Many writers, who belong to various minority racial and/or ethnic groups, have felt silenced in workshops where their cultural expressions have not been traditionally embraced. In 1999, a group of writers tired of such workshops founded the Voices of our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA).
The foundation hosts the only multi-genre workshop for “writers of color” in the country, VONA/Voices, which welcomes them to express issues of race, ethnicity and diaspora.
The co-founders of the flavor-filled, creative workshop include Dominican-American Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz. He wrote about his difficult M.F.A. workshop experience at “too white” Cornell in the notorious New Yorker article “POC (Person of Color) vs MFA (Master of Fine Arts).”
Victor Diaz, Elmaz Abinader, and Diem Jones were also co-founders. They began the workshop at the University of San Francisco; it then moved to the University of California at Berkeley. Now, VONA/Voices has migrated from the Bay Area after fifteen years to the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences…..Keep reading the article published in miamiartzine.com