Kayla Degala-Paraíso (she/they) is a queer, Filipinx-American, third-generation gemini from an immigrant pamilya. With her communities at the helm, her work is 1) advocating for collective justice and liberation through political action, and 2) healing individual and systemic trauma through written word.
Kayla attended Pitzer College, where she participated in a cultural immersion programs in Ecuador, Italy, and Nepal; ran Varsity track; wrote many, many papers; taught yoga at a local studio; and graduated with a B.A. in English/World Literature (Creative Writing) and a B.A. in Political Studies (Comparative Politics).
Kayla then moved to Boston, where she managed the Lawyer Referral Service at the National Lawyers Guild - Mass Chapter; organized low-wage, immigrant women of color around immigrants' rights and workers' rights through Matahari Women Workers Center; organized Overseas Filipinxs Workers (OFWs) and Fil-Ams around the Philippines human rights crisis through Boston Pilipinx Education, Advocacy, and Resources; taught virtual creative writing classes through GrubStreet; and continued to teach yoga.
Due to the pandemic and prolonged health crises, Kayla went into deep hibernation sometime in 2020, somewhere in Northern California. During her hibernation, she healed her body, made art, and got some writing published*. She has since surfaced in Los Angeles, where she still teaches virtual creative writing classes through GrubStreet. In Fall 2022, Kayla will embark on a new quest to expand her proficiencies as an organizer: she will begin a dual Master of Public Policy and Master of Social Welfare (Social Work) graduate program at University of Los Angeles, Luskin School of Public Affairs. At UCLA, Kayla plans on concentrating in Social and Economic Justice, Labor, and Immigration.
*Kayla publishes under K. Degala-Paraíso. More details on her writerly activities here.
Kayla was born on the traditional and unceded lands of the Lenape people (Brooklyn). She has since lived on the lands of the Quinnipiac (New Haven), the Massachusett (Boston), and the Gabrilieno/Tongva (Los Angeles) peoples. With humility, she recognizes her complicity in the ongoing colonization of these tribes. With respect, she names her solidarity with the transcontinental movement for the self-determination of Indigenous peoples.