the all-volunteer team of queer & trans people of color who bring this platform to you


Editorial Staff

Chief Esparza, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Niq D Johnson, PhD, Managing Editor, The Cover Story

Daniel Farias, Managing Editor, The Workshop 

Mark Oshiro, Fiction Editor, Culture Pages

Kyle Lopez, Poetry Editor, Culture Pages

Guerrilla Davis, Visual Arts Editor, Culture Pages 

AC Dumlao, Guest Editor, REMODEL Cover Story

Queer Xicano Chisme, Guest Editor, X Cover Story

Xemiyulu Manibuan Tapeppechul, Guest Editor, TWO-SPIRIT Cover Story


THE KICKBACKS Community events TEAM

kali diwa, Coordinator

Loni Amor, Coordinator

Navi Kaur, Coordinator

Sam Favela, Coordinator


Support Staff

Nic Perales, Social Media Director

Sean-Paul Rocero, Creative Director

Aaron McCall, Development Manager

Chief Esparza, Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Latinx/Chicanx, Gay, He/Him

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Chief is the product of two teenage, working class parents and among the first of his extended family of over 100 Southern California Chicanxs to attend college (Bachelor's in Political Science, UC Santa Barbara).

As the "home office" of the EFNIKS platform, Chief maps out and coordinates the backend operations, outreach and recruiting, sets the tone and voice for the space, and manages funding and donations--he makes sure the writers get paid. Because inclusion and equity matter, he cedes control of each space on the platform to the editors themselves, with each editor making final decisions and even telling their Editor-in-Chief "no" when they see fit. 

Chief works in the non-profit world, running operations for programs supporting families and children from the impact of abuse and neglect.



Niq D Johnson, PhD, Managing Editor, The Cover Story

Black, Queer, They/S.H.E.


Dr. Niq D. Johnson was born and raised in Washington, DC and has since settled in western PA. They have a MA & PhD in Communication & Rhetoric from University of Pittsburgh and a BA in English & GSWS from Emory University. They work in the field of progressive civic tech, and maintain involvement in other projects as a scholar/researcher, post-ac career adviser, DE&I consultant, and lifelong community organizer.

After successfully steering the BLACK Cover Story in February for EFNIKS, Niq was named the Managing Editor, Cover Story for all collections going forward. In their guidance and feedback, Niq has elevated the platform to another level of thoughtful representation and community-building for the QTPoC family. 


Daniel Farias, Managing Editor, The Workshop

Latinx/Chicanx, Gay, He/Him

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Daniel Farias is a native South Texan, born and raised in San Antonio. He is an alumni of Our Lady of the Lake University of San Antonio, where he graduated with his Bachelor and Master of Arts Degrees in English and Communication Arts. He currently works as a high school English teacher, college humanities instructor, and freelance editor. Prior to entering the world of academia, he worked in the fields Spanish and English Language broadcasting, public relations, and event planning. 

As a life-long student and scholar, he has written and presented scholarship at various academic conferences including the Southwestern Popular Culture Annual Conference and the National Association of Chicano and Chicana Studies (NACCS) Annual Conference. His work editing and mentoring young writers has been recognized by the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.    

He is an avid reader and hopes to one day establish his own scholarship foundation for young writers.


Mark Oshiro, Fiction Editor, Culture Pages

Latinx, Queer, He/Him

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Mark Oshiro is the Hugo finalist (in the Fan Writer category) creator of the online Mark Does Stuff universe (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where he analyzes book and television series unspoiled. He was the nonfiction editor of Queers Destroy Science Fiction! and the co-editor of Speculative Fiction 2015 with Foz Meadows. He is the President of the Con or Bust Board of Directors. His first novel, Anger is a Gift, is a YA contemporary about queer friendship, love, and fighting police brutality. It will be released on 5/22/2018 with Tor Teen. When he is not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters, or ruining lives at conventions, he is busy trying to fulfill his lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world.

Mark is represented by DongWon Song of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Mark's publicist at Tor Teen is Saraciea Fennel, and they can be reached at saraciea.fennel at tor dot com.  If you are interested in Mark's services as a sensitivity reader for your project, please see his entry in the Writing in the Margins database for qualifications before contacting him.


Kyle Lopez, Poetry Editor, Culture Pages

AfroLatinx, Queer, He/Him

Kyle is an Afro-Latinx queer poet originally from Montclair, NJ and now based in Brooklyn, NY. He has a B.A. in English & Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of William & Mary and is an M.F.A. Creative Writing candidate at New York University, where he is also a Goldwater Fellow.

