Warrior Writers Governing Body
Governing Body Member Bios
Hipólito Arriaga was born and raised in the South Bronx. In 2003 at age 19 Hipólito joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as an artilleryman. Following four years of service, which included two deployments to Iraq, he separated from the military honorably.
Post service, he began seeking healing for the various injuries he sustained, both physical and invisible, leading him on an evolving journey of self-discovery. Hipólito is a writer and performer with Warrior Writers and the Combat Hippies. He’s also trained in Bapiste Power Yoga and Trauma Conscious Yoga. And serves as a wilderness expedition leader with No Barriers Warriors. His performance and writing experience include “AMAL” and “Conscience Under Fire”.
Jeremy Berggren (they/them, he/him) currently lives in Durham, NC. Jeremy grew up in Pasadena, California and moved to Marietta, Georgia in 1993. In 1998 Jeremy joined the Marine reserves while pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in drawing and painting. Jeremy earned a B.F.A. in 2004. After graduation, they worked at Kennesaw State University’s Center for Student Leadership. There, Jeremy created and coordinated an Arts Leadership Initiative and Arts Advocacy Group, and coordinated volunteer student leaders for the University’s orientation program.
From 2007-2009 Jeremy worked as the Director of Leadership Development for Delta Tau Delta Fraternity at their headquarters in Fishers, Indiana; managing the educational programming and curriculum at regional and national conferences, an annual President's and Advisors Leadership Retreat, the development and implementation of a national membership-education program, and three annual Leadership Academies. At Delta Tau Delta Jeremy shifted the educational curriculum away from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, into A Social Change Model of Leadership Development. Jeremy managed annual budgets of over $200,000 and coordinated with students, alumni volunteers, and college professionals across the country to support and enhance the leadership education offered to the undergraduate membership.
In 2007 Jeremy attended the Highlander Research and Education Center’s 75th anniversary, and a week-long workshop there in 2009. From 2008-2014 Jeremy was involved with educational, organizing, and political programs and actions around the country with Iraq Veterans Against the War, now About Face: Veterans Against the War.
Artistically, Jeremy has had their art displayed in California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. He has performed at the Dodge Poetry Festival with Warrior Writers, and was invited to perform at the National Folk Art Festival in 2017. Along with two other North Carolina poets, Jeremy is featured in Gerret and Mimi Warner’s documentary, Truth Underground. Jeremy’s art has been included in two collaborative print portfolios with Iraq Veterans Against the War and Justseeds: War is Trauma and Celebrate People’s History: Iraq Veterans Against the War, and their poems and art are included in the Warrior Writers anthologies: After Action Review and Warrior Writers.
Jeremy participates in an outpatient Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) program which helps navigate his Borderline Personality Disorder, Complex Post Traumatic Stress, and Major Depressive Disorder. Like many veterans, Jeremy is ineligible for healthcare and housing assistance through the VA and has found needed support through Durham county, local assistance and volunteer programs, and state and federally funded programs through the Department of Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Jeremy loves to spend time with his son, Eller, who is 3. They love learning, talking like robots, and joking about eating poop sandwiches together. In their spare time Jeremy likes to go into James Baldwin and Black Panther Party wormholes on YouTube, listen to Tara Brach, and sit for long periods on their porch with coffee and a foot bath. Jeremy serves as Vice-Chair of Warrior Writers Governing Board.
Eddie Falcón served for 4 years in the USAF as an active duty enlisted aircrew member. He was stationed in Little Rock Air Force Base. He completed 4 short overseas tours, 2 in Iraq and 2 in Afghanistan, as well as performed medical evacuations in Hurricane Katrina.
After separation from the military, Eddie moved back to his home state of California to start his journey in education under the GI Bill. He has attended San Francisco City College, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State University. He graduated these schools with a Bachelors in Spanish Linguistics and a Masters in Spanish Language Literature. He is currently working on a teaching credential to teach high school Spanish.
As Mr. Falcón, he has worked in the San Francisco Unified School District as a Special Education Teacher Aide, an in-class, after school, and Summer school math tutor, a student teacher of Spanish for Heritage Learners, and is currently working as a substitute Spanish and Math teacher.
