Brazilian born, Pittsburgh raised Liana Maneese is an award-winning activist, artist, visionary entrepreneur, and catalyst for new and creative ways to engage. She is an Afro-Brazilian transracial adoptee on a mission to excite folks around the power of personal responsibility, knowledge of self, and how that power can be harnessed to change the world.
Adopting Identity: The Exploration of Lies, Luck, and Legitamacy, raises questions about interracial relationships and building emotional resiliency. Through individually challenging ourselves to confront the hard truths of race, privilege, and admission, Liana seeks solutions that other families can use to become stronger.
She is the founder and co-owner of The Good Peoples Group that specializes in creative and cultural problem-solving through identity navigation, constructing and honoring resilience, strategic organizational development, and dynamic team building. Always pushing her own boundaries of self-discovery, her story motivates and inspires many through speaking, creative projects and her commitment to understanding people, processes, and equity in relationships and business.
Sarah was born and raised in a Pittsburgh suburb and lived in the NYC area for 15 years before returning in Pittsburgh in 2015. She has a degree in Theater Arts from Mount Holyoke College but has most recently been focused on her arts administration skills as the Director of Festival Management at The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. She also serves on the board of Sweetwater Center for the Arts and lives in Sewickley with her family.
Veronica Corpuz is a first generation Filipina American poet and multimedia artist. The former director of the Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, Penn., she has previously served as the program assistant for the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in New York City; as adjunct professor at Naropa University and Chatham University; and as guest speaker and poet at New York University and the Kelly Writers House at University of Pennsylvania. She has co-authored with Michelle Naka Pierce a book-length series of experimental poems exploring gender, sexuality and identity entitled TRI/VIA (Erudite Fangs/PUB LUSH, 2003). She is currently working on a memoir of prose poems about her late husband, Michael Grzymkowski, and his battle with brain cancer. Ms. Corpuz received her BA in English and American Literature with Honors in Creative Writing from Brown University and her MFA from Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She resides in Wilkinsburg, Penn., with her two sons, Nico and AJ, and husband Alex Thomson.