Even if you are from the same neighborhood as someone else, you might still be coming from different places. Where you are from is a complicated question and it elicits complicated, but interesting and thought-provoking responses. We’ve shared some of those responses below.

Kat West | Ceramic Artist

It feels as if I grew up in two different worlds and looking back – they both had such an impact on who I am today. I was born in the Philippines and lived there until I was about eight years old, but then moved to Brooklyn, New York. There is such a juxtaposition of my memories and how they meld into who I am today. Back in the mother land, I climbed fruit trees, played stick games and crafted things to pass the day. My mom had a sewing studio where she made stuffed toys for local shops. Our community had a lot crafts people and our home was filled with hand carved and hand made furniture and house ware. Though at the time this all seemed very normal, when I look back – I realize how special this was and how this played a role in surrounding me with creativity from such a young age. Read more>>

Andrew Monheim | President/Owner Monheim Microphones + Music Producer

I began cutting my audio teeth in a homemade studio in my friend’s basement in Philly. That evolved into sound design and production/live mixing for Off-Broadway and live performances on the East coast. Feeling a glass ceiling approaching, I went back to school for audio engineering. I left the East Coast, Philly, for CRAS (Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences) to hone my skills. After the Conservatory, I took on a number of live sound/mixing roles for some well known tours, including Beyonce, Keith Urban, The Police, etc. After an extended live stint, I left Arizona for LA and headed back into the recording studio before transitioning to work at BLUE Microphones where I quickly climbed the ladder to running International service/support and production. I moved on after Blue Microphones to start my own private recording studio and began working for another company called Manley Labs. My private studio, AndromiDen Recordings, continued to grow while running the entire production and factory for Manley. Read more>>

Rob Bynes | Movement Artist and Educator

Manhattan. My upbringing in church is the biggest influence on who I am as a man and as an artist. My faith informs my choices and the way that I have settled into finding my purpose. I want people to feel God through me when I dance as well as when I speak. Having an enormous family, especially one with many in the arts, has given me a strong foundation and plenty of encouragement to pursue dance without the worries of expectation or disappointment. As a three sport athlete, what I appreciated most was my drive to compete and the availability to find motivation from within. Read more>>

Lucas Bakker | Film Composer, Songwriter, Music Producer & Teacher

I was raised all up and down the west coast of the United States, as well as five years in the state of Michoacán, MX. My parents were both hippies who separated when I was still a baby and I’d bounce back and forth between them. From naked swimming holes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California, to public schools in Michoacán with a distinctive military flavor. From being in High School theatre on Orcas Island, WA to being inside the blocked off streets during a running of the bulls in one of the few towns in MX where they do it (Xico, Jalapa). My childhood and adolescence were constantly evolving in a way that I later came to find out, where not average. I learned the art of being a chameleon, and to hit the road running. Exposure to different regional and cultural ways of life has influenced my various Artistic endeavors. Among these, my eclectic arsenal of musical abilities. Read more>>

Bianca Austria | Illustrator & Graphic Designer

I am currently based in Los Angeles, California but I grew up in Manila, Philippines. My childhood was filled with trips to the market, hollering at street food vendors, taking trips to my father’s ancestral province, and eating lots of Filipino food. I was the only daughter in a Filipino-Catholic family which meant meant a lot of constant surveillance from my parents. I lived a very comfortable and sheltered life which only fueled my hunger for independence and freedom. I am a rebel by heart and my parents would agree. Despite my never-ending wanderlust, I still find myself constantly thinking of my home: the Philippines. This constant push-and-pull of leaving home and yearning for it has inspired me to become a visual storyteller in my own way. My passion for the Philippines and the rich culture my motherland has to offer has been my favorite subject in my work. My dream is to share the stories of my childhood and my community; to make our experiences visible, valid, and to make our voices ultimately heard. Read more>>

Celine & Joline Nehoray | Brand Owners

My sister and I were both born and raised in Los Angeles. We come from Persian roots, our parents came to America as immigrants from Iran in 1987. Coming from a tight-knit family, with emphasis on strong cultural and familial values, it was only natural for my sister and I to go into business together. Our upbringing shaped our strong work ethic and love for one another. We grew up in a home with a very professional father and very loving mother. The combination of them cultivated our a) career passions and b) deep love as sisters. Growing our business together was made possible by the support of our parents. Our father pushed us to create and achieve our highest career dreams and our mother pushed us to place our sisterhood above all. Read more>>

