Coya Paz is a writer, director, and lip gloss connoisseur who was raised in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, and the United States. She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies at DePaul University, and the Artistic Director of Free Street Theater in Chicago. Coya holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and was the cofounder of Teatro Luna and Proyecto Latina. She is the weekly commentator on race, politics, and popular culture for Chicago Public Media’s Vocalo.org (91.1), and has published several articles on Latina performance, Latina/o identities, and public violence. Her artistic work has been profiled in The New York Times, American Theater Magazine, Theater Journal, Gozamos, and the Chicago Tribune, among others. She has been a featured reader at dozens of literary events including: Proyecto Latina, Paper Machete, Palabra Pura, and 2nd Story. Above all, she believes in the power of performance and poetry to build community towards social change.