COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT & AFFILIATIONS
York LGBT Center - Equality Fest, President
York YWCA Racial Justice Committee, Education Chair
York YWCA Advocacy Committee
Interfaith Justice Coalition, Steering Committee
Nathaniel Gadsden's Writers Wordshop Advisory Board
Social justice poet-activist Carla Christopher was the 4th Poet Laureate of York, Pennsylvania, She is the award-winning and multiply published author of a poetic memoir, 2 children's books, and 3 collections of poetry, including the most recent, Strength, from New York Quarterly Press. She has also released a solo spoken word album, an electronic fusion album with Soul Thief, and has been featured as a poet and vocalist on multiple recording projects. A widely lauded community advocate with a background in case management, Carla is a frequent speaker and trainer/educator around issues of diversity, culture, and inclusion., working with police departments, nonprofits, faith communities and more. A student at United Lutheran Seminary - Gettysburg, Carla uses the priestess, the warrior, and the poet to empower and inspire her community in creative and interactive ways. More about her can be found at carlachristopher.com.
Poet-Actvist, Carla Christopher, is a former Poet Laureate of York, Pennsylvania (2011 – 2013) and was the 2014 Arts and Cultural Community Liaison for the City of York. Carla studied psychology, education, and creative writing at Columbia University in the City of New York and spent years as an educator and case manager in domestic violence shelters, state prison systems, and school districts before connecting her belief in the power of the written and spoken word with her passion for activism.
Carla has twice received the key to the city for her community empowerment and education initiatives, which range from founding Equality Fest, a multi-thousand attendee festival in celebration of LGBTQA Marriage Equality, to creating a retailer cultural competency training model for urban renewal business districts. She has been the force behind regional campaigns and activism training curriculum for groups like Food and Water Watch, Put People First - PA, the Y.W.C.A. of York County and several political campaigns. She has designed diversity programming for multiple school districts, businesses, and libraries, and has been a keynote speaker, featured performer and workshop facilitator for dozens of organizations, nonprofits, and educational institutions around the globe, from Rutgers, Penn State, and Northern Arizona University to organizations in Kosovo, Albania, Flint, Chicago, Baltimore, Phoenix and Philadelphia in the last few years alone.
Carla is currently the co-director of Community Arts Ink Press & Promotion, host of the cultural showcase, Culture & Main, on WRCT, and is widely published, including three collections of poetry, Song (Columbia University Press, 2000), Baby, Read Me Something with Rhythm (PoemSugar Press, 2011), Strength (New York Quarterly Press, 2018) and a poetic memoir, Fruit of the Darkest Tree (Community Arts Ink, 2017). She also currently performs with the Poetry/Funk Fusion Band, Groove Ink, and released the EP Of Water Born with the ensemble Poetic Voices in 2015, and the full-length recorded collection, Poetry from the Ashes with Soul Thief Collective in 2017. She is current;y pursuing her Masters of Divinity at United Lutheran Seminary - Gettysburg.
More about her can be found at carlachristopher.com and communityartsink.org.
"Poetry falls naturally from Carla's lips and flows from her pen to paper. She infuses language with power and beauty. Her poetry is spontaneous, open, evocative; her performances of poetry are joyous and charismatic. She has strongly promoted poetry, music and visual arts through every available method of communication in South Central PA, offering many opportunities for expression to novices and accomplished artists."
Carol Clark-Williams, Poet Laureate Emeritus of York