The People



AMANDA PARRIS (Creator/Editor-in-Chief/Playwright) Born in London, England, descending from Grenadian and Venezuelan ancestry and raised on the south side of Jane Street in Toronto, Canada by an amazing mother, Amanda Parris is an artist (writer and actor), educator and scholar. Alongside her best friend Natasha Daniel, Amanda is the co-founder of the multi-award winning alternative education organization Lost Lyrics and founder of the critically acclaimed artistic collective T-Dot Renaissance. Amanda was inspired to create The Ride or Die Project after she went to visit her friend at the Don Jail. While sitting in the visitor’s waiting room, she looked around and realized that there were only women sitting around her. She wondered about the stories that had led them there, the things they had to accommodate in order to be there and the emotions they were going through in that moment. These women inspired her to embark on this journey. She is eternally grateful to Keisha-Monique Simpson for sharing her dreams with Amanda so that they could co-create the initial seeds that birthed what is now The Ride or Die Project. | @amanda_parris



Keisha-Monique SimpsonKEISHA-MONIQUE SIMPSON – I am a Toronto-born and based interdisciplinary artist (Poetry, Literature, Music, Film, Sculpting) of Latina, Caribbean, South-East Asian, European and African descent. I use my art as a means of self-expression, healing and exploration to push the culture of whatever art form I am using forward. Performing has given me the opportunity to share my work nationally and internationally as well as connect with others from various walks of life. I am passionate about The Arts, how it shapes, connects and documents the lived experiences of any and all members of society, how it is the greatest tool for disturbing the status quo, and how it has the power to transform and save lives. In 2010, I founded The ABENI Initiative which creates holistic alternatives to the growth and development of Black/Afro-descendant Girls, through the Arts. I create art because it affirms my purpose in life. I am an artist because it reminds me that I am alive.

Keisha-Monique has since moved on to work on other projects, but we are incredibly grateful for the initial inspiration and foundation building that she provided to The Ride or Die Project.


The Ride or Die Project Advisory Circle meet once a season to provide support, feedback and strategic direction for all of the initiatives of The Ride or Die Project.

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