Alex Maes | Musician and Producer

I come from a small town in Colorado called Salida where a river runs through the middle of the town and mountains surround the perimeter. Growing up in this town I didn’t get the same opportunities to learn about music the same way city kids learn about music. For example, I had to drive 3 hours bi-weekly to my vocal and piano lessons, but it was all worth it. Living in Colorado allowed me to grow up in a supportive community that encouraged my dreams and pushed me to explore the depths of evergreen forests that painted the Rocky Mountains. My youth was spent rafting down white water, hiking some of the tallest mountains in the continental US, and skiing in fluffy powder snow that you only imagine about. These experiences, inspired me to constantly try new things and explore anything that is available to you which eventually translated in my music. Read more>>

Madam Misift aka Sarah Paul | Singer, Songwriter and ambassador of Red Heads

I was born in the lovely city of Chester over in Cheshire England, I had a pretty standard upbringing, holidays on the beach, studied hard and played even harder, sadly it was the colour of my hair that had a huge impact on me today which sounds simply ridiculous, but being a redhead at school it tough going!nMadam Misfit, is not only a steampunk / Chap hop / rapper (and whatever other label I get tagged with) is now an ambassador for redheads, she’s a character that evokes all the strength and personality I lacked all those years ago, over the top and maybe a little brash to coverup the insecurities of her weaknesses. Read more>>

Brittney Q. Hill | Founder/CEO of FAITH AND FAME®

I’m originally from Los Angeles, but I also grew up in Tucson, AZ and Winston-Salem, NC, which is where my background and upbringing impacted who I am today the most. Growing up, faith was a big part of my life. I grew up in “the church” as most would call it, which means my Christianity shaped who I was very early on. Still to this day, God and my faith is at the center of all I do. Hence the reason my brand is called FAITH AND FAME®. It is bridging the gap between who I am and what I do. Read more>>

Andrea M. Anderson | Actor & Professional Organizer.

Born in Louisville KY and raised in Hammond Indiana. Since I was about 4, performing became part of my life. Taking part in photo ops w local newspaper during a 4H group & similar things while in school. As years progressed began my performing career with dance classes, recitals, talent shows & modeling. Always had a passion to be an Actress, even though most my camera work was Commercials & Show Hosting. During & after Broadcasting school, I worked in news for only a short time after realizing, was not a long term path. Once moving to Los Angeles I carved a plan and path to begin working in TV and film. Read more>>

Ruth B Medrano | Los Angeles Mobile Hairstylist and Makeup Artist

I’m originally from Illinois. I was born in Chicago proper. When my family outgrew our little house in the city, my parents moved us to Hainesville, a decent sized town 45 or so mins north of the city. Being an entrepreneur over the past almost 10 years, I feel I can more clearly see how my background and upbringing have impacted who I am today. When I was young, my mom worked for two main employers, her dad and a family friend. Both started their businesses from the ground up. My Grandpa’s (we’ll refer to as Poppa S) business was a wood finishing business and the other a locksmith (we’ll refer to as OT), who expanded into apartment ownership and management. My mom would run a lot of the behind the scenes doing paperwork, payroll, and many other business tasks. Read more>>

Emiliano Olague (he/his) | Student & Photographer

Although I’ve lived in Southern California the past 10 years of my life, I wouldn’t consider it to be my true home, as my family and I originally immigrated from our home country of Mexico many years ago. Seeing my parents strive to provide the best for my family has shown me the value of hard work and determination, which has proved to be valuable in a country where the odds seem to always be stacked against you if you’re not a straight white male. I definitely wasn’t aware of this growing up, but as I progressed through school and became more exposed to new ideas, concepts, and stories that revolved around the struggles of those who are less fortunate, my outlook on life began to shift. I’d quickly come to realize that I live in a broken society built upon systems of oppression that unfairly discriminates against marginalized groups of people. Read More>>

Susan Ancillotti | Talent Manager & Business Strategist

I was born and raised in Florence, Italy by an Italian father and Thai mother. Being raised between two very different cultures helped me see different ways of approaching life and connect with people.
I would always try to take the aspects that I like the most from both cultures and apply it to my everyday life. Read more>>

Irene Nakamura | Guardian of the record, founder of iDepo Reporters and iDepo Hawaii

