#1 Theresa Ronquillo

In Theresa's own words, she says, "I am Filipina American. Daughter of immigrants. Born in Detroit. Lived in the Midwest until age 30. Twelve year stint in the Pacific NW. Currently live in the South. Unmoored. Parent. Partner. PhD. Writer. Social Worker. Teacher. Learner. Theatre of the Oppressed practitioner. Privileged. Marginalized. Full of contradictions. I am a storyteller. I enjoy telling stories about my complex identities and intersectionalities--shaped by space, place, and time." 

But according to her nominator, Amanda Hall, Theresa is a bonafide badass and so 

much more. She says, "(Theresa) is a champion, an advocate, an activist. Her writing is raw andunfiltered, yet articulated with such compassion and genuine emotion (for herself and others). After reading her work, or sharing a conversation, you are left with a need to self-reflect on your own identity, look at those around you with more honesty and less judgement, and find the courage to address your own insecurities and biases while also learning to be more accepting and loving of yourself. Theresa is REAL!"

Theresa is currently the Associate Director of Richmond Story House, a non-profit dedicated to providing a space for the sharing of stories to promote equity, healing, acceptance, and love. In this role, she hosts several writing workshops, including drop-in free writes for Asian Americans and Writers of Color, sessions at the Richmond City Justice Center and Women's Prison, and centers for the aging and elderly. 

Amanda adds, "As a social worker and community-based researcher, Theresa also hosts community and academic workshops focused on Theater of the Oppressed, Photovoice as a Pedagogical Tool, and Arts-based Reflection. She is a mentor, a scholar, and a community member. She is fiercely devoted to her family and is a loyal friend."

We encourage our readers to check out Richmond Story House​, whether that means reading about their incredible mobile workshops to try to introduce similar programming in your own communities, dropping in for a workshop if you are local to the Richmond community, or responding to their current call for stories related to COVID-19. Thank you, Theresa, for devoting your talents to making the writing community stronger and more inclusive. -LC