The Color of NOW is a collection of concerned cohorts
aiming to activate discussions on social justice.
Our leadership team is comprised of community members who are
dedicated to continued learning and organizing.
Chantal DeGroat is a Portland-based actress and educator who has recently entered the world of activism. She began by attending peace rallies in Los Angeles to pull our troops out of Iraq to then receive a more formal education from the August Wilson Red Door Project. Chantal worked with students via PlayWrite, Inc, as well as with the national August Wilson Monologue Competition, by coaching students to use playwriting and performance to explore their inner truths. Chantal later organized community talks sparked by the Ferguson tragedies. Taking it one step further, she is now creating a discussion series to educate the community about systematic oppression via The Color of Now. Chantal is always excited to work on theatre productions that incite a deeper conversation about our complex relationships.
Lily Burnett is the "behind the scenes" queen for The Color of NOW, managing event logistics, marketing, strategic planning, and donor development (would you like to make a donation?). Her day jobs include: Operations Manager for Kukatonon Children's African Dance Troupe and freelance Grants Writing for nonprofit organizations. She earned her BA in Theater Arts from University of California Santa Cruz. Lily is dedicated to supporting social justice movements that are inclusive and could not be more excited about the direction that The Color of NOW is taking.
Simon Tam is an award-winning musician, author, entrepreneur, and social justice activist. He has been a performer, presenter, and keynote at TEDx, SXSW, Comic-Con, The Department of Defense, Stanford University, and over 1,200 other events across North America, Europe, and Asia. He is best known as the founder and bassist of The Slants, the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock and anti-racism band. His approach to activism through the arts has been highlighted in over 2,000 media features across 84 countries, including BBC World News, NPR, TIME Magazine, and CBC Radio. Simon has been fighting a landmark case against the United States Trademark Office, which recently helped expand constitutional rights for artists and small businesses. The case is now pending before the Supreme Court. Recently, he was named a "Portland Rising Star" from the Light a Fire Awards, received a "Distinguished Alum Award" from Marylhurst University, and was twice-nominate for Portland Business Journal's "40 Under 40" List. He is currently serving as the Marketing Director for Oregon Environmental Council, on the board of directors for the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and Know Your City, is a member of the Policy and Equity Committee for the Jade District, and serving on the Cultural Resource Centers Advisory Council for Portland State University.
Tamara is a longtime armchair activist who is taking steps to go legit. She received her MFA in Drama & Theatre for Youth & Communities from UT Austin, where she focused in new play development, theatre for social justice, and culturally responsive practices in theatre. Tamara currently serves as program director for Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Program, in collaboration with Oregon Children's Theatre. She is proud to be an Artistic Ambassador with The Color of NOW, and looks forward to many more challenging and inspiring community conversations.
James is originally from North Carolina. After nearly 10 years of travel to over 32 states and 7 countries, he decided to make Portland his home. James enjoys dialect work, sci-fi, social justice activism, and is always a sucker for a good musical. James has done work with several LGBTQA organizations and social justice nonprofits as a cultural activist and is grateful to be a part of The Color of NOW. Thanks for joining the conversation.