Krip-Hop Nation: featuring Toni Hickman, Keith Jones, Leroy F. Moore Jr., DJ Quad, Wheelchair Sports Camp

Co-presented with the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability

With Dawn-Elissa Fischer, moderator

  • ASL and CART will be provided. For any other access concerns, please email Emily Beitiks at beitiks@sfsu.edu.

One of many events taking place beginning March 2022 in conjunction with the Poetry Coalition, under the collective heading “The future lives in our bodies*: Poetry & Disability Justice,” with thanks to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Ford Foundation for support of Poetry Coalition programming. Dr. Dawn-Elissa Fischer, who writes and consults about popular culture, policy and political activism with a focus on antiracism, social media and education in a global context, will kindly join the program as moderator (more here). 

Krip-Hop Nation is a worldwide association of artists with disabilities. Founded in 2007 by Leroy F. Moore Jr. in Berkeley, California, the Movement campaigns for equality for people with disabilities worldwide with concerts, tours, workshops and much more. In 2020, four Krip-Hop Nation artists received Emmy Award accolades for Outstanding Music Direction on the Paralympic documentary film Rising Phoenix

In addition to Leroy F. Moore Jr. and co-founder Keith Jones, this event presents three other outstanding artists affiliated with Krip-Hop Nation — Toni Hickman, DJ Quad, and Wheelchair Sports Camp — joining in performance and conversation. 

  • "It is important to us to be seen as artists and musicians who do their thing seriously, purposefully and professionally. We want to show, that a person with a disability also has the right to equal opportunities, that nobody has to hide, that a person with a disability can also discover their talents, promote them and live them out and thus be a valuable part of society. According to our understanding of inclusion, this is exactly what this means: that the focus is on people with their skills and abilities, not their disabilities. We do not want pity, we want consideration, equality, respect and recognition to the same extent that every physically and mentally healthy person enjoys them."
    —from the Krip-Hop Nation website


Leroy F. Moore Jr., 2021 Emmy award winner, is founder of Krip-Hop Nation and a newly-announced United States Artists 2022 Fellow. Since the 1990s, Moore has been a key member of Poor Magazine, starting with the column “Illin-N-Chillin” and then as founding member of the magazine’s school, the Homefulness and Decolonize Academy. Moore is also a founding member of the National Black Disability Coalition and an activist around police brutality against people with disabilities, and has started and helped start organizations including Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization and Sins Invalid. His cultural work includes film documentary Where Is Hope, Police Brutality Against People with Disabilities, spoken-word CDs, poetry books and the children’s book Black Disabled Art History 101, published by Xochitl Justice Press.

Keith Jones is the President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences LLC, an organization aimed at bringing a perspective to the issues of access inclusion and empowerment, which affect him as well as others who are persons with and without disabilities. The issues he tackles are wide ranging, from immigration, criminal justice reform, and health care to environmental justice. Paralleling his policy and social justice work, Mr. Jones is a multi-talented artist who along with Leroy Moore and Rob Temple co-founded Krip-Hop Nation, currently celebrating 13 years with the recent Emmy Award winning success of their title song for the Netflix documentary of the Paralympic Games, Rising Phoenix and its acclaimed soundtrack. 

Combining humor, playfulness, radical political perspectives, compassion and undeniable musical chops, Wheelchair Sports Camp is Denver's biggest smallest band. Fronted by the wheelchair using, rap heavy, beat-making, freedom fighting producer, educator, foul mouthed, queer rebel rouser Kalyn, the band is a combination of live and electronic instruments with a more noisy, jazzy, experimental, combination to the traditional hip-hop group. Raised by the DIY (Do It Yourself) spirit of experimental independence, the band has since relied on interdependence in order to stretch into theatre, performance art, public television, politics, prison tours, permanent installations, and more to come. The vinyl release of All Is Wonder will be in print soon. More here.

Jesse DJ Quad Morin is a disabled hip hop artist who became paralyzed at the age of 16 from a diving accident at Venice Beach in July of 1984. Once he started getting into DJing he would practice to perfect his craft, still not having full function of his arms and hands. As a producer/beat maker DJ Quad started a hip hop crew called 5th Battalion, with his best friend Fernando Escobar, that was showcased on the underground hip hop scene all over California. He and Leroy Moore got connected as the Krip-Hop Nation was taking off, and his work is on Krip-Hop Nation CD’s Vol’s 1, 2 and 3, Police Brutality Profiling, and Krip-Hop Nation’s 10 year anniversary album.

Toni Alika Hickman is not only a talented singer-songwriter; she is the survivor of two brain aneurysms and a stroke. Using her voice and music to inspire others, she has been featured on the Deborah Duncan Show, Radio One, featured in Shape magazine and other publications throughout the world. She has spoken at numerous colleges and other organizations on subjects of depression and recovery, physical, mental, and spiritual health, living one’s purpose, chemicals in beauty products, and a host of other subjects. She is a speaker/performer for YoungStroke and the American Heart Association, an author, artist, Certified Naturopath, mother, and activist, and Emmy Award winning artist for her role in the theme song for the Paralympics documentary Rising Phoenix. More at tonihickman.com.

