Joanna Spathis and Kerri Kennedy met roughly half a zillion years ago working at a publishing company in the Chicago suburbs. They bonded over their love of books, writing, politics, social justice, and strong coffee. Together, they have salsa-danced their way through their late 20s; biked from St. Paul, Minnesota, to Chicago; chartered a bus taking 50 or so people to the Women’s March on DC; and hosted a documentary night (that’s Action #88!) on body positivity. They are currently plotting their next crazy shenanigan now that they’ve finished their first book together.


Kerri Kennedy
is a freelance writer and editor and former high school English teacher. She grew up in Central Ohio and earned her bachelor’s degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and her master’s of education from DePaul University in Chicago. She has lived in the Chicago area for almost 20 years. Although she has worked with words in many capacities (as journalist, editor, and teacher), Wake, Rise, Resist is her first book. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, two kids, and Hoppy the wonder dog and very much enjoys having her partner-in-crime, Joanna, just down the street from her.


Joanna Spathis is a writer and activist from Chicago. She earned her degree (and volunteering chops) from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. She has worked as a children’s book editor and creative writing teacher and has volunteered her time to dozens of worthwhile causes from political campaigns, women’s and adoption advocacy groups, to the ruthless PTA. She lives with her husband and three children, and across the street from Kerri.