Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, nearly five decades ago, Nia Malika Dixon has been a writer since the day her mother first put a pencil in her hand. Although writing has always been Nia’s passion, her mother’s emphasis on education led Nia to become an elementary school teacher. She taught children for more than twenty years, and raised her own two children along the way. However, Nia’s passion for storytelling could not be quenched. Since 2005, she has written, directed, and produced short form media, web series’, music videos, and short films via her independent production company, Audaz (rhymes with badass) Entertainment, Inc. Nia is currently seeking funding for the feature film, The Trap: “After being raped by a dirty cop, and losing her job, Ameena Willows, a young, Black, Muslim, single-mother in Baltimore, rebels against her religious Imam father, and, to provide for her daughter on her own terms, takes over her cousin’s drug-dealing operation; embracing the violence that comes with the crown.” Nia is also the mother of two college students with special needs, including her son with Autism; and the Youth Coordinator for The Islamic Center of Southern California. Embracing her passion for authentic, inclusive storytelling, Nia founded Audaz Entertainment, Inc. for the distinct purpose of creating quality, compelling, diverse & inclusive, motion pictures for worldwide exhibition.
Leora Ya’Acova Wolf-Prusan is the Director of Community Engagement and Teaching at the Center for Applied Research Solutions (CARS) where she is the field director for SAMHSA’s Now is the Time Initiative ReCAST (Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma) and commits to national work on violence prevention in schools, positive youth development and engagement, and trauma-informed systems change and school practices. She is happiest when involved with anything that relates to being in experiences of difference and discomfort, facilitation, human learning design, training and coaching, and is dedicated to work focused on mental health, wellness, and trauma-informed approaches to education and operates through a framework in which public health, social work, and education intersect. She received a BA in International Relations and a BA in Spanish from the University of California, Davis; a teaching credential from Mills College; and an EdD in educational leadership from the University of California, Los Angeles. A native San Franciscan living in the Los Angeles diaspora, Leora is a doula, trained yoga teacher, avid orange eater, podcast-listener, challah-baker, hosting-maven, and will choose pie over cake any day.