He currently works on copywriting at an ad agency and previously served as a readings coordinator for NYU’s Emerging Writers Reading Series. He is a TuCuba fellow with the CubaOne Foundation and performed in Tania Bruguera’s month-long 2018 MoMA exhibition, “Untitled, (Havana, 2000)."

Kyle’s poems are published or forthcoming in Capital Pride DC’s Pride Guide, The Florida Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry,   Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere. 

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Guerrilla Davis, Visual Arts Editor, Culture Pages

AfroPinoy, Queer, They/He/She

Guerrilla is a 1st gen Afro-Pinoy American originally from San Diego, roots in Boston, but is currently based in Oakland.

They are a self taught Creative, Designer, and Community-Based Artist who is currently the Interim Marketing Director at Oakland First Fridays Street Festival.

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kali diwa, Coordinator, The Kickbacks Community Events

Filipinx, Queer, They/Them

Raised in San Francisco, Bay Area local kali diwa spent the last decade studying comedy across the country only to find themselves doing absolutely nothing in comedy. Currently working as a sexual health educator, kali works closely with City College of San Francisco's Project Survive, the college's sexual violence prevention and healthy relationship promotion program. Forever striving to strengthen their connection with their cultural roots, kali consistently engages with Filipinx decolonizing spaces in the Bay. 

Occasionally, kali performs at the Stud with Palace of Trash, a multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-colored freak variety show.  A storyteller at heart, kali's interests include thanking their ancestors, dismantling of the patriarchy, critical analysis of race politics, sex farce, gender fuckery, and ube macapuno. kali now lives in Oakland with their plants.  


Loni Amor, Coordinator, The Kickbacks Community Events

Afro-Boricua, Queer, They/Them

Loni is a bi, non-binary Afro-Boricua based in NYC. They are currently a rising senior at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree focused on Public Policy and Public Service and a secondary focus on Journalism.

Loni is also the founding President of Hofstra University’s Queer and Trans People of Color Coalition, and the Lead Organizer of the Jefferson Has Gotta Go! Campaign at Hofstra University.

Outside of academics, Loni finds to for community organizing and freelance writing. 


Navi Kaur, Coordinator, The Kickbacks Community Events

Punjabi, Queer, She/They

Navkiran “Navi” Kaur is a queer Sikh Punjabi healer, empath, femme, jadoogarni from the Bay Area, currently residing in Oakland, CA. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2015 with a Bachelor's in Black Studies. Since then, she has been working towards her vision of a more equitable, loving, compassionate society for all. One of Navi’s passions lies in curating spaces for QTPoC, as an event coordinator and event+program manager for various nonprofits.

Navi serves as a doula in the Bay Area with the Roots of Labor collective in Oakland and volunteers her time at Santa Rita jail, listening to and advocating for pregnant folks in the prison industrial complex. 

Beyond work, Navi loves baking, reading for hours on end with a great cup of coffee (Hasta Muerte and Red Bay on 10th is where it’s at!), cuddling with her cat, spending time in the trees, eating somewhere new, and making Spotify playlists. 


Sam Favela, Coordinator, The Kickbacks Community Events

Latinx, Queer, He/Him

Sam moved from Long Beach, California to San Francisco back in 2015 to pursue his degree in journalism at SF State. While at State, he edited and wrote many stories, took and edited pictures and videos and ran the student publication, Xpress Magazine in 2017. 

In the daily grind, Sam is a bartender in San Francisco's Mission District and runs restaurant events in the neighborhood.


Nic Perales, Social Media Director

Filipinx, Lesbian, She/Her

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Nic has been with EFNIKS since our April 2017 launch, first as an interested contributor and joining the team as Community Manager the following summer to promote social media engagement, develop campaigns and content, and increase our outreach on all of our social media channels. 

With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Web Design and New Media from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Nic currently juggles managing a restaurant in the South Bay area of Northern California, doing social media management for a Cal State University sports program, helps out with her family’s non-profit organization.


Aaron McCall, Development Manager

Black, Gay, He/Him

Aaron is a Black gay activist based in Southern CA. He was awarded the OC Young Democrats Harvey Milk Award. Aaron is one of the youngest chairmans in the country for the Indivisible Project. The Indivisible Project hosts 4 debates, one moderated by Aaron himself.

Currently he’s been hard at work building the group of 2,000 people to shape a more progressive and involved local community which includes voter education, community service, and mobilization.

To learn more about the Indivisible Project, visit their site (ioc48.com).

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We are looking to expand our team of volunteers.

EFNIKS is looking for event planners, community organizers, fundraising specialists, video producers and editors, podcasters, designers, copy editors, and so much more so we can build this space.

Send us a note: info@efniks.com