Carlos Andrés Gómez
Poet, speaker, educator and advocate for healthy masculinity
About Carlos Andrés Gómez
A former public school teacher and social worker turned award-winning performer and bestselling author, Gómez uses storytelling and spoken word poetry to build empathy and connection across lines of difference.
From colleges and high schools to corporate seminars and summer camps, Gómez has spent nearly two decades facilitating actionable and inspiring engagements that address some of the most pressing issues of our time, like Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Healthy Masculinity and Gender Equity. His programs are interactive, electrifying, and promote the kind of social and emotional learning (SEL) that is vital to building inclusive, empathetic, and better functioning communities.
He’s performed and delivered keynotes at more than 600 colleges and universities across 46 U.S. states, collaborated with John Legend on a project to counteract bullying, and drew a standing ovation at the Obama White House.
Gómez is the author of Fractures, selected by Natasha Trethewey as the winner of the 2019–20 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, Hijito, winner of the 2018 Broken River Prize and a #1 SPD bestseller, and the memoir Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood. A star of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, TV One’s Verses and Flow, and Spike Lee’s #1 box office movie Inside Man with Denzel Washington, you may recognize Gómez from his viral poems, “Where are you really from?” and “What Latino Looks Like,” which have garnered millions of views online.
Gómez’s work is informed by best practices in diversity education and utilizes interactive exchange, facilitated dialogue, and storytelling. Those critical tools, along with improv, spoken word poetry, and humor, are used to create a program unlike any other.
Named 2016 Best Diversity Artist by Campus Activities Magazine and Artist of the Year at the 2009 Promoting Outstanding Writers Awards, Gómez is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. He is a proud Latinx and father of two.
Reimagining Modern Manhood
Through storytelling, audience engagement, and poetry, Carlos Andrés Gómez shares his journey of growing up as a sensitive boy forced to navigate toxic machismo and restrictive gender stereotypes. A riveting combination of personal narrative and sociological excavation, Gómez guides the audience through his life story, from that tender-hearted and out-of-place little boy constantly moving and changing schools to where he is now: a father of two and husband, determined to reimagine how we all think about masculinity and gender—beyond preconceived social roles, beyond the binary.
Getting Through: Finding Community in Isolation
As many sectors of the world grind to a halt, students’ needs do not—instead becoming only more urgent and even intensified. In this virtual interactive session, Carlos Andrés Gómez shares innovative ways to connect with and engage students virtually In this highly recommended session for all college and high school student leaders, educators, staff, and administrators, he focuses on problem-solving, idea-sharing, and identifying positive solutions to the shared concerns and challenges of navigating this pandemic.
Reimagining Gender: Beyond Socialized Roles, Beyond the Binary
This interactive session examines the ways in which we have been taught to think about gender. More specifically: what gendered expectations and assumptions have we internalized? And how do those ideas impact how we think about ourselves, navigate the world, and interact with each other? How are new paradigms subverting outdated clichés like the rigid gender binary and prescribed gender roles? How do our other identities (i.e. race, sexuality, socioeconomic status, nationality, religion, etc.) impact how we understand and experience gender? Using history, intersectionality, and personal experience as frames for discussion, participants collectively explore these and other concepts.
This session can be tailored to student or corporate audiences.
Our Intersecting Selves: Diversity, Identity. Equity, & Inclusion
This interactive session explores how our intersecting social identities impact how each of us experiences the world. Gómez interrogates historical legacies of structural inequity and the unearned privilege and access that accompany it. Moreover, he investigates the ways in which some identities enable us to wield unearned structural power, while others, simultaneously, make us susceptible to systemic and interpersonal discrimination. Using history, intersectionality, and personal experience as frames for discussion, participants will collectively explore these and other concepts.
Writing Through: Storytelling toward Social Justice
This writing workshop challenges participants to use personal experience as a means of grappling with social inequity and exclusion: whether it be as a means of identifying and bearing witness to examples of discrimination (interpersonal or systemic) or providing an opportunity to examine instances of being complicit with or responsible for prejudice and discrimination. This session is generative, allowing participants the opportunity to voluntarily share their work, with facilitated support and guidance throughout.
Writing Through for Corporate Audiences:
This workshop tailored for corporate audiences asks participants to use their personal experiences as a means of identifying the challenges to achieving equity and inclusion in the workplace. Gómez guides your team through a structured conversation as a way of generating solutions to combat prejudice and discrimination in your company. This session gives participants the opportunity to voluntarily share their writing and challenges the group to draft communal strategies toward solutions, with facilitated guidance and support throughout.
“But I Don’t See Color” and other Treacherous Workplace Mindsets
This interactive session explores how our identities (race, gender, sexuality, etc.) impact how we experience the world. How might “not seeing color (or gender)” in fact promote bias and exclusion? Why do I feel a certain way when a coworker receives a promotion instead of me? In what ways might a coworker’s common experiences with either exclusion or access feel foreign to me? Gómez investigates structural and unconscious bias, as well as the varied dimensions of privilege, and asks participants to identify concrete strategies for counteracting bias and inequity in the workplace.
