Ra Ruiz Leon

Ra Ruiz Leon (JibaRa Jikotea Ni-aku’no)

Language Instructor

Ra is a Taino-Borikua educator, poet, dancer, and community organizer from southern Boriken. Her work focuses on honoring and celebrating her lineage.

As a struggling, homeless youth, Ra got her start in both activism and performance poetry. She competed in poetry slams across the nation, and was even featured in the New York Times multimedia project, “1 in 8 Million.”

Ra has led poetry workshops for The Nuyorican Poets Café, Wesleyan University, The New School University, and The Bowery Poetry Club.

During her senior year at The New School University, Ra was accepted into the Schomburg-Mellon Humanities Institute, where she wrote her thesis on Afro-Indigenous, Borikua Music and Spirituality.

Ra is the co-host of AREITO: TAINO VOICES, a monthly virtual gathering that features Taino guest speakers. Both she and her co-host partner are enrolled tribal members of Higuayagua. Ra is humbled to be part of Higuayagua’s language team. She is also a food justice and climate change activist, and a member of Veggie Mijxs, a POC vegan collective.

Ra is a teacher in NYC, who works with various arts organizations. She resides in Manhattan, New York (ancestral lands of Munsee-Lenape people) with her partner.