Latino Identities Month

Latino Identities Month 2015

September 15 to October 15, 2015

 Latino Identities Month Keynote Performer:  Joe Hernandez-Kolski

Tuesday, September 29, 7:00 p.m., Digitial Auditorium, Information & Technology Convergence Center (ITCC)


Two-time HBO Def Poet Joe Hernandez-Kolski blends spoken word poetry and comedy to create an experience that is hard-hitting, truthful, and incredibly funny. Having rarely left an audience without a standing ovation, he is fervently committed to both entertaining and challenging people with his intimate, cutting-edge performances. World-renowned Professor Cornel West says, “Joe’s work offers a fresh perspective that is both honest and insightful.” A graduate of Princeton University, Hernandez-Kolski is helping shape the dialogue and minds of today’s youth.

As a spoken word poet, Hernandez-Kolski recently opened for John Mellencamp in his hometown of Chicago. He has performed at over fifty colleges and universities around the country. He’s performed his show all over the country, two performances on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.

Based in Los Angeles, Hernandez-Kolski’s credits as an actor include the summer blockbuster Hancock, starring Will Smith, and he recently shot a scene with Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx in The Soloist, directed by Joe Wright (Atonement). He continues to host Downbeat 720, an open-mic for high school youth that he co-founded. The televised version, Downbeat Showdown, which he hosted and produced, received the LA Emmy for “Outstanding Youth Programming.” He says: “All I can do is tell my own story and if that helps lead a person toward their true passion, that’s the beauty of art.”