* The line “The future lives in our bodies” is from the poem “Femme Futures” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.

• Poetry Coalition program news at Publishers Weekly

#KripHopNation #DisabilityJustice #PoetryCoalition

Poetry and Environmental Justice, featuring Ed Roberson, Tiffany Higgins, Eli Clare, Lehua M. Taitano

With emcee, Steve Dickison

Presented in conjunction with the Poetry Coalition

Cosponsored by The Poetry Center and the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability, SF State

We welcome people with disabilities and want to do what we can to make this event accessible to you. *** ASL interpretation and Live Captioning will be provided. *** Media captioning will be available after the event at our YouTube channel and at Poetry Center Digital Archive.

Supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Academy of American Poets in support of Poetry Coalition programs

  • ...There are names each thing has for itself,
    and beneath us the other order already moves.
    It is burning.
    It is dreaming.
    It is waking up.
    —Linda Hogan, from "Map"

The Poetry Center, in conjunction with the Poetry Coalition, presents one in a series of programs across the country during March and April around this shared topic. Four poets, whose work is recognized for its address to ideas of justice, to our global climate crisis, and to the effects of colonialism and racial capitalism, read from their work and join in conversation with one another and, time permitting, in response to questions from the audience. Ed Roberson, Tiffany Higgins, Eli Clare, and Lehua M. Taitano will be joined by emcee, Steve Dickison.

Ed Roberson is the author of many books of poetry, including the newly, released Asked What Has Changed (Wesleyan University Press, 2021) and the forthcoming MPH and Other Road Poems (Verge Books, 2021). A former special programs administrator at Rutgers University’s Cook Campus, Roberson has lived in Chicago since 2004 and is an emeritus professor in Northwestern University’s MFA creative writing program. He has also held posts at the University of Chicago, Columbia College, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Cave Canem retreat for black writers. His honors include the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, and the African American Literature and Culture Association’s Stephen Henderson Critics Award. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Roberson has worked as a limnologist’s assistant (conducting research on inland and coastal freshwater systems in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and in Bermuda), as a diver for the Pittsburgh Aquazoo, in an advertising graphics agency, and in the Pittsburgh steel mills.

Tiffany Higgins, a 2022 Fulbright scholar to Brazil’s Amazon, writes on Brazil and the environment. As well as translating from Portuguese, she is the author of two collections of poems, And Aeneas Stares into Her Helmet (2009), selected by Evie Shockley as the winner of the 2008 Carolina Wren Press Poetry Prize, and the long-poem chapbook, The Apparition at Fort Bragg. Her poetry, literary translation from Portuguese, and journalism appear in Granta, Mongabay, Poetry, and elsewhere. She was the 2020 Annie Clark Tanner Fellow in Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah.

Eli Clare. White, disabled, and genderqueer, Eli Clare lives near Lake Champlain in the occupied Abenaki territory (also known as Vermont) where he writes and proudly claims a penchant for rabble-rousing. He has written two books of creative non-fiction, the award-winning Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure (Duke U Press, 2017) and Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation, and a collection of poetry, The Marrow's Telling: Words in Motion, and has been published in many periodicals and anthologies. Eli speaks, teaches, and facilitates all over the United States and Canada at conferences, community events, and colleges about disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice. He is currently a University at Buffalo Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar. Among other pursuits, he has walked across the United States for peace, coordinated a rape prevention program, and helped organize the first-ever Queerness and Disability Conference.

Lehua M. Taitano is a queer CHamoru writer and interdisciplinary artist from Yigu, Guåhan (Guam) and co-founder of Art 25: Art in the Twenty-fifth Century. She is the author of two volumes of poetry—Inside Me an Island and A Bell Made of Stones, and her chapbook, appalachiapacificwon the  Merriam-Frontier Award for short fiction. She has two recent chapbooks of poetry and visual art:  Sonoma and Capacity. Her poetry, essays, and Pushcart Prize-nominated fiction have been published internationally. She is the recipient of a 2019 Eliza So Fellowship and the 2019 Summer Poet-in-Residence at The Poetry Center at The University of Arizona. She has served as an APAture Featured Literary Artist via Kearny Street Workshop, a Kuwentuhan poet via The Poetry Center at SFSU, and as a Culture Lab visual artist and curatorial advisor for the Smithsonian Institute’s Asian Pacific American Center. Taitano’s work investigates modern indigeneity, decolonization, and cultural identity in the context of diaspora. Future Ancestors, Art 25’s collaboration with Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng, was part of AFTER LIFE (we survive), Winter 2021–22 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. More here.