Naazneen Diwan is a poet, storyteller, performer, myth preserver and maker, Professor of Arabic and Gender Studies, and lover of bicycling. She enjoys hiking, climbing trees and the moon. She's a recent motorcycle enthusiast. She's also an organizer with South Asians for Justice, LA, a long-time organizer with INCITE! LA, women and gender non-conforming folks against violence, as well as an advocate/ally for the Palestinian liberation struggle and struggles for justice and dignity for immigrants. She supports the emotional and spiritual wellness of Black Lives Matter, LA and Dignity and Power Now! organizers through facilitating meditation and mindfulness circles. She is a Professor at Cal State LA, teaching Gender and Race in the U.S. and has just received a PhD in Gender Studies at UCLA. She's a transnational Activist-Scholar who builds dynamic, vibrant community wherever she goes: from working as a translator at an underground human rights publication in Damascus, Syria to co-founding a transnational feminist, 10-day convening in Berlin, Germany. She absolutely loves working with youth; she's lead workshops on Islamophobia at Bay Area Solidarity Summer, a social justice retreat for South Asian Youth and recently co-facilitated a workshop on storytelling and activism at SoCal Solidarity for LGBTQ South Asian youth. Her love of mangoes and trains lead her back to her homeland of India after 15 years of separation. She's worked in Gujarat, India over the past two years facilitating creative arts and healing workshops with Muslim women and studying the 2002 genocide against Muslims. She has also conjured up a California iteration of these arts and empowerment workshops, called KalaaShakti (Kalaa [Ka -lah]: radical art; Shakti [shuck - tee]: the dynamic energy from which prakriti (nature) manifests, prakriti being the inherently creative, active and productive force that creates the world). AND, with this flurry of projects and travel, her ultimate mission in life is simple: to give as many deep, soul embracing hugs as possible and spread love and powerful expression wherever she goes.