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DYDINE UMUNYANA - Founder

Still in her 20's, Rwandan genocide survivor Dydine Umunyana is the author of Embracing Survival: Genocide and War through the Eyes of a Child. She is the founder of Umbrella Press, a multi-media publishing venture dedicated to giving a voice to the voiceless. Dydine was appointed a youth peace Ambassador in 2013 for the Aegis Trust, an organization dedicated to the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. Subsequently, in 2015, she became a Global Mentor for Peace at Serve 2 Unite, an organization that cultivates peace through creative service learning and global engagement. Dydine is committed to establishing a dialogue between people to help them understand their shared histories and cultural differences. Through her writing, public lectures and filmmaking, Dydine’s goal is to pierce the wall of silence that still pervades much of our society.

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TYLER HICKS - Co-founder & ceo

Tyler Hicks is a Los Angeles born creative producer who dabbles in curation (of art, people, and ideas), project management, content creation, and event and film production. She's studied at Barnsdall Art Center in Hollywood, CSSSA at CalArts, and the University of Southern California (where she studied International Relations and Fine Arts). Her work is a meditation on her understanding of social and political structures, and how each of us fits into them, as well as an exploration of the ways that creatives can use their gifts to positively impact the collective consciousness of the United States and beyond. She has a passion for service learning and has worked with disparaged communities in the U.S., specifically in Los Angeles and on Navajo Nation and Apache reservations, and abroad, in central Mexico, South Africa, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. 

Tyler is interested in finding ways to bring art, social and political movements, design and technological innovation into widespread public awareness. She dreams of expanding the reach of inspiring, intriguing, and forward thinking ideas and people (especially those from marginalized communities). She believes that efforts to reclaim space, effect change and inspire others are what the world needs to see most right now.

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ALEXANDRA VELASCO -EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF DIGITAL CONTENT

Alexandra Velasco is a multimedia artist, performer and filmmaker born in Mexico City, presently residing in Los Angeles. Alexandra’s work centers around the political and performative body, she explores the formation and role of individual identities and how these interact with different environments. Her interest in dualities, in seeing the light in the dark, and vice versa, has moved her to explore the outlined idea of gender and oneness. Her voice, mind and body serve to tell non-linear stories, create time-warped moments and challenge the point of our collective existence. Oftentimes a sense of the surreal, the uncomfortable, and the erotic incorporates itself in her created realities, be it in her films, collages or performances. She is currently working on various film and art projects. Her work tells stories about women that either live in her head or who can’t tell their own stories.

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ALEXANDRA RICHARDSON - MARKETING MANAGER

From a young age, Alexandra Richardson was drawn to stories and storytelling. At age of two, she began studying classical ballet, which she continued to pursue for sixteen years, studying with teachers from Cuba and France, having the opportunity to perform with the Washington Ballet Company, and teaching younger dancers at her studio from the age of fourteen. In 2015, Alexandra graduated with a bilingual International Baccalaureate Diploma from the Washington International School. Her interests moved to the visual arts and she began to study photography and drawing, investigating how they could strengthen interactive performance art. She is now pursuing a BA in English, with a minor in Visual Arts, at Fordham University  where she is combining her interest in visual arts, literature, and creative writing. She is also the editor and contributing writer for Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s literary magazine, for which she also manages the social media. She is also an independent photographer. Alexandra hopes to tell the stories of people and places, and to document the world as we know it. As a member of the Umbrella Press team, she combines her background in art with her experience in social media marketing to establish a platform by which diverse voices may be heard.

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