec 1999

Mary Atkins Woman of the Year, Apr 1999


Workshop Participant Director, May-Jul 2000-2015, Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation ~ VONA, Berkeley, CA, 2000-2015

  • Anticipate needs of and provide resources for 14 faculty, 2 staff and 140 writers
  • Organize and arrange for special events and fundraisers; Cultivate communications database
  • Live in the dorms at UC Berkeley with the writers coming in from out of town for one week a year

Samuel Merritt University ~ SMU, Oakland, San Francisco, San Mateo, Sacramento, CA Associate Director of Diversity, May 2011- Aug 2013

  • Collaborated with Chief Diversity Officer and key stakeholders to institutionalize inclusive policies
  • Scrutinized recruitment, retention and grievance policies for growth potential
  • Increased institutional aid and built highly-effective internal and external community partnerships
  • Linked social, emotional, academic and financial support to increase minority student completion

Student Services Coordinator, Nov 2005-May 2011

  • Conducted 9 online/ in person orientations, Career Fair and various other student programming
  • Devised and supplied writing and resume support for 500+ students annually
  • Linked social, emotional, academic and financial support to increase minority student completion
  • Sounding board, problem solver, emotional translator and guidepost at all times
  • Represent SMU in the Leadership Oakland Program, Class of 2011
  • Key contributor to 8 on campus leadership committees including 5 years Staff Council Co-President

Outreach Consultant, Jan 2003-Jun 2004, Lafayette Elementary School, West Oakland, CA

  • Strategized with essential stakeholders to significantly decrease suspension rates
  • Identified over 100 “at risk” students and put services in place to help them succeed
  • Wrote, submitted and received a grant worth 50k a year to fund the position


May 2022: Let Her Tell It: Black Women Writing on the Body & Mind at the Bay Area Book Festival

April 2019-March 2020: Several different Write This Second: A Poetic Memoir Launch Events, including the first annual Anti-Racism Book Festival in Washington DC; Browsers Books and Local Authors Salon both in San Francisco, CA; Oakland Public Library-Main Branch and Lake Merritt Lodge both in Oakland, CA

Feb-Apr 2018: Several different All the Women in My Family Sing Book Launch Events, including: Book Passages, Laurel Books, Esowan Books in L.A., & The Hamlin School in SF

Apr 2018: Endangered Species Enduring Values Book Launch at SF Main Library

July 2016: Beast Crawl, Bay Area Generations Stage at Octopus Literary Salon

Jul 2015: Beast Crawl, Curated 6 Women of Color for the Write This Second Stage at Kingston 11

Jun 2015: Black Renaissance TV Show to promote the first version of my book

Jul 2014 Beast Crawl, Curated 8 WoC for the Write This Second Stage at Kingston 11

Oct 2005: One of six featured readers on the VONA Voices LitCrawl Stage in San Francisco

Feb 2003: The featured reader as part of Marin Academy’s Literary Festival

Jun 2001: La Peña’s 25th Anniversary Celebration: The Power of the Word, the best of the featured readers over time were invited

Apr 2000: The Mills College Literary Review: The Walrus Publication party and reading

Apr 2000: “On the Wings of Words” thesis poetry reading, Mills College Student Union

Sep 2000: One of seven featured poets reading alongside Adrienne Rich for the California State University, Monterey Bay Writers Series

Feb 1999: Reading in celebration of June Jordan’s life and book Affirmative Acts

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