Ron Avi Astor is an endowed professor of Social Work and Education at the University of Southern California. He has published over 200 scholarly manuscripts including nine books. His articles and books center on school bullying with a focus on improving the lives of children at school. He is a member of both the National Academy of Education and American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare. When he was three years old his father died of heart disease at the age of thirty-eight years old. Ron s mother was a preschool director and teacher who struggled with an array of physical problems requiring frequent hospitalization, operations, and instability in the home. Ron channeled the pain and sorrow he lived through into a lifelong mission to reduce violence. Poetry was part of this re-creation process. Having a rich Jewish cultural framework was also part of the journey. Roee Locke Astor is a fourth-year medical student attending Keck School of Medicine, at the University of Southern California. He also completed a Masters in Public Health at Harvard. He has worked to improve homeless patients integrated physical health and mental health care outcomes. He has also struggled with his own depression. His poetry, fictional stories, and rap are an extension of a long life of struggling with the complexity of the world along with personal issues through a cultural lens. His writing often reverberates with universal themes of injustice, darkness, light, history and culture. His poetry is further a reflection of his upbringing, of the struggle of the Jewish people, of his life as a twenty-seven-year-old living in Los Angeles-- surrounded by both wealth and poverty-- during a time when we have new power to connect with technology to others we love, and to others who need us.
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