Matthew is a celebrated poet/spoken-word artist and educator from Jacksonville, Florida. Matthew has over 10 years of teaching and mentoring experience in schools and youth detention facilities, including the past three as a program director and lead teaching artist with Street Poets. In addition to being a two-time winner of the Southern Fried Poetry Slam Competition, Matthew served as the co-coach of the Get Lit-Words Ignite Youth Slam Team and the Hollywood (Da Poetry Lounge) Adult Slam Team, a finalist in the 2017 National Poetry Slam. Matthew has traveled around the world, from Duval to Abu Dhabi, performing and teaching poetry, and coaching slam teams to great success. He has opened for artists such as Wu-Tang Clan, and has been featured on a wide range of live stages and platforms from KPFK radio to BuzzFeed.
Recently retired as a Partner and Portfolio Manager in the London office of Capital International Investors (a division of LA-based Capital Group Companies), where he worked for 28 years. He is active with the Center for Action and Contemplation’s Living School, and also Camino Nuevo Charter Academy where he chairs the college scholarships committee. Ric is Mexican-American and fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.
Senior Producer/Composer and multi-faceted musician (violin/viola) at New Math Music, Jake manages the bi-coastal music/sound company’s West Coast office, which has served as a “creative vacation home” and workspace for musically-inclined Street Poets youth over the past year. Jake also provides mixing and production support for the Street Poets Podcast and album projects. As a violinist, Jake has performed with the likes of Adele, Kanye West, Lauryn Hill and Mariah Carey among others.
Rob Perrin retired from the international law firm Latham & Watkins LLP in 2020, after a 23-year career, including 12 years as Chair of the firm’s Los Angeles Litigation & Trial Department. Rob has been a member of the Street Poets board since 2010. He is additionally the Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Committee of PEN America, and a member of the Board of Visitors of the UCLA Department of English.
Don Flood is a veteran photographer specializing in celebrity portraiture and beauty advertising. He also is founder and creative director of FliePaper, a photo-based wallpaper line that’s included in the permanent collection of the Cooper Hewitt/Smithsonian Design Museum. He is a huge advocate of architectural preservation and is active in the architecture & design community near his home in Rancho Mirage, CA.
Rona serves as the Chief Marketing Officer at Cashmere Agency, a “Culture Agency” providing strategic marketing/PR/branding consulting for a wide-range of entertainment/media companies and artists.
A recording/performing artist, writer, facilitator, educator and former Street Poets Program Director, Chirag now serves as a Principal with the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consulting firm Third Settlements, while continuing to record and release music under the name Chee Malabar.
Julie is an attorney and founding partner of Young, Zinn, Pazzani & Sandhu LLP, a boutique employment litigation firm. Julie has served on the Street Poets board since 2014.
An associate professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University, Chenjerai is also a Peabody Award-winning podcast producer (Uncivil) and community activist. At the turn of the century, he was a member of the rap group The Spooks on Epic Records, and later served as the associate director of Street Poets where he launched our recording studio and produced our first compilation album.
Despite his best efforts, Sean learned a lot about the shoe business at great brands like Nike, ASICS, and Vans. Later, he struck out on his own helping to build companies like TOMS, and now COMUNITYmade who are manufacturing great designs locally while serving the community. Sean believes that there are very few valid excuses not to be happy and he rides his bike almost everywhere.
Susannah is a screenwriter/producer/director. Her credits include such projects as Netflix’s Unbelievable, HBO’s Confirmation, Ever After, and Erin Brockovich.
Alison is a tv writer/producer and playwright. She has extensive experience as a community organizer and served for many years on the staff of Street Poets, where she facilitated a writing program for teen mothers.
Travis is a licensed psychologist and an Associate Professor at the University of Denver where he is co-director of the International Disaster Psychology: Trauma and Global Mental Health graduate program as well as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the Graduate School of Professional Psychology.
A founding member of Street Poets’ first performance group in the late 90s, Taylor later served as a teaching artist with the organization, returning to many of the same juvenile probation facilities that once housed him as a youth to mentor and facilitate writing workshops for our next generation of Street Poets. He is currently in the process of finishing up his college studies and professional certifications in Computer Science/Information Technology (specializing in Cyber Security).
Our board chair, Nick is a product design engineer in the consumer electronics industry and currently works at Snap Inc. on camera development. He helped to start SnapNoir which provides a forum for fostering cultural understanding, diversity, and professional development for people of the African diaspora at Snap and in the community.