Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Awards held in Bridgeport | 2018-06-20

The 19th annual Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Awards were held June 20 at Polo Cafe in Bridgeport. A diverse group of people from 18 to 30 were honored for their activism, cultural work, entrepreneurship, promotional work and more.

Windy City Times welcomed co-sponsors AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Chicago House, Center on Halsted, Howard Brown Health and Polo Catering.

See full list of honorees and their stories here.

And the Windy City Times Pride issue has a full review of honorees in PDF form here.


In August of 2018, I had the honor of participating in a Long Table discussion with Kyoung’s Pacific Beat in partnership with  ALTA—The Alliance of Latinx Theater Artists of ChicagoInvisible 2 Invincible: Asian Pacific Islander Pride of ChicagoNothing Without a CompanyPop Magic ProductionsThe SipUrban Theater Company at Batey Urbano, six, local grass-roots organizations serving queer, artists and activists of color.

The long-table discussion on “Feminist Perspectives on Building Intersectional Communities,” was facilitated by Joy Messinger (Program Officer of Third Wave Fund) and invited speakers Lenox Magee (The Sip), Denise Yvette Serna (Pop Magic Productions), Jessie Fuentes (Puerto Rican Agenda in Chicago), Kyra Jones (Northwestern Univeristy), Hannah Li-Epstein (Nothing Without a Company) and Guest Culturebot Blogger, Tanuja Jagernauth.

The long-table centered Chicago-based, queer artists and activists of color and foster a conversation about the solidarity and dynamics that exists within different affinity groups in the QPOC community and how male-led institutions can relinquish power to elevate female, trans, nonbinary, and GNC leadership.

Learn more about PILLOWTALK
“Exponential Festival: Unexpected Theater in Unfamiliar Real Estate”, Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times. Jan. 24, 2018.
“Beyond Whiteness: A January Festival Wrap Up”, Nicole Serratore, American Theatre Magazine. Feb. 2, 2018.
“‘Pillowtalk’ Theatrical Play Explores LGBT, Interracial Relationships”, Don Tagala, Balitang TV. Jan. 26, 2018.
“Kyoung’s Pacific Beat presents PILLOWTALK” by Eva Yaa Asantewaa, InfiniteBody. Jan. 19, 2018.
“Coital Exchanges”, Culture Catch. Jan. 16, 2018.
“Playwright Kyoung H. Park on the Themes in PILLOWTALK and the Importance of Intersectionality”, Jose Solis, StageBuddy. Jan. 15, 2018.
“Bedroom Conversation-An Intimate Moment with the Collaborators of PILLOWTALK”, Jess Applebaum, Culturebot. Jan. 2018.
“Kyoung H. Park on PILLOWTALK”, Dyonisian Magazine. Jan. 2018.
“Community Partnerships & Long Table Events Announced for PILLOWTALK by Kyoung’s Pacific Beat @ The Tank”, Dec. 2017.
“Kyoung’s Pacific Beat to Bring PILLOWTALK to The Tank this Winter”, Aug. 2017.
“Kyoung Park–BAC Story by Diep Tran”, Baryshnikov Arts Center, BAC Story. Jun. 2017.
“Facing Discrimination Against Gay Marriage”, New York Korea Times. Mar. 2017.

In April of 2018, I visited South Bend, Indiana to join theatre practitioners, activists, and inclusion-driven community members who share a commitment to social justice for the inaugural Community Theater for Social Justice Action Conference. The conference was in partnership with the Civil Rights Heritage CenterIUSB Women's and Gender Studies, and ND Show Some Skin. Together we explored theater as a tool to strategize for effective social justice in our society. 

The purpose of this conference was to create a space for strategizing for a diverse background of individuals to have deeper impact in their respective communities. 

Ntozake Shange, the playwright, poet, performer, and creator of For colored girls who have considered suicide / When the rainbow is not enuf, was our inaugural conference’s keynote speaker! 

