The 4th Annual Breaking Our Silence is a celebration of LBGTQ voices sharing their experiences of coming out, finding love, breaking the silence and speaking out.
Sentell Harper recently had his one man show Seek and Ye Shall Find premiere in New York City in the United Solo Festival. Sentell is the recipient of the 2014 United Solo Festivalâ€™s Emerging Actor award. After receiving his MFA in Acting from Arizona State University where he worked with Tim Miller, Laurie Carlos, Anne Bogart and SITI Company he was awarded Links Hall Chicago artist mentorship with Tim Miller where he performed with Miller in a night of new work. Sentell has performed in Chicago productions at Gorilla Tango Theatre, The Bailiwick and, Mortar Theatreâ€™s Company.
Joanna Hoffman (www.joannahoffman.com) is a spoken word poet and teaching artist based in Brooklyn, NY who uses poetry to demonstrate the power of storytelling to break down barriers, and to demonstrate the need to view political issues as deeply personal. She is a 15 year veteran of slam, or competitive performance poetry, who has competed on 5 National Poetry Slam teams, ranked 4th at the 2012 Women of the World Poetry Slam and was the 2012 champion of Capturing Fire, an international LGBTQ poetry competition. Her full-length book of poetry, Running for Trap Doors(Sibling Rivalry Press) was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award and featured in the American Library Associationâ€™s list of recommended LGBT reading for 2014. She was recently named a White House Champion of Change for LGBT advocacy through art. Her work has appeared on Upworthy and Buzzfeed, and in literary journals and publications including decomP, PANK, Union Station Magazine, The Legendary, Sinister Wisdom and in the Write Bloody Publishing anthologies We Will be Shelter and Multiverse.
Charan P. Morris is a New York based poet/educator. A 2011-12 LAMBDA Literary Foundation Fellow, recipient of the Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Scholarship for the Fine Arts Work Center 2013 Summer Program and participant in the 2014 Callaloo Workshop Retreat, her work has been published in Sinister Wisdom, Kweli Journal, InDigest Magazine,The Mom Egg, Stand Our Ground anthology and Liberator Magazine. Charan has performed as a feature poet for various audiences along the East Coast & Midwest. She has shared a stage with Gill Scott-Heron, The Last Poets, Staceyann Chin and others. Poetry takes its rightful place in her lifeâ€“neck and neck with teaching. In addition to being a ten-year NYC public school educator, Charan has facilitated poetry workshops with diverse groups of writers including formerly incarcerated youth and graduate students at Columbia University. Her work fuels public dialogue around colorism, homophobia and the effects of war. Of course, sometimes she writes about being human.
Sam LaRoche is a spoken word poet and rap artist out of Brooklyn. In college Sam was signed to an independent record label in Hartford and began touring the state as their spoken word artist. In 2007 Sam moved to NYC where she began frequenting open mic nights and entering in slam competitions. Sam has toured with Cupid Ainâ€™t @#$%! poetry show over the past four years as well as being the featured poet at different venues and Universities. Still active in the spoken word community, Sam is currently working on her EP album as the follow-up to her mixtape.