First off, I always thought a court reporter was a news reporter that reported on court cases, holding a mic asking attorneys and jurors, “What did you think of the verdict?” But to give you a little glimpse at where I come from, as a girl of Japanese descent and being raised in Los Angeles by an Issei mother, it was instilled in me that my role as female is secondary to my brother’s role because he is male: It is understood that sons are more important. My mother made sure I understood that my brother was to graduate from college before I was allowed even to enroll. My mother was also subjected to this and had to postpone her enrollment and college education until all of her brothers had graduated when she was young. She ended up being valedictorian of the prestigious Ochanomizu university. Read More>>

Taura Johnson | Licensed Esthetician & Luxury Cosmetic Brand Owner

I was born in Houston, Texas and raised partially in Bronx, New York and mostly in Raleigh, North Carolina. My background is Jamaican. My family growing up in a 3rd world country, made me appreciate the small joys of life especially non-materialistic things. Being exposed to different cultures/backgrounds from a young age into adulthood, has played a huge role in my upbringing. I am a lover of all people no matter their culture, race, sexual preference. Read more>>

Sophie Thomason | Actor & Writer

I’m from Santa Monica and am grateful to have grown up in an overwhelmingly progressive and inclusive community. It’s tempting to hunker down in Santa Monica’s (beautiful and very privileged) bubble, though LA is a such melting pot of riches that I’m glad to have grown to know much more of it in college at USC. I was raised the only child of a single mom who works in the film industry, so needless to say, I watched a lot of TV and movies growing up. Being surrounded by a myriad of adults (several parents of childhood friends included) working in the biz in a city teeming with art, it’s very clear to me how and why I ended up on the actor/writer trajectory. If my mom was a lawyer, perhaps I’d be doing that. (Mom, you probably should’ve been a lawyer.). Read more>>

Tamsin Mac Carthy | Producer/Director/Recording Artist

I was born in Johannesburg and grew up between there and Cape Town, South Africa. Anyone from South Africa will tell you that the longing for home when and if you leave is visceral. The pull back to the richness that is your homeland is so strong. I come from a country with 11 official languages, that abolished Apartheid and was led by one of history’s greatest, Mandela. Our history and diversity is our inspiration, strength and our challenge. I feel very proud to be the tiniest thread in that incredible human tapestry. I am a third generation storyteller and my grandfather’s pioneering voice speaks to me whenever I feel less than and the doubts seep in. I feel a tremendous responsibility to my family and to my birth country and strive to make them proud. Read more>>

Cambria Ullom | Artist

I was born in Las Vegas, NV but I grew up in Long Beach, Ca. My parents divorced when I was 9 years old and while I have had a very loving relationship with my father; it was very much a struggle growing up primarily with my mother. My mother is not the most comforting person and usually would put me down. I developed artistic endeavors at a very young age and I took art classes throughout middle and high school. This was something that allowed me to have an escape from the hectic living situations that I was in. After high school, I continued to create during most of my spare time. Most of my life I have been struggling with anxiety, depression and the painful disorder, called endometriosis. Art has been such a great outlet for me and creating has been so therapeutic. Even during my most painful days, I am thankful that I can draw and paint. Read more>>

Noah Klabin | Photographer

I am from Los Feliz here in Los Angeles. I was born and have spent my entire life in the same house, except for when I went to college in New Orleans. Growing up in North East LA reinforced some integral values that I carry with me: honesty, kindness, integrity, and a willingness to work hard. I was raised by a single mother. Since it was just the two of us, she really wanted to show me that the sky was the limit, and that if I worked hard enough at something then there was a good chance I could achieve at it. As a young kid, I had a million different hobbies. She let me participate in all sorts of things. I was always drawn to athletics, which meant weekday practices and weekend games. I had never considered myself creative, despite being exposed to such a creative neighborhood where art and culture were the driving forces of the area. That all changed when I got my first camera when I was 10, a small Canon point and shoot. Read more>>

Bakyt Zhumadilova | Film Producer and Content Creator

Me coming from a Muslim family and being a girl from a Southern- Kazakh family impacted my current social and political views and my artistic choices and style. I love my family and country a lot, but Kazakh society is very sexist and has many outdated traditions. Growing I felt small because of it, I was told many times that my main purpose in life is to be a mother and a wife. Then one day, I watched amazing female-led movies, strong ambitious female protagonists, and helped me believe in myself, it helped me to realize that my gender does not lessen my abilities and my power. And that is exactly what kind of impact I want to have on young girls and boys through my films. I truly believe movies have that power. Read more>>