As a political organizer, he has served on the Board of Directors for About Face: Veterans Against War, was a part of the group Dialogues Against Militarism that produced the documentary Occupation Has No Future, has testimony featured in the short documentary Before You Enlist, and works with Full Picture to speak in high schools and youth programs around the Bay Area about the true experience of military recruitment, service, and life as a veteran.
He has been a Warrior Writers artist for many years, attending writing workshops and performing hip hop music around the nation. He has grown into a facilitator for WW and has put on public readings and workshops at the San Francisco Arts Commission and around the Bay Area. He is now serving on the board for WW as a trustee and is on the nominations committee.
Eddie is also a proud member of the Danza Mexica (aka Aztec Dance) community. He practices this indigenous cultural expression at ceremonies and pow wows throughout all of California. Eddie Falcón also produces music, plays the piano, is a cyclist, practices sober-living, enjoys billiards, is a fan of the NBA, reads comic books, and resides in Oakland, California.
The Reverend Dr. Karis K. Graham USAF (Retired) served more than 33+ years as an active duty and reserve military chaplain. She is also a three-war veteran. Chaplain, Colonel Graham was commissioned in 1987 as a Chaplain Candidate within the U.S. Navy. She entered active duty in October, 1989 and remained on active duty until 1998. Shortly after September 11, 2001, Chaplain Graham returned to active duty within the U.S. Air Force. She transitioned to the Air Force Reserves in 2006 and retired in 2017.
In her civilian capacity, Dr. Karis Graham is a pastor within the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and serves as an Interim pastor within the Metro D.C. Synod and within the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware. She is also a career Civil Servant within the US Government and serves as a diversity and inclusion expert.
Her military story has been featured in the Carthage College play Afghanistan/Wisconsin as she was the first military chaplain to “come out” while in uniform. She is currently writing her memoir. The Reverend Dr. Graham helps other veterans through her work with Warrior Writers. The Reverend Dr. Graham is a life-long learner, earning three Master’s degrees in the areas of Divinity, Theology and Counseling, earned a PhD in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism.
She is a member of the Indian Creek Chickamauga Tribe of Alabama. The Reverend Dr. Graham is also active with the Women in Military Service Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. She lives with her wife and Omani Wadi dog in Cambridge, Maryland.
Gala True is a health services researcher with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Section of Population and Community Medicine at LSU School of Medicine. Gala trained as an undergraduate at University of California at Berkeley with a double major in Anthropology and Psychology and received her PhD in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. Gala lived and worked in Philadelphia for many years and became involved in Warrior Writers during that time. When she moved to New Orleans in 2015, she and Ray Facundo co-founded the NOLA Veterans Arts and Humanities Alliance, a group of local arts organizations, Veteran artists, military caregivers, and civilian allies who create free, art-focused programming and events in greater New Orleans. Through her collaborations with both Lovella Calica and Bastion Community of Resilience in New Orleans, Gala helped start a new Warrior Writers community in New Orleans.
As a researcher, Gala’s work focuses on improving access to care and the health of individuals and communities through patient-centered and community-engaged research approaches. Her most recent research employs participatory action research methods to collaborate with Veterans, military families, and other key stakeholders on identifying barriers to post-deployment care and proposing solutions for improving community reintegration after separation from military service. Gala is the creator and project director of From War to Home: Through the Veteran’s Len and From War to Home: The Impact of Invisible Injuries, two traveling exhibits of photo-narratives developed in collaboration with post-9/11 Veterans and their family care partners/caregivers. Gala has published dozens of scholarly articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented at academic conferences, but her proudest works involve co-presentations with her Veteran and caregiver collaborators, including an article in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology that describes nearly 10 years of sustained partnered research with individual Veterans and families and grassroots, community-based Veterans organizations.
Gala lives in New Orleans with her husband, Morgan Miller, and their two children. She is dedicated to advocating for Veterans and their families as a central part of her personal life mission and is honored to serve as the Secretary of the Warrior Writers Governing Board.
