Co-Director 

MICHAEL REYES


 

Reyes is a curator and co-founder of We Are Culture Creators (WACC), a youth program and entertainment collective based in Detroit Mi. Additionally as a poet Reyes performs internationally and facilitates educational performances and workshops by merging creative expression and critical thought. His work has been featured on HBO, CNN, PBS, The Chicago Tribunes Hoy Noticias, Latin Nation, Chicago Public Radio, National Public Radio, Pacifica, WBAI, and Democracy Now. As an interdisciplinary artist he has worked with national activist, organizers, educators and artists such as: Dr. Cornel West, Dolores Huerta, Oliver Stone,and Kanye West, to name a few.

Native American Outreach Coordinator 

RAYMON “SOUFY” ELWART JR.


 

An often overlooked population, the Native American community of Detroit is alive and well in the vision of We Are Culture Creators. Our latest organizer Raymond “Soufy” Elwart is an Ishnaba native. His contributions helped us organize Michigan’s first Native Festival and amplify the voices of Natives in our region.  Beyond the festival he is busy teaching and recruiting other young Native artists and creatives from across the region. 

 

Musically he has a very versatile approach, his music reflects on his life , upbringing, tales from the inner city with a very competitive raw hip hop energy. His latest release “The Ogitchidaa Project” a 13 track album produced by Native keyz  unleashes on topics such as police brutality, racism, cultural identity, alcohol abuse & more. Album Available On All Digital Platforms. 

Latinx Organizer

EMANUEL JUAREZ

 

Emanuel Juarez  also known as Ejay, is our LatinX coordinator. A southwest Detroit native and fully bilingual organizer, his work focuses on the rich Spanish speaking population of Detroit. He is responsible for Somos Culture Creators and connects resources, opportunities and information with the often overlooked LantinX community. Some of his main responsibilities are coordinating Hispanic Heritage Month activations, organizing the Cinco De Mayo Block Party, and recruiting Spanish speaking youth to We Are Culture Creators.

Co-Director

ELIZABETH STONE

 

An entrepreneur, artist, builder and visionary, Elizabeth Stone is a Detroiter focused on building sustainable community projects and programs that empower and encourage self actualization. She received her Business Degree in Global Supply Chain Management from Wayne State University and applied her degree right out of college and spent over 5 years in corporate where she managed millions of dollars worth of products across the country she soon realized the corporate world was no longer fulfilling and made the jump as a full time entrepreneur and artist to pursue her passion, of engaging and developing people as entrepreneurial thinkers and doers.

Financial Educator 

FLOR RIVERA HERNANDEZ


20 years old and was born and raised in Southwest Detroit. She is currently the Financial Educator and Sponsorship Coordinator for We Are Culture Creators. She has been a volunteer for the past 3 years and recently joined as part time staff. We are very excited about transitioning her from being a youth participant to a staff member. Flor is also bilingual and a first generation from Immigrant parents. She knows firsthand the damaging effects of lack of knowledge in financial literacy/education and the painful results of immigration policies. Therefore, she has made it her mission to teach financial literacy to our community and bring awareness to immigrant rights. She truly believes with this role we will bring about amazing opportunities for our community members.

PROJECT MANAGER

ANDRE REED

 

Andre is a 22 year old artist hailing from Detroit, Michigan. He attended Michigan State University in 2016, and later earned his Bachelor’s degree in Advertising Creative. In those four years, he became a brother of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., a member of Rising Black Men, a member of the MSU Slam Team, and the President of Black Poet Society.

On campus, he has performed at the Black Student Alliance’s Black Power Rally in 2017 and 2018. He won the award for Most Inspirational Performance Art at the MSU Social Justice Art Festival in 2019.  He was a speaker for Failure Lab, featured in the Lansing State Journal, Michigan Chronicle, and self published his first poetry chapbook "Oh Sweet Melancholy" in 2019, and "Bloom" in 2020. He currently works as the Project Manager for We Are Culture Creators. He manages multiple events, activations and workshops throughout the year.

STAFF/ TEAM

BOARD MEMBERS

DAVIN STONE 

 

Davin is a retired firefighter and the resident “Dad” of We Are Culture Creators. Also known as ‘Coach” his rich and vast knowledge of Jazz history and especially Detroit Jazz music makes him an invaluable resource for the Culture Creators house.  Beyond music, Coach’s skills from cooking to building make him a treasure trove of lessons. Coach can be found in a board meeting or working in the culture house making improvements.

MARTHA FRANCES

 

Miss Frances has been an educator for over a decade in the city of Detroit. As a teacher in the Detroit public school system she has reached thousands of young people across generations. Beyond being a key educator in the city her son is also an active participant in We Are Culture Creators. She serves as our parent board member and can speak to parent concerns. Her expertise with both young people and her role as a teacher offers a wealth of knowledge when dealing with parent and youth relationships. 

RICHARD SPECK 

 

Richard Speck is the Detroit Smart Justice Field Organizer for the ACLU of Michigan, which is committed to eliminating racism in the criminal justice system and cutting incarceration in half. To do that work, the A CLU beliences it is critical to hire people impacted by the system, Richard is just that person. He was incarcerated for about 15 years in federal and state prisons and knows firsthand ways the criminal justice system can be reformed.

 

Richard serves as a mentor and advocate for criminal justice within We Are Culture Creators. He’s able to provide a perspective to the youth that encourages them to be progessive and avoid becoming a part of the prison industrial complex. His organization provides conflict resolution workshops.

MARVIN SUAVE ATIKINS

The 21 year old from Southwest Detroit, started breaking when he was 15, but rhythm and dance have always been in his blood. His smooth, yet calculated style has earned him the title of Michigan’s #1 breaker in his age bracket. As a member of the collective Culture Boyz he has toured and performed at both the national and local level. 

 

He co-manages the Culture Creators House including the studio spaces and workstations. And on a monthly basis makes sure the youth collective is meeting and advisoning the larger W.A.C.C. vision.

IMANI NICHELE 

 

Imani Nichele is a poet , performer, and teaching artist from Detroit. She is a Room Project fellow, and the 2018 Detroit Youth Poet Laureate. She was also a member of the National 2018 Detroit Youth Poetry Slam Team which competed at Brave New Voices. Her work has been featured by the Heidelberg Project, Fox Sports, the Detroit Institute of Arts and she has presented with the Ford Motor Company.

 

Imani’s work is often apt yet challenging , she creates dark, reflective allegories and whimsical dream sequences on the same page. At the core of our work is our participants, Imani assures that the youth collective voices are heard and their concerns are addressed.