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Samuel Damren is a lifelong Michigan resident, attorney, and author, his legal career spanning over four decades. Damren earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in cultural anthropology with a minor in music composition and received his Juris Doctor from Wayne State University. He served as a private mediator and arbitrator focused on commercial litigation representing prominent entrepreneurs and companies in Southeastern Michigan. Damren lectured on prosecutorial ethics at the University of Michigan Law School and served pro bono as a hearing panelist on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board for over twenty years. Since retirement, he has been contributing periodic commentaries on a variety of subjects with a legal bent to the Detroit Legal News and its family of newspapers in Michigan.
Damren is the author of the books, What Justice Looks Like and Wintercut. A twenty-fifth anniversary ebook publication of Wintercut has been released. Damren is also the author of numerous articles in law reviews and historical journals discussing the intersection of legal theories and law with other disciplines and landmark legal cases. He and his wife are members of the Henry P. Tappan Society at the University of Michigan and benefactors of the Dziewiatkowski Awards at the Medical and Dental Schools.They are the parents of three children. Upon returning to Ann Arbor in 2018, they now live two miles from the home he grew up in and on the edge of the same forest that he walked through as a boy.
Raymond De Young
Raymond De Young is a broadly trained psychologist, planner, and engineer. He is Associate Professor of Environmental Psychology and Planning in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. He focuses on the process of re-localization, a response to emerging biophysical limits and the consequences of having deeply disrupted the Earth's ecosystems. He applies conservation and environmental psychology to the challenge of helping people envision and adopt behaviors that support an urgent transition to a life lived within local resource limits. Despite what for some people is a dismal forecast, his work is decidedly hopeful.
His theoretical and empirical research includes exploring how people pre-familiarize themselves with the coming resource downshift, motivate stewardship, and use nature to restore the mental vitality needed for responding to the lean yet fascinating times ahead. Current projects include examining the psychological foundations of behavioral entrepreneurship and voluntary simplicity, and the benefits embedded in pursuing a low-input agrarian society.
Carlina Duan is a writer-educator from Michigan, and the author of the poetry collections I Wore My Blackest Hair (Little A, 2017) and Alien Miss (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2021). Carlina received her M.F.A. in Poetry from Vanderbilt University. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the University of Michigan’s Joint Program in English and Education and works as the Poetry Editor at Michigan Quarterly Review.
Carlina’s poems have appeared in POETRY Magazine, Narrative Magazine, Poets.org, The Rumpus, and other publications. Her writing has been supported with residencies and awards from Tin House, the Academy of American Poets, the U.S. Fulbright Program, Signal Fire Arts, the Hopwood Program, Good Hart Artist Residency, and Willapa Bay AiR. Among many things, she loves river walks, snail mail, and being a sister.
Aaron P. Dworkin
Best-selling writer and host of the nationally-broadcast Arts Engines show, Aaron P. Dworkin was President Obama's first appointment to the National Council on the Arts. He is a former dean and current Professor of Arts Leadership & Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre & Dance. He is the founder of the Sphinx Organization, with the mission of transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. He has collaborated with a breadth of artists including Yo-Yo Ma and Anna Deveare Smith. He has been featured in several publications and received numerous awards including Newsweek's "15 People Who Make America Great” and BET's History Makers in the Making Award.
Aaron is a frequent speaker at several universities and conferences and a member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs), in addition to serving on the board of multiple art organizations including the Ann Arbor Foundation. He is an avid kayaker, poker player, and boater, having captained multiple crossings of the Gulfstream. He is married to Afa Sadykhly Dworkin, a prominent international arts leader who serves as President and Artistic Director of the Sphinx Organization, and has two awesome sons, Noah Still and Amani Jaise. They reside in Michigan with their two Savannah cats, Mocha and Pekoe, and English Cream Retriever, Rondo.