Please tell us the specific challenges your team or school is facing when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as the outcomes you are hoping to achieve. From there, and with your guidance and input, Gómez crafts a workshop that honors your vision during our time together.
Praise for Carlos Andrés Gómez— Andrew Hume, Calhoun School
(5/5 stars) — Gómez lays himself bare…a quarter of the audience shed tears yet the show was uplifting.— Bernie Greenwood, Hairline Magazine (United Kingdom)— Shannon Busta, Cord Weekly— Drew Donica, Lawrence University
Carlos is without a doubt one of the best performers we have had on the Berry campus. It is so nice working with someone who is so helpful, so grateful, and an all-around joy to work with. And you can quote me on that.— Taylor Burfeindt, Krannert Center Activities Board, Berry College
The event was incredible. Every student who came was extremely impressed with Carlos…I had seniors coming up to me telling me that Carlos was the best speaker they had seen in four years.— Elizabeth Stanfield, Co-Chair, SEAT, University of Tennessee
Carlos Andrés Gómez—a man so stunningly open, a poet so thrillingly fierce—that my students, normally so intellectual and analytical, couldn’t resist the chance to share their most emotionally intimate stories of learning the world and claiming their voices in it. And they haven’t stopped since.— Cindylisa Muñiz, Trinity School— Makenzie Tucker, Diversity Awareness Chair, Tennessee Wesleyan University
It was a powerful, empathetic, inspiring and enlivening performance – and the students were genuinely moved by it. They’re not an uncritical audience, and I only heard them talking about how awesome he was!— Christopher Moses-Jenkins, Dean of Students, The Berkeley Carroll School
As a person who has been organizing annual writing festivals at my school since the early 90’s, I was awed by the way Carlos Andrés Gómez connected with our students last year. One of my students echoed many of her peers when she wrote, ‘Never before had I really felt poetry the way I did when Carlos recited ‘What is Genocide.’ I didn’t know that poetry could speak and feel with such a power.’ Another enthused, ‘Hearing Carlos Andrés Gómez live literally sent a shiver down my spine at one point…his energy on YouTube doesn’t hold a candle to how powerful he is in person.’ A third commented, ‘His presentation was incredible, but the reason I liked him so much was that he made serious political and social issues the direct subjects of his poems.’ Students also loved Carlos’ workshop on writing because he was inspiring, interesting, and helpful. We generally don’t ask writers to return for several years, but this year we’ve made an exception because so many of our students have asked for Carlos again. To say he made an impact on our community is an understatement.— Dr. Susan Dineen, Upper School English Department (The Pingry School)
Carlos Andrés Gómez has performed for our Centennial College students in Toronto, Canada four times. Within minutes, Carlos has a whole room of students and staff and faculty rapt with attention. His performances are powerful in their delivery and in their honesty. Students engage. They speak up. They join in. A performance by Carlos is a journey in which he leads by example in facing courageously who we are. His spoken word pieces hold our darkest secrets and fears up for us all to see, and they celebrate and call on the best of who we are to do something about it.— Robert Pidgeon, Director of Student Relations, Centennial College
Carlos is nothing short of a sensation on our campus! Since his first performance 5 years ago he has come back every year by popular demand from students and faculty. His performances are mesmerizing and have captivated the hearts and minds of everyone who has come to his shows. Carlos creates a revolutionary space for learning in both his workshops and shows through a compelling performance of poetry, drama, political insight and humour that inspires students to think, act and be agents of change in the world.— Dr. Jasmin Zine, Professor of Sociology, Wilfrid Laurier University
As much as Carlos is an excellent poet and performer, he is an even better person. The honesty and kindness of his character shines through in his weighty words, and makes his performances that much more dynamic. He puts his whole person, both the good and the bad, into his lyrics – and it’s this honesty that sets him apart, and allows his audiences to connect so well with him.— Brian Rainville, Director of Ministry and Service, North Central College
Carlos Andrés Gómez is explosive! His poems are fresh and original but more importantly they have heart and purpose. He performs with passion and takes you on an emotional journey that leaves you thinking and wanting more.— Ubaldo Ocasio, Student, Bradley University
Books by Carlos Andrés Gómez
Media About Carlos Andrés Gómez
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- Carlos Andrés Gómez travels from New York, NY
“Carlos Andrés Gómez does not claim to have all the answers, but that's what's great about this book. He addresses the preconceived notions of manhood and masculinity that most people go their entire lives never questioning. Man Up is the result of a thoughtfully examined life; a book that will make us all more enlightened.” – Hill Harper, author of Letters to a Young Brother