Gregg Chadwick | Artist

Arrivals & Departures I’m listening to Chuck Brown and the Soul Searchers iconic DC Go-Go song “Bustin’ Loose” as I write this, realizing how important my High School years in the Washington DC Metro area were to my personal and artistic growth. My weekdays were spent in school in Fairfax County, Virginia and my weekends and summers were often spent at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC. After art class, I would head out to the museums, which DC locals still call the galleries, to wade into the vast history of art, science, and politics. I was in the National Gallery of Art often enough that the guards began to recognize me and we would chat about the art on display. The guards knew how to take time to really look at a painting and would gently quiz me on what I saw. Read more>>

Alex Cesarini | LGBT Small Business Owner & Candle Aficionado

I was born and raised in Eastchester, New York, which is part of Westchester County. My brothers and I watched our parents worked multiple jobs and take every opportunity to give us the best life they could. Eastchester is a tight knit community, and we consider many of our neighbors to be family. I’ve carried the lessons my parents taught me into my adult life, and like to think of the small team working on Sociale as an extension of my family. Investing in these relationships has always paid off for me. Read more>>

Stephen Holman | Artist & Animation Director

I was born in Hastings, England and came to the US when I was 21, on a crazy two-week trip to show my films in NY underground clubs. I never went back to the UK, and so, many years later, there’s a part of me that feels that I’m still on that trip – still an adventurer in a foreign land. I think that’s what allows me to pursue my creative goals with a spirit of exploration and fearlessness, that I might otherwise not have had. I feel that my English cultural influences – the humor, quirkiness, irreverence (I grew up in the original punk music era) – have now blended with the American sense of energy and endless possibility, and have jointly influenced what I’ve managed to do in my career. Read more>>

Apoorva Gaitonde | Storyboard Artist

I’m originally from a beautiful beach state called Goa in India. I come from a family of engineers and doctors. I have been passionate about drawing and dance ever since I was a child. So my mum got me enrolled into classes that I would take after school. It was there that I discovered my first love for drawing. There wasn’t a lot of exposure in the field of animation where I grew up, and most of my peers were taking up art more as a hobby than a career option. Just like the others, I also planned to go the traditional route, and pursue art on the side. However, I watched Finding Nemo when I was 16, and fell in love with how the underwater world was designed in that movie. By that time I had also realized that animation could potentially be a career option. I then pursued an undergraduate degree in animation at an art school in India, and that was my foray into this field. Read more>>

Andrea Lwin | Actor & Writer

Growing up as a second generation Chinese American in Plantation, Florida, I faced many challenges being a minority and it was a rollercoaster of emotions and reactions. Looking back, every instance was a gift. I learned that each individual has a viewpoint shaped by their upbringing and surroundings. It gave me the capability to see many sides to every argument. I’m drawn to how that creates the middle ground, the gray area, the ambiguity. It’s in the nuances that reveal the gold. The dark comedy genre excites me the most. Personally, it was a survival mechanism to put a comedic twist on dramatic events so it’s become an inherent ability in my work. I do find comedy to be a pathway in opening people up to understand stories in a visceral way. I’m thrilled by stories that can challenge or strengthen one’s belief system versus telling them what they should believe in. That is not my responsibility. I’m more interested in revealing a story in an unbiased way and letting the viewer do the rest – I can be a good fire starter. I approach every project with a desire to lead with empathy, respect and inclusion. Read more>>

Abigail E. Penner | Illustrator

I grew up in a very small town in Nebraska. It was a bitter, bitter place. Growing up, my family and I would often take road trips to Los Angeles–where my parents lived before moving us to Nebraska–and Omaha, where my grandparents and cousins live. I remember these cities so fondly; I think because of the cold hand of the town I grew up in. Looking back, Los Angeles and Omaha in all their grit still hold a gentleness. Neligh is a city of people who aren’t very kind. My whole family sticks out like a sore thumb. My dad, an illustrator and storyboard artist, passed on his artistic passion to my siblings and me. My mom, a poetic beam of light, passed on her boldness and resilience. Together, they raised my two brothers, my sister, and me to be exactly who we are. Read more>>

