Life on the Margins Special Episode: Pandemic, Racial Justice and the Arts

by Enrique Cerna, Jini Palmer, and Marcus Harrison Green

Episode Summary

We look at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the racial justice movement on artists and performers in communities of color. We talk with writer and author Reagan Jackson, Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna plus singer and “The Voice” alum Stephanie Anne Johnson. Each brings a unique perspective on how this year of pandemic and social change has affected them personally and professionally.

Episode Notes

0:00 – Episode Introduction

0:50 – Hosts Checking In

6:07 – Conversation with Reagan Jackson

26:56 – Conversation with Claudia Castro Luna

39:23 – Conversation with Stephanie Anne Johnson

53:19 – Host Recap


Reagan Jackson  is a writer, artist, activist, international educator and award winning journalist. She’s been a regular contributor to the Seattle Globalist since 2013. Her self published works include two children’s books (Coco LaSwish: A Fish from a Different Rainbow and Coco LaSwish: When Rainbows Go Blue) and three collections of poetry (God, Hair, Love, and America, Love and Guatemala, and Summoning Unicorns). To find out more check her out at

Claudia Castro Luna is Washington State Poet Laureate (2018-2021). She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet, from 2015-2017 and is the author of the Pushcart nominated and Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) also shortlisted for WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry and This City, (Floating Bridge Press). She is also the creator of the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. Castro Luna is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, the recipient of individual artist grants from King County 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, and a 2014 Jack Straw fellow. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981.

She has an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have been featured in PBS Newshour, KQED San Francisco, KUOW Seattle and have appeared in Poetry Northwest, La Bloga, Dialogo and Psychological Perspectives among others. Her non-fiction work can be read in several anthologies, among them This Is The Place: Women Writing About Home, (Seal Press) Claudia is currently working on a memoir, Like Water to Drink, about her experience escaping the civil war in El Salvador. Living in English and Spanish, she writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.

Stephanie Anne Johnson is proudly Tacoma-born and bred, and there’s something about her songs and voice that reflect that, in the best possible way.  Johnson is a vocalist, songwriter, and teaching artist with a passion and a hunger for social justice, environmental stewardship, and cookies.


Produced In Partnership With :

Town Hall Seattle  (

The South Seattle Emerald  (


Executive Producer + Host  // Marcus Harrison Green

Executive Producer + Host // Enrique Cerna

Executive Producer + Host // Jini Palmer

Additional Production Support Provided By // Hans Anderson & JEFFSCOTTSHAW

Music Provided By // Draze “The Hood Ain’t The Same” //

Featured image by Susan Fried