Defend what you love.
Our esteemed Council is made up of a small team of talentful professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love what we do, and we do what we love. To join our Council reach out to us.
Each member embodies one of the seven directions as a cultural practice. North, South, East, West, Above, Below, and Center.
Mayo Buenafe-Ze (she/they/siya)
Decolonial Culture Curator, West
Interdependent Cultural Scholar; Community Consultant on Intersectionality and Decolonization, Intergenerational Community-Based Mentor
Mayo is a bilingual immigrant, genderqueer, multi-ethnic Indigenous Filipinx (Ifugao, Itneg, Tagalog, Ilukung, Fujian Chinese) who has lived most of her life between the ‘Philippines’ and ‘California’. She is a scholar, educator, researcher, mentor, facilitator, community organizer, food and cultural events experience curator, and community consultant.
Mayo has used their foundations as an academic scholar of Cultural Anthropology to not only become a professor-educator and researcher for over 15 years, siya has also been an active community organizer for programs which focus on empowering transitional age youth (13-24 years old) through roles such as program director, supervisor, and facilitator. They are also an experience-curator for food and cultural events, has worked in various sectors of the food business/industry, campaigns for Environmental and Climate Justice, and collaborates with community-based organizations which advocate for youth leadership and development. With specializations in Indigenous knowledge systems and practices, international human rights and diversity, food and water sovereignty, Mayo’s teaching and research philosophy is centered on decolonization and indigeneity, intersectional social justice, and grassroots community movements focused on collective liberation. Their aim is to decolonize education and research by centering Indigenous knowledge systems and practices, and supporting youth leadership and development through intergenerational community-based mentorship.
Researcher & Jelly Of All Trades, Below
yasmine is a genderqueer, disabled, person of mixed heritage with immigrant parents from Ireland and Egypt. They are based in Tkaronto (so-called Toronto, Canada), a name from the Mohawk language meaning “the place in the water where the trees are standing.” They have been working and learning through community-based education, art, activism, and food-growing since 2015, playing roles that range from running workshops on the joys of failure to prepping soil for planting garlic. In May 2023, yasmine begins an Art Therapy program to deepen their capacity to share knowledge and provide support in community as we move toward uncertain futures together. In all their work, yasmine tries to center those whose oppression has benefited them, primarily through listening to what is being asked of settlers and allies, and showing up accordingly. They are an unwavering advocate for Status for All, Land Back, and the abolition of police, prisons, and capitalism. As an educator, it’s important to them to connect with and encourage disabled, queer, and genderqueer youth of culture and to offer learnings that I wish I had received earlier in life (Perfectionism is a tool of white supremacy! Celebrate saying and receiving a ‘no’! You have the ability to grow a pepper!).
Their hobbies include finding sunbeams to bask in on cold days and bodies of water to swim in on hot days. Yasmine tries out every art-form they can, and values collaborative creation above all, especially through improvisational music and soundbaths. A near-future goal of theirs is to create opportunities for musical collaboration with others, specifically in ways that increase accessibility and diversity of the local music scene that I am fortunate to be a part of.