Conversations I participated in were: 

Staging Muslim Visibility and Disrupting Fetishization by Dr. Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah
Stories From The Inside Out: Giving Voice To Women and Men In Prison by Kathy McGregor and David Jolliffe
Performing Collective Imagination: Theatre, Participation, and Reproductive Justice by Alyssa Vera Ramos
Strategy Circles: Uprooting Anti-Blackness
Stories to Data: Grounding the Arts in Theoretical Frameworks by Dr. Dé Bryant and Dr. Cecilia Lucero

Just Like Us

“What makes us American?”

Based on Helen Thorpe’s bestselling book, this documentary-style play follows four Latina teenage girls in Denver—two of whom are documented and two who are not—through young adulthood. Their close-knit friendships begin to unravel when immigration status dictates the girls’ opportunities, or lack thereof. When a political firestorm arises, each girl’s future becomes increasingly complicated. Just Like Us poses difficult, yet essential questions about what makes us American.
Join community members and organizers to uplift the voices of immigrants in Chicago. 

On Sept. 5, the president announced that he was terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Obama-era program provides relief from deportation for an estimated 800,000 young immigrants. These immigrants have gone to our schools, they live and work in our communities, they have families, and now they’re at an even greater risk of deportation. 

This August, I’m racing 26.2 miles in London to support HPA's leadership and education programs!!

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up with your name and email.

  2. You can run anywhere, logging miles with any kind of device.

  3. Log your miles on the race page or using our app: iOS App or Android App.

  4. Racery will keep track of fun stats like your total mileage, runs/week, and streaks!

Run, walk, or wheel anywhere, anytime you want, then log activity and see yourself move on our digital route and leaderboards. We've got racers all over the globe!
This unique event will benefit the Harry Potter Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that turns fans into heroes. Since 2005, the HPA has used the power of story to engage millions of fans in their work for equality, literacy, and human rights. Proceeds will directly support the HPA’s leadership and education programs, less Racery’s fee of $7.50 per participant and Stripe’s 2.2% + $0.30 fee per transaction. More information about the HPA’s financials can be found on Guidestar, where the organization maintains a Gold rating.


For millions of children across the world, basic access to books and literacy programs is hardly a given. The Harry Potter Alliance is engaged in a permanent campaign to balance the scales. Our ultimate goal is to raise 1 million books for schools, community centers, and literacy programs across the world. We also endeavor to build 25 permanent libraries in places that need them. Last year, we had our most successful Accio Books yet, with over 100,000 books raised for 50 literacy programs across the world and a new library established at an elementary school in Masaka, Uganda!

This year, we are partnering with Words Alive, an organization that provides literacy and education services to over 5,000 children and families in Southern California. HPA chapters and members will raise thousands of books for Words Alive, allowing the organization to provide quality books to students of all ages for many years to come. Many chapters outside the western United States will choose to donate books to schools and programs in their local communities. Overall, we expect to match last year’s incredible effort, with dozens of communities across the world transformed by the generosity of our members.

Donations to this campaign will help us coordinate this global campaign in support of education and literacy!

artEquity's 2016 cohort represents a diverse cross-section of the American theatre and broader arts community. The 37 participants come from all parts of the US representing over 32 arts organizations. Artistic Directors, Executive Directors, Dramaturgs, Designers, Educators, Program Directors, Freelance artists, and many more, came together for a meaningful learning exchange and deep-dive theatre experience to support movement-building in the arts. 
artEquity is a national cadre of facilitators who support equity-based initiatives nation-wide. Alumni of the training are supported to sustain peer networks, intentional collaboration, and ongoing learning. The 2016 cohort training took place during two intensive weekend retreats in the Twin Cities hosted by Penumbra Theatre in September and October. The retreats were set a month apart to allow participants time to reflect on the themes presented and to practice facilitation competencies. 

On January 19th, 2017 at 5:30pm in each time zone across the country, we gathered outside of theaters to create a "light" for dark times ahead, and to make or renew a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. #GhostlightProject #BeALight #AllAreWelcome 

International Women’s Day 2017

Each one of us - with women, men and non-binary people joining forces - can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over. #BeBoldForChange

NoDAPL fundraiser

A night of Native performance and visual arts, silent auctions, and raffles to raise funds for The Standing Rock Nation. #NoDAPLchi128

Women’s March Chicago

Rally Accessibility for Attendees with Disabilities and Families with children marching

To ensure the most inclusive and diverse movement possible, the Women’s March on Chicago is dedicated to facilitate an accessible, supportive experience for all participants, including people with disabilities.

Accessible Viewing Area

  • Accessible Viewing Area (intersection of Jackson and Columbus): On a level surface, near the accessible vehicle drop-off area and the stage. Ideal for those being dropped off, needing close proximity to the speakers and/or needing access to ASL interpreters, Open Captioning, Assistive Listening Devices, and Audio Description. Chairs will be available in this viewing area. To accommodate as many people with disabilities as possible in this area, please try to limit the number of companions who will not be using accessible services.

  • Family Area:  Marchers with children can join a designated Families Area if they prefer or need to be out of the main crowd in the rally space.  

Access Tents

  • Access volunteers will be available to provide information on accessible viewing area and available services.

  • The tent will serve as a meeting point for those wanting to connect with volunteer guides.

  • American Sign Language interpreters will be stationed at the tent to facilitate communication.

  • Accessible portable toilets will be located near the Access area

Accessible Services and Accommodations for Rally

Physical Access

  • People requiring physical access may participate in the rally from the Accessible Viewing Area.

  • Accessible portable toilets are available near the Accessible Viewing Area.

American Sign Language Interpretation

  • American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation will be visible from Accessible Viewing Area, near the stage.

  • ASL interpreters will also be present at the Access Tents.

Open Captioning

  • The rally will feature open captioning via two different points.

  • From the stage, captions will be presented on a 50” flat-screen mounted on the stage, viewable by the first several rows of seats. These seats will be reserved for guests who identify as wanting to use the captions, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Captions will also be available on a large JumboTron screen located south of Jackson.

Assistive Listening Devices

  • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are available in Accessible Viewing Area. Headsets may be picked up at the Access Tent next to Accessible Viewing Area.

Audio Description

  • Audio Description is available in Accessible Viewing Area. Headsets may be picked up at the Access Tent next to Accessible Viewing Area.

  • A limited number of Access Volunteers are available to guide attendees from the Access Tent to either accessible viewing area.

Rogers Park Day of Action

Live Community Culture, an art-ivist movement with its roots in Latin America, made its North American debut in Rogers Park, Chicago by hosting a Day of Action. LCC is an uprising of love and creativity in the face of a downward spiraling culture of war and death. Residents and organizations in Chicago's most diverse neighborhood united to reveal the healing, transformative, joyful, activist roots alive in Rogers Park.

47th annual chicago Pride Parade


Established in 1959, Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses and substance use disorders in Illinois each year. Through care, employment, advocacy, and housing, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illnesses to reclaim their lives.

The Harry Potter Alliance

The Harry Potter Alliance turns fans into heroes.

We’re changing the world by making activism accessible through the power of story. Since 2005, millions of fans have come together tor work for equality, human rights, and literacy.


Hogwarts Running Club's fifth event of 2015. All proceeds from this event went to support the Harry Potter Alliance and their Accio Books! campaign. Accio Books! is the Harry Potter Alliance’s annual book drive and since 2009, Harry Potter fans around the world have donated more than 200,000 books to underprivileged or underserved readers.
Total 2015 donation: $77,500

Helping Haiti Heal

Following the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January 2010, the HPA helped create Helping Haiti Heal, a home-grown effort to contribute to aid and relief. The HPA raised over $123,000 for Partners In Health and sent five cargo planes of life-saving supplies to Haiti.


Upon learning that Warner Bros. Harry Potter-branded chocolate was being sourced from child slavery in 2008, the Harry Potter Alliance embarked on a campaign demanding Fair Trade chocolate instead. Not in Harry’s Name follows from the belief that products inspired by the series should not be complicit in the injustices it criticizes.

The HPA partnered with Free2Work, who determined that the chocolate products had earned an “F” grade for worker conditions that violated human rights. These findings inspired action from hundreds of thousands of fans, from signing petitions to sending letters. 

In late December of 2014, the Harry Potter Alliance was notified that Warner Bros. would make all Harry Potter-branded chocolate Fair Trade or Utz certified, marking an unprecedented victory in the realm of fan activism.