Will Woldenberg , Chair of Warrior Writers, is the founder and president of Entegrit, the first veteran-owned management consultancy to be a Certified B-Corporation. With more than a decade of consulting experience in a variety of for and non-profit organizations, Will leads initiatives for some of the largest organizations in the country around strategic planning, program and project implementation, organizational transformation, and leadership training.
A United States Army veteran of Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, Will continues to serve the U.S. Army Reserve as a Public Affairs Officer. He is a Distinguished Honor Graduate from the Signal Captains Career Course, a graduate of the Defense Information School’s Public Affairs Qualification Course (DINFOS PAQC), and a graduate of the Signal Basic Officer Leaders Course (SBOLC). Will helps other veterans through his work with Warrior Writers & the Philadelphia Historical Society as a Group Discussion Lead for The Art of Reintegration program. His writing on veteran leadership, B-Corps, and societal change has been featured in print in the USA Today and The Philadelphia Inquirer and on multiple podcasts.
Dedicated to public and community service, Will is a member of the Defense Council for the Truman National Security Project, a fellow with the New Leaders Council, a leader with Veterans for American Ideals, and a graduate of LEADERSHIP Philadelphia. As a member of WeWork’s Veterans in Residence Powered by Bunker Labs, he was recognized with their Distinguished Leadership Award. He has chaired or served on nearly a dozen different nonprofit boards, including Philadelphia Stories.
Will is a life-long learner, earning his master’s in Business Administration and master’s in Strategic Management from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in History & English from Tulane University. Will has also earned the following professional certifications: Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt (CLSSBB), Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
He lives with his wife Corey – a Physical Therapist - and their newborn daughter Evie in the Queen Village section of Philadelphia.
Governing Body Charter for Warrior Writers
The purpose of the Warrior Writers Governing Body is to provide ongoing support and direction for the organization.
The role of the Body is to:
- a. Review and evaluate, on an ongoing basis, the overall effectiveness of the Director and provide feedback to the same.
- b. Screen and interview potential candidates for the position of Director who are judged to fill those needs and meet the criteria for hiring.
- c. Review and make recommendations on issues of conflict, discrimination, or ethics.
- d. Develop and recommend policies on issues related to growth, direction, and planning.
- e. Draft and ratify a comprehensive nondiscrimination policy for the organization.
- f. Develop and ratify mission, vision, and organizational goals.
- g. Make recommendations and decisions on hiring additional staff.
- h. Other duties as needed.
- a. The Body shall have up to 7 but no fewer than 4 members. The Body will be comprised of at least 75% military veterans.
- i. Civilians nominated to the body must have demonstrated a substantial commitment to the organization and its mission.
- ii. Governing body composition shall be reflective of the diversity of the organization.
- i. The initial members shall vote on the GB Chair.
- i. Consecutive absences from two meetings constitutes “for cause” and shall be necessarily brought before the GB for a vote.
- i. Chairperson - The Chair shall convene all scheduled meetings of the GB and shall preside over or arrange for another member to preside over each meeting.
- ii. Secretary - The Secretary shall be responsible for the keeping of GB records, to include minutes of meetings, distribution of minutes and the agenda, and sending meeting announcements.
- a. The Committee shall meet at least four times each year, with additional meetings held as needed to fulfill its responsibilities as described above. Meetings are convened by the GB Chair.
- b. Members may participate fully, to include voting, by means of any telephonic or similar communications equipment that allows all persons participating in such meeting to hear each other at the same time. Electronic attendance shall be considered in-person attendance at the meeting.
- c. Minutes are to be kept of each meeting and maintained as record in an accessible location to be determined by the GB. Minutes from the previous meeting must be approved by the Committee at the start of the next meeting. Minutes are to be available upon request to any Warrior Writers participant or member.
- a. Veterans appointed to the GB are not to be limited on the basis of time in service, characterization of discharge, deployment history, branch of service, or any other service related category.
- b. Members appointed to the GB are not to be limited on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, political, or religious affiliation.