Satya Reyes | Esthetician & Energetic healer/Spiritual Teacher

I grew up on 5 acres in Michigan, surrounded by nature. I wish I would’ve understood then how important it is to have a connection to nature and in fact that I indeed AM nature, but then in that case, I may have never left to venture to Los Angeles. My first and everlasting love is the trees, water and all the animals in my life, whether the deer stopping at the salt lick on their way through my childhood yard, the majestic red cardinals, or the MANY animals we kept as family over the years. I’ve always loved all things natural and also found my connection to spirit there. So it makes sense to me that I would gravitate toward a career that embraces both nature and spirit with clean and natural skin care as well as offering energetic and spiritual support. Read more>>

Dan Olivo | Actor/Crooner/Bandleader/Jazz Booking

I am an entertainer who is born, raised and is based in Los Angeles. I am an actor, jazz crooner, bandleader and music booking agent. As an actor, I began performing in various plays with my parents Rocco and Maria Olivo who in 1972 founded The Italian Theater of Arts in Los Angeles. Since then I have worked as an actor in film, television, theater and radio. As singer and bandleader I have performed at various public and private venues all over Southern California and have been asked to perform on radio stations including The Fabulous 570 am and Martini in the Morning with Brad ‘Martini’ Chambers. I studied acting with one of the most prestigious acting teachers Milton Katsales at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. My acting career includes playing the role of Leno LaBianca in Mary Harron’s (of ‘American Psycho’) latest film ‘Charlie Says’ and have worked opposite Christina Hendrix on NBC’s Good Girls, Zoey Deschanel on FOX’s ‘New Girl’ and ‘Breaking Bad’s’ RJ Mitte in the independent feature ‘Who’s Driving Doug’? I love singing songs made popular by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Buble’ from The Great American Songbook. Read more>>

Ivan Quintanilla | Actor & Freelance Travel Writer

I was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States at the age of 7. Growing up in Miami, a multi-cultural identity was the norm not the exception. And I will be forever grateful for it! During college, a year in London cemented my attraction to diverse, urban centers, and naturally led me to New York City upon graduation. I don’t always succeed, but I consciously try to celebrate the uniqueness of each person or place. As a travel writer, I strive to learn about every new place, person, and culture and, in the process, discover a little more about myself with every trip. Curiosity has been a guiding force in my life–even if I’ve had to recalibrate and remind myself to “stay curious” during this pandemic. Read more>>

Max Harris | DJ & Producer

I’m from a small town in Maine where everybody knows each other. Growing up in a small town taught me the most important lesson of life – be nice to your neighbors. This lesson has proved to be a pivotal aspect of my life, helping lead me towards making the right decisions and helping others in any way I can. From a young age I was exposed to all sorts of music with my dad and brother playing in a variety of bands. I owe it to them for my passion in creating music. I’m also very lucky to have been brought up with so much support from my parents and my community. Without their support, I don’t think I would be where I am. Read more>>

Stephanie Mackamul | Mobile Airbrush Tanning Artist

My husband and I were both raised in Simi Valley, California where we still live today. When I was younger my mom worked a corporate job, and my father was self-employed. Seeing the difference in these career paths played a major role in me starting this business. My dad was able to be there quick when I was sick and we could camp in the middle of the week during summer break because he made his own schedule, and the closer I got to having my own children I knew being gone for a 9-5 job wasn’t the role for me, I wanted flexibility. I love working, I thrive during the busiest season for tanning but I also love the idea of being a stay-at-home mom and working for myself allows me to do both. Things like spending extra weeks with my newborn, taking a weekday off to take my daughter to a play date, or picking my toddler up from preschool in the middle of the day weren’t possible from my previous corporate job. Read more>>

Cristina McCarter | Foodpreneur

I’m born and raised in Memphis, TN. I was raised by a young single Virgo mother who taught me independence and she never let her fears interfere with my dreams. Memphis is filled with so much creative talent and hustle. When I began embracing the city and its culture my eyes were opened to so many new possibilities. Read more>>

Zuehre Bahran | Artist/Reality Personality

I was born and raised in south Germany in a small town called Albstadt. My parents are both originally from Turkey, so growing up, I experienced both cultures and also speak both languages. I have two wonderful sisters and I was the middle child, which definitely impacted me and taught me how to be strong and stand out at a young age. Also, at a very young age I already knew my big dream was to move to Los Angeles and make it huge in the entertainment industry. I wanted to live up to my name, Zühre, which translates to Venus, and is the brightest object in the sky, other than the moon. My childhood was traumatic. I grew up in a very traditional Turkish, male-dominated household. Me and my sisters witnessed domestic violence towards my mother on a regular basis. Thank God my Mother is a very strong woman and she decided to stop this nightmare and run away with us kids. We ended up hiding from my dad in a woman’s shelter for 6 months. Read more>>

