2021 SPEAKER SERIES
April 1st 2021 6:30 p.m. Location: Facebook Live
Jade Phoenix is A fierce story and truth teller, a vulnerable yet dynamic performance poet and actress, an informative and engaging cultural producer of film and media, and activist that uses her platform and art to shift the conversations and dialogue, around trans women/femme and gender non conforming people of color in the arts, academia, and film.
Here is a link to her film "How To Make A Rainbow"
Golden Crown Literary Society
March 25th, 2021 6:30 p.m. Location: Facebook Live
Two speakers from the organization will be joining us! Ann Roberts, Executive Director and Maria Pena, Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Ann Roberts currently serves as the Interim Executive Director for the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS). Previously, she sat on the Board of Directors as the Director of Organization for five years, acting as the Chair and meeting facilitator. Since Ann spent 10 years as a school principal, she was accustomed to wrangling highly intelligent, vocal people and leading them toward a decision. She is grateful to GCLS for connecting her to the wider literary community and the dynamic, wonderful women who serve on the board with her.
She spent her professional life working in public education, first as a high school English teacher and then as a school administrator. During any given day, she would juggle eight or nine tasks at the same time as well as wrangle highly intelligent and very vocal people—much like the GCLS Board. Ann retired from public education in 2016 and now devotes her days to writing her novels, editing the novels of other writers, and coaching authors.
For the past few years Ann has served as the Scheduling Chair for the Annual Conference, working with the Scheduling Committee and the Board to create quality programming as membership and conference attendance increases. She also acts as a mentor and guest instructor for the Writing Academy.
When not working for GCLS, Ann devotes her time to her own writing, as well as editing and coaching new authors. She has written twenty novels, and is thrilled for book #21, The Convincing Hour, her first YA novel due out in September. A three-time Lambda Literary finalist and Goldie winner, Ann received the Alice B. Medal in 2014 for her body of work. She can be reached through her website, annroberts.net.
Maria Peña has been a member of the Golden Crown Literary Society since 2016 and has volunteered
for the organization ever since serving as a Director of Membership and on several committees.
Maria is currently the Awards Liaison and Director of Diversity and Inclusion where she strives to ensure that the
GCLS remains a safe-haven, voice, resource, and welcomer of all readers, authors, publishers, editors,
narrators, creative talent, and allies of women-loving-women literature.
Living in Illinois, Maria is university nursing faculty by day and an avid kitchen disco dancer by night. Her
furry feline audience members are only mildly amused by this, though her wife seems to be a fan.
She served in the U.S. Navy as a surgical technologist prior to obtaining her Master of Science Degree in
Nursing from DePaul University in Chicago. Maria’s short story, “Or Forever Hold Her Peace,” was
published by Brisk Press in the 2018 anthology, Written Dreams, under her pen name Maria Y. Maxwell.
February 11th, 2021 6:30 p.m. Location: Facebook Live
Pride Center DSM President, Diana Prince, was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. Prior to a life in banking and finance, Diana used to teach High School Social Studies. After going back to school in 2008, Diana began a passion for numbers calling herself the nerdy kid, and began a new career
in banking. Over the next few years, Diana has worked in the mortgage and banking industry. Outside of the “nerdy kid” work, Diana is a Huge Wonder Woman fan, and likes playing golf in her spare time. In 2015, Diana rode in the Tour De Ladies, which is a 62.5 mile ride (metric century) and Venus De Miles which is a 100 mile ride in the Longmont/Boulder Area. In 2019, Diana was asked to join the Des Moines Pride Center and in July 2020, became the President of the Pride Center.
January 21st, 2021 6:30 p.m. Location: Facebook Live
Goddess(they/them/theirs) is the Proud MoMo of Sun Seed Community; a platform for the practice of collective healing. The intention of SSC is to feel into and sit with emotional, mental, and physical trauma while acknowledging whiteness, cis-heteronormativity, and patriarchy through their podcast, consulting, body/energy sessions, workshops, and group and individual container building. Creating Goddess’ tools of liberation took a whole community of support and they hope their village's stories can resonate with others.
They graduated from the Healing Arts Institute of Massage in October of 2018 and continue to explore therapeutic and spiritual practices while teaching workshops internationally and practicing body and energy work.
You can usually find them in the "pagan" section of the bookstore, sitting in the back of a concert, caressing crystals at your local metaphysical shop, or binge-watching old sci-fi movies while cooking.