Merna Ann Hecht, storyteller, essayist, poet, and teaching artist, founded and co-directs the Stories of Arrival: Refugee and Immigrant Youth Voices Poetry project at Foster High School in Tukwila, WA, one of the most ethnically diverse high school in the U.S. Her years of extensive work with youth facing trauma and loss are a major influence on her writing and teaching about the consequences of war, forced migration, and separation as they affect children and adolescents. She works to bring the voices of young immigrants and refugees to mainstream awareness to help dispel xenophobia and dehumanizing rhetoric. Merna teaches humanities and social justice courses at UW, Tacoma. Her poems and essays appear in numerous journals and books including Drash: Northwest Mosaic; Teachers and Writers Magazine; Our Food, Our Right: Recipes for Food Justice; & Waging Peace: An Anthology of Writers on War and Peace; and WA 129: An Anthology of Washington Poets. She is a nationally known award-winning storyteller and a recipient of a King County 4Culture individual artist grant.