Preeta | Singer/Songwriter

I was raised on the beautiful island of Kauai, surrounded by nature. Whether I was playing in the ocean, hiking in the mountains or weeding in our family garden, being outside influenced me to appreciate the authenticity and realness of life. I did all the extra curricular activities that a burgeoning singer/performer could do; voice, guitar, piano, songwriting and dance lessons. But in the end of the day, I always gravitated back to being in nature as much as I possibly could.bYears later after moving to L.A., my manager knighted me with the name ‘Earth Nugget.’ 😉 Kauai, in all her glory has influenced my music, lyrics and who I am more than anything else. I write about the ups and downs of life, the rawness of the human condition and what it’s like to have a mind that is always searching for more meaning. And when I feel like I’ve forgotten and have no where else to turn, I go back into the wild… and remember. Read more>>


Matthew Marino | Songwriter + Producer

I was born in NYC and moved to FL when I was 11, I always had a deep love for music and started messing around with it around the age of 8 and kept going until I was in middle / high school and always played in different bands. When I started learning more about songwriters & producers I moved right out to LA and got to work. Read more>>

Ayman Samman | Producer/Content Creator

I am originally from Egypt. Growing up in a developing country taught me to appreciate the simple things in life. Like family and their love, friends, genuine connections, a cool breeze a flower. After coming to America and experiencing material comforts and the stresses that come along with it and having that type of upbringing allows me to enjoy and appreciate everything that America has to offer. Read more>>

Sashaaa Official | Caribbean Pop Singer & Songwriter, Actress , Dancer

I’m a Haitian girl born and raised in Miami, Fl and partially raised on my native island, Haiti. I start by establishing my roots whenever I introduce myself as it plays a huge part of my identity. I owe my resilience, my values, my faith to my culture. If anyone knows anything about Haitians is that we where wear our history proudly on our sleeve. My up bringing was quite hostile as I lived in an environment saturated with violence and crime. I am very blessed to not be a statistic to not be a product of my environment. It only made me stronger. I am proud of making it out of a struggle because that build my character it gave me strength. It’s not about where you come from but about where your going and all the glory belongs to God. Read more>

Param Bhattacharyya | Alternative Comic Artist and Art Teacher

I was born in Kalyani, India and my family moved to the United States when I was about a year and a half old. I grew up mostly in New York and New Jersey. There are a lot of major things that impacted who I am today and I can’t list them all, so I think it’ll be better if I focus on the major impacts. One of the first was when I was about 12 or 13. I used to take computer paper from my dad’s office and I would use it to start making my own comics. I remember listening to Pearl Jam on the radio, drawing comics, and thinking to myself, “I think I could do this forever.” I found something powerful that motivated me at an early age, so I had an intense sense of purpose from a very early age. Read more>>

Sean Webb | Educator and #CommunityGuy

I was born in the small town of Newark, New York. I lived there till I moved to Buffalo, New York for college in fall 1996. Throughout my childhood, I was fortunate to watch my father serve the community. For the most part he chaired/participated in various fundraisers to pay for needs in the community. His givingness ranged from chairing golf tournaments for the local community center to serving as the chairman of the Newark Community Hospital as well as the local Country Club for a couple of years. My dad taught me a bunch of things, more than I can list, but a couple that stand out to me, relationships, relationships, relationships, and to never burn any bridge. Read more>>

Jahmal Holland | Filmmaker (Writer/Director) & Songwriter

I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. The city is very diverse, positioned as it is along the Pacific Rim with its Golden Gate symbolically providing an inviting welcome. My mother was member of the Black Panthers, having joined in as a teenager, and she instilled in all of her children a sense of love and pride in our cultural heritage. She considers Civil Rights to be Human Rights and she raised us with that point of view. She also taught us to value and appreciate different cultures, and that each culture is uniquely beautiful. San Francisco being so densely populated, provided the opportunity for a multicultural experience. The close proximity to so much diversity taught us respect and appreciation for diversity. All of this marked me deeply and all of my work in film seeks to highlight and celebrate different cultural experiences. Being raised by an activist in such a culturally and ethnically diverse city provided the foundation. Read more>>