• The arts and humanities are sacred: traditions that represent humanity’s search for meaning (the humanities) and expression (the arts).
  • The arts and humanities are a right: everyone without exception or constraint should have access to education in the arts and humanities.
  • All are equal, all are one: equality, fairness, and solidarity among all beings.
  • Learning from the past, working for a better tomorrow: we’ve accomplished much, but much is still left to be done.


Andrea Michalowsky

Community Coordinator

As community coordinator, Andrea supports the People’s Colloquium mission with a focus on poetry. In addition to facilitating weekly critique groups, she teaches poetry courses and offers one-on-one editing. She is responsible for building the poetry community and offerings. Her work has received a Vaclav Havel Scholarship from the Prague Writers Program. She has an MFA from Pacific University, and a BA from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars.

Donovan James

Community Coordinator

As community organizer, Donovan James spends part of his fleeting time upon this organic spaceship time helping the Colloquium write and direct short films, create artistic content, and muse on whether or not existence can be distilled down into utterances burped from meat holes. If it can, maybe we’re just here to seek growth, embrace change, and be kind to others–and above all else, reallocate all the money and resources used on war to shelter, feed, and educate every human being on this planet. Also, he really loves cats.

Emily Lisborg


As Treasurer, Emily oversees The People’s Colloquium’s finances, tax preparations, and related filings. She’s an active participant and facilitator in discussions related to philosophy and theory, and envisions promoting offerings pertaining to cultural ecology in the future. She has a BA in philosophy from Hartwick College, and owns a small business that specializes in rare tropical plants and frogs. She enjoys writing atmospheric, language-based fiction, and taking photos with the perfect amount of Bokeh.

Ian Garlington

Community Coordinator

As community coordinator Ian works on different media platforms to help increase the public’s awareness of the colloquium’s activities. Ian currently facilitates the Portland Association of Deleuze Studies’ weekly seminar and is exploring experimental film projects with other members. He spent 15 years in Japan where he worked as a translator and earned a PhD in American Literature at Osaka University through his investigation of the influence of psychedelics on science fiction and comics.

Jared Linder

Community Coordinator

As a Community Coordinator, Jared performs outreach on behalf of The People’s Colloquium. He’s a regular participant in a variety of focus groups and facilitates community critique groups. He holds a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing, as well as a JD. He supports his writing by working part-time as an attorney and brings what he’s learned from both his writing and lawyering life to his work with The People’s Colloquium.

John Koch


As Secretary, John oversees The People’s Colloquium’s records, tax preparations, and related filings. He’s a regular participant in The People’s Ink’s Poetry Critiques and the Anthology Focus Groups. He holds a BA in English from Rice University, and a JD from Lewis & Clark Law School. He writes editorials for Underdogs, a quarterly photography magazine, and is the town historian for Hardman, Oregon. He’s a practicing attorney and the owner of Koch Law, LLC.

Josuee Hernandez

Vice President

As Vice President, Josuee is charged with assisting the President of The People’s Colloquium in her many endeavors. You can find him critiquing submissions at The People’s Ink, or facilitating discussions on critical race theory, philosophy, and related literature at The People’s Dialogue. He holds a BA in English from the University of Oregon and a MA in English from Portland State University, though he ultimately considers the Marine Corps his alma mater.

Kristen MacDonald


As president, Kristen is responsible for managing the Board of Directors and providing guidance to The People’s Colloquium. Kristen attends the Speculative Fiction Book Discussion and facilitates the Flash Fiction Focus Group, and serves as the layout editor for The Colloquium’s upcoming anthology. She holds degrees in political science and the visual arts, has taught at the college level, and serves on the boards of several Portland-area nonprofits.

Lily Blackburn

Community Coordinator

As a community coordinator, Lily Blackburn is a workshop facilitator with a focus on creative nonfiction. She is an editor for Typehouse Literary Magazine and graduated from Portland State University in 2017 with a BA in English and minor in creative writing.  Her work can be found or forthcoming in Little Fictions | Big Truths, Night Music Journal and *82 Review among others.

Raven Connolly

Community Coordinator

As Community Coordinator, Raven performs outreach on behalf of the People’s Colloquium. She is a regular participant in the Nihilism and Buddhism seminars and hosts an experimental salon focused on tools for understanding the philosophical implications of technology. Raven is a graduate of the Evergreen State College, where she studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She supports her intellectual life through work as a residential carpenter.

Richard Pope

Executive Director

As executive director, Rich is responsible for organizing The People’s Colloquium’s educational offerings and strategic planning for the nonprofit as a whole. While active with all The Colloquium’s offerings, he can often be found facilitating discussions on various topics related to theory, philosophy, writing, and the arts. He holds a BA in philosophy from Kent State University, and a MS in Traditional Chinese Medicine from OCOM. He’s passionate about building community education at The People’s Colloquium.

Shannon St. Hilaire

Community Coordinator

As a Community Coordinator, Shannon performs outreach on behalf of The People’s Colloquium. She’s a regular participant in a variety of focus groups, from short-form nonfiction to long-form speculative fiction, in addition to serving as an executive editor for the upcoming anthology. She holds BAs in English and Spanish and supports the customer service knowledge base for a tech company.

Tyler Whitson

Community Coordinator

As a Community Coordinator, Tyler is a mediator between The People’s Colloquium and various philosophy groups. He is a co-organizer and regular participant in philosophical close-reading groups focused on, but not limited to, authors such as Plato, Kant, and Hegel. He also has an interest in the arts in general, more particularly visual art and has participated in traditional art groups, pen and ink and watercolor being his mediums of choice.

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