Carla has been inspiring me with her work since she was poet laureate for the City of York. She has been committed to being a voice for the marginalized through her work with many organizations. Carla revived Juneteenth celebrations in our community, educates organizations such as ELCA and non-profits locally and nationally. Persons from LGBTQIA+, black, Hispanic and other communities whose voices have long been silenced can find hope, encouragement and truth in Carla’s writings.
When Carla preaches, doors open. Not just doors, but interior doors, closet doors, basement doors. Whether it’s spontaneous or planned, scriptural or poetry, perhaps both, it’s an invitation to personally examine and evaluate where you and your soul stand. Sometimes I feel in congruence, while at other times, challenged. Each time, a journey. And, I feel safe. I feel safe that that path I am following Carla on with all of it’s traps and triggers in the end, will find me in a place of decision and direction. Carla’s preaching gives us a beautiful metaphorical compass. One that empowers each and everyone of us to decide what needs to be done, and how much. And yet, Carla applies proper urgency to the continuum, and we find ourselves motivated to make heaven on Earth, knowing that we shall return for more. Carla is good for the mind, body and soul.
I am happy and honored to tell you about my colleague, Carla Christopher. Her work in diversity training is so Christ centered. She is firm in her convictions and always speaks the truth with kindness and respect. I appreciate Carla’s wisdom and her approach to the scriptures. As a person learning how to be an ally for my siblings of color and those in the LGBTQIA+ community, Carla’s coaching and teaching encourages me to be a better listener and to see Christ in all people. I feel safe sharing my feelings and thoughts with Carla because I know that she is listening and that she will speak the truth to me in ways that help me to let go of the negative systemic messages I have been conditioned to believe are true. Her writing speaks a reality that touches my heart and moves me to become a better, more open person.
Challenging in love is what Carla Christopher does. She can confront someone with clear bias or racism in their heart with a compassion that overcomes, not only the individual holding bias, but those within the same space of the confrontation. Her words are carefully chosen and delicately delivered. Yes, she wants to change people views on racism and bias. More than that, she wants to create an atmosphere of unity and connectedness creating an unstoppable diverse team of compassion ninjas, loving people to change and preparing people for battle.
I just love the way Carla connects with people. Some people speak, some people lecture…Carla ‘communicates’. There is a passion, a concern, an interest and a fascination in her every conversation. Whether it’s mentoring children and young adults, talking openly with a class of college students or a reporter or performing on stage before a handful or a hundred – Carla has the same energy, enthusiasm and total engagement.
Poetry falls naturally from Carla’s lips and flows from her pen to paper. She infuses language with power and beauty. Her poetry is spontaneous, open, evocative; her performances of poetry are joyous and charismatic. She has strongly promoted poetry, music and visual arts through every available method of communication in South Central PA, offering many opportunities for expression to novices and accomplished artists.
Carla is the real deal. She’s funny, authentic, and hits hard where and when you need it. A force to be reckoned with and a bright spot in anyone’s day.
Daina Savage – Former Poet Laureate of Lancaster County and Curator of the Theatre of the Seventh Sister Spoken Word Festival
Carla is a mesmerizing performer, an inspired organizer, and a galvanizing force for poetry in the region. She invites every voice to the table in such a supportive, magnanimous way that it is impossible to resist.
Carla is dynamic in her approach to both poetry and its advancement. She is able to reach artists in all genres, blending styles both popular and traditional to reach a diverse audience. Miss Christopher’s poetry is intuitive. Finding common ground with readers and possessing a kinetic, emotive vibrancy that transcends race, gender and age. One never fails to learn from her or to be inspired. Her tenure as Poet Laureate of York Pa. has redefined the modern incarnation of the office. Her work with young artists, first time publishing poets and the blooming art activity about the region is unparalleled.