VONA Staff


Interim Executive Director, Nivéa CastroNivea Castro smiling and standing in front of banner

Nivéa Castro created and directed a successful social justice law practice for many years. A nitty-gritty multi-tasked with a keen ability for big-picture strategy and vision, she works best in challenging environments. Nivéa is a VONA alum and a staunch supporter of VONA’s mission.






Interim Program Director, Wendy Angulo Wendy Angulo wearing dark tshirt with RESPECT written in white block letters on it.

Wendy Angulo, NYC born Latina raised in Caracas, Venezuela. Mother, Writer, Lawyer, and Advocate of literary and visual arts in Queens, New York. Founder of Wendy Angulo Productions, 2016 VONA alum, Public Relations Coordinator of Queens Hip Hop Festival, Former Program Director of the New York City Latina Writers Group, Producer for Teatrica and Mentor of AlsoUS Project. Wendy continues to scout for new talent and build connections to perpetuate the arts and strengthen the literary community. www.wendyanguloproductions.com


Mariela Regalado with long hair standing in front of sidewalk

IPD Administrative Assistant, Mariela Regalado

Mariela Regalado was inspired by her 7th grade ELA teacher to write. She works as a Program Manager for a College Access non-profit, helping to change the landscape for students of color attending institutions of higher learning. An avid reader and writer she understands the importance of giving students a safe space to create and find themselves through art. She has performed her bilingual poetry, prose, and Dominicanidades at Apt78, Word Up Community Bookstore,  La Feria del Libro Dominicano, Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center, Nuyorican Poets Café, Bushwick Starr Theatre, National Black Theater and more.

“Why VONA? – Because it is built for us, by us. VONA is my MFA. I want to make sure it keeps evolving and serving the VONA Voices of Our Nations Art the way they need in order to go to their next level. “

Visit her at www.MarielaRegalado.com   


IED Administrative Assistant, Roy Juarez

Rogelio Juárez is a Phoenix-based writer and parent, an alum of the 2016 VONA/Voices of Our Nation and Tin House workshops, a grandson of Braceros and son of an immigrant. His writing can be found in J Journal: New Writing on Justice, The James Franco Review, and Zócalo Public Square. 

“In this current time especially it’s more important than ever to protect and create art that doesn’t appease, that may be scary to write. VONA is a vital space in literature, one where I found community, support, and generosity that I haven’t experienced anywhere else. “