20th Annual Ray Warren Symposium on Race and Ethnic Studies
Future Forward
November 8–10, 2023

Aya de León is an award-winning author, activist, and speaker who has published several novels for adults, young adults, and children that examine racial and social identity in connection with climate justice. She directs the Poetry for the People program in the African American Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley, where she has taught poetry, spoken word, and climate writing. Her publications include the award-winning Justice Hustlers feminist heist series, which includes Side Chick Nation, the first novel published about Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and A Spy in the Struggle, which is about an FBI infiltration of an African American organization fighting for climate justice. Aya was a founding blogger with The Daily Dose: Feminist Voices for the Green New Deal. Prior to writing fiction and non-fiction, Aya was an award-winning spoken word poet and hip hop theater performing artist. Since 2021, Aya has been organizing with the Black Hive, the climate justice formation of the Movement for Black Lives.

Credit: Jacques NkinzingaboIngrid LaFleur is a cultural advisor, futures researcher, afrofuture theorist, and pleasure activist focused on creating equitable futures using art, culture, and emerging technology. As the founder of The Afrofuture Strategies Initiative, LaFleur facilitates the development of afrofuture consciousness by combining foresight methodologies and the cultural movement Afrofuturism. As a thought leader, she has led conversations and workshops at the Centre Pompidou (Paris), TEDxBrooklyn, Harvard University, Oxford University, and elsewhere. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and Time magazine.