Araceli Amalia Montaño is a native South Side Tucsonan, born and raised under dry, desert heat. She grew up with her two older brothers, infamously making her mama’s little girl. She began writing after her brother passed away in the Fall of 2010 as an outlet to cope and heal her heavy heart. From Sunnyside High School to the University of Arizona, Araceli will become the first in her family to graduate college this May. Through her work with Spoken Futures, she learned how to teach, facilitate and be an organizer/activist for her community. She also co-founded Outspoken! a social justice arts program of the Common Ground Alliance in the Cultural and Resource Centers at the UA. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies: Emphasis on Human Rights, Migration, and Social Movements from the University of Arizona (with two minors, Japanese and eSociety, while working part time at Target and running two organizations on the side). This book wasn’t named Hustlin’ Hermanas for nothing.

Alexia Vazquez is a queer, undocumented and biracial poet, student and video game enthusiast. She was born in Sonora, Mexico to parents of Mexican and Chinese descent. She began reading and writing in Spanish at an early age and then in English when she moved to the US in the 3rd grade. As a student at Sunnyside High School, she began attending and later slamming at the Tucson Youth Poetry Slam. She was one of the team who performed at Brave New Voices in San Francisco, always receiving high praise for her incredible work. Since then she has become a leader at Spoken Futures, organizing new events, planning TYPS monthly, and thinking of ways to give youth a safe space to speak up about the issues that matter to them. She is currently studying at Pima Community College and is hoping to transfer to the University of Arizona where she will graduate with a degree in computer science. She is very proud that she performed a spoken word poem to the PCC Board of Governors meeting in 2013 asking for in-state tuition for DACA students which was granted at that historic moment.

They recently co-published their first chapbook “Hustlin’ Hermanas” with Spoken Futures Press.