We’re thrilled to announce that a new associate editor has joined the Lion’s Roar Foundation—Noel Alumit. His focus will be on promoting the voices of Asian American Buddhists. Working with the full support of our print editorial, digital, and publishing teams, he’ll connect with leaders, teachers, and organizers to discuss community needs and viewpoints and to identify and engage new writers, teachers, and spokespeople.
Over the years, Lion’s Roar has dramatically increased the number and prominence of teachers and practitioners of color in all our publications. With Noel joining us, we will be able to go much further.
Noel will be working closely with fellow associate editors Mariana Restrepo, Ayo Pamela Yetunde, and Mihiri Tillakaratne who were hired in 2021. Mariana works to amplify the voices of Latino Buddhists, while Ayo focuses on Black Buddhists, and Mihiri, like Noel, is focused on Asian American Buddhists. This talented team of associate editors has been funded by the Kataly Foundation.
To help you get to know Noel a little better, we’ve asked him to share a bit about himself.
I am honored to serve as associate editor at Lion’s Roar covