Founder/Chief Creative Strategist
Piper Anderson, is a writer, educator, and Founder/Chief Creative Strategist at CREATE FORWARD. Create Forward is the culmination of Piper’s fifteen years engaged in cultural organizing projects activating creative strategies to end to the mass incarceration/criminalization of communities of color. In 2016, she was awarded a TED Residency. The residency is an incubator for breakthrough ideas. Anderson developed Mass Story Lab a national storytelling project focused on incarceration. Her TED Talk, "Can Stories Create Justice?" documents the role of storytelling in creating transformative social change. www.piperanderson.com
Mass Story Project Coordinator
Marissa Johnson is a poet, activist, and the Project Coordinator of Mass Story Lab. A recent graduate of Simmons College where she majored with honors in Political Science and Sociology, Marissa’s research centers on the impact of mass incarceration on women of color and the intersections between violence against women, racism, and criminalization. She has competed nationally as a spoken word artist, and her work has been published on YouTube, V-Day’s One Billion Rising website, and her personal blog. She is an avid world-traveler and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Creative Associate for Education Content
After completing her BA in Theatre Studies from Emerson College, and upon pursuing a professional acting career in Los Angeles, Anya realized that her true passion lies in using creative expression as a vehicle for social change. During her five years in Los Angeles, she worked in schools and the juvenile justice system teaching theatre, dance, and creative writing. In 2012, Anya earned her MA in Applied Theatre Arts from the University of Southern California, studying the activism and therapeutic techniques of Theatre of the Oppressed. To complete her graduate work, Anya spent time in Rwanda, facilitating workshops exploring the use of theatre for healing in traumatized communities. Most recently, Anya held the position of U.S. Program Director for Move This World, an organization that equips individuals with tools to strengthen their emotional wellbeing. Currently Anya freelances as a trainer/consultant for social justice organizations and as a director/choreographer in NYC.