Photo by Abdul Aziz

Cielo (aka Rosana) Cruz is a writer, parent, social justice movement leader and intersectional feminist. They (Cruz’s singular pronoun) have lived in New Orleans for over 20 years and in that time, worked closely with numerous organizations in the struggle for racial justice, lgbtq liberation and immigrant rights.  Most recently Cruz completed a six and a half year tenure in leadership at Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. They hold an MA in Latin American Studies from the Stone Center at Tulane University.  

Born in the US to Cuban parents, Cruz identifies as a pre-natal exile, remaining close to the grandparents and other family who stayed behind in Cuba. They were raised by a single mother in a multi-racial community in North Miami in the 1970s and 80s. Cruz draws deeply from this experience, as well as their close ties to the Caribbean, in their writing.

Writing by Cruz has been published in Black Warrior Review, Colorlines, hipMama, Bridge the Gulf Project and the anthology Mamaphonic. Cruz is a 2017 and 2020 VONA Voices Fellow. Their writing practice is now centered on Speculative Fiction and Afro-Futurist influenced Magical Realism.

Black Warrior Review

‘What It Took’

2019 Fiction Contest Runner-Up


‘Who Do We Think We Are?

Ahead of Census 2020, Cuban-American writer and activist Rosana Cruz talks to a range of Lantix-identified movement leaders artists, and cultural innovators about how they define themselves racially. Their answers might surprise you.

Bridge the Gulf

‘Voices from the Gulf Coast’

A series of essays reflecting on New Orlean’s contemporary movement for liberation.