ABOUT

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            is a collective of Los Angeles-based poets and artists from various communities aligned in the values of storytelling, empathy, and social impact. Over the summer of 2019, the poets collaborated with Carlos López Estrada on the Sundance film Summertime. Following the theatrical release of the film and their work on the Summertime Impact Campaign with Executive Producer Kelly Marie Tran, the artists formed a collective as a way to continue their collaboration, maintain autonomy over their work, and provide meaningful community education. The collective was founded by Marquesha Babers, Hanna Harris, Marcus James, Kelly Marie Tran, and Carlos López Estrada, in August 2021.

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MARQUESHA BABERS

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WHO WE ARE

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Marquesha Babers "Keke," was 15 years old, and living on the streets of Hollywood, when the filmmakers of American Street Kid first met her. What makes her very inspiring as a person is, since filming American Street Kid, she has since been in her first feature film Summertime she has gone on to empower and inspire women around the world with her poetry, performing “That Girl” in London and at prestigious conferences for Women across America. She has performed for global icons like HRH Princess Reema Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Angelina Jolie, Hillary Clinton, Freida Pinto, and countless others. Marquesha serves as an ambassador for Girl Rising, a global movement working to ensure that girls around the world are educated and empowered. She spoke at ONE.org's Aya Summit in Washington and opened the 2015 Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center, with her poem “That Girl."

MARQUESHA BABERS

Marcus James is an award-winning spoken word artist, teacher, and community advocate. He has performed at over 100 venues across California including, Dodgers Stadium, Warped Tour, Verses & Flow, and Button Poetry. He has taught workshops at various universities and organizations across the United States, including UC Santa Barbara, Gulf Coast University and Into Action. His work has been recognized by the United Nations, Planned Parenthood, and the California Endowment for the Arts. He was a writer and Impact Producer for the Sundance film Summertime (2020).

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MARCUS
JAMES

MARCUS
JAMES

HANNA HARRIS

HANNA HARRIS

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Hanna Harris (they/she) is an award-winning spoken word artist, educator, community advocate, and Dolly Parton Stan. Her poetry, teaching, and activism have received recognition from the United Nations, Planned Parenthood, Out Magazine, and at over 300 events in the LA area.  After spending most of their life in Texas and Oklahoma, she still reps the Red River Rivalry while finding home here in LA. Hanna considers themself to be a storyholder and believes the world needs much more “bad” art. She is a certified Teaching Artist by the LA Country Department of Cultural Affairs and is majoring in Gender & Queer Studies at CSUN. Hanna is the founder & creator of Found Family (foundfamilyla.com), a collective providing mentorship & Queer arts education to LGBTQ+ young people in Los Angeles. To learn more check out hannaharrispoet.com.

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Carlos’s debut film, Blindspotting, premiered opening night at Sundance 2018 and was subsequently released by Lionsgate Entertainment. Carlos was nominated by the DGA for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-Time Feature Film. His second film, Summertime, premiered opening night of Sundance 2020 and will be released in June of 2021. Carlos' third film, Raya and the Last Dragon will be released by Disney in March of 2021. On the TV side, Carlos directed an episode of FX’s Legion and is working on an original show at UCP. He began his career directing music videos for musicians like Billie Eilish, Father John Misty, Thundercat and Flying Lotus, Carly Rae Jepsen, Clipping, and Passion Pit. In 2012, he won a Latin Grammy for an animated music video he directed for artists Jesse & Joy. He is currently directing an original animated feature at Disney Animation set to release in 2023 as well as the live-action adaptation of Disney's Robin Hood.

CARLOS LÓPEZ ESTRADA

CARLOS
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ESTRADA

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KELLY MARIE TRAN

KELLY MARIE TRAN

Kelly Marie Tran has quickly become known as a captivating on-screen presence. 

 

Most recently, Kelly Marie Tran has made history by voicing Disney’s first South-East Asian Princess with her role as Raya in Raya and the Last Dragon. The film released to critical acclaim in March 2021. Additionally, Tran has stepped into the role as executive producer on two exciting projects. Firstly, on SXSW’s Grand Jury Prize-Winning Documentary Feature Lily Topples The World. The film follows the life of an American-Chinese adoptee who becomes a global artistic force with over 1 billion YouTube views. Secondly, on Summertime, director Carlos López Estrada’s spoken-word poetry feature film that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

 

In 2017, Tran made her big screen debut in Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi as Resistance mechanic worker, Rose Tico. Her performance and character were widely praised, and made headlines across the globe as Tran became the first Asian- American woman cast in a lead role for the franchise.  In 2019, she reprised her role as Rose Tico in Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

 

Additional credits include DreamWorks' The Croods: A New Age, Hulu’s Anthology drama series Monsterland and Facebook Watch’s Sorry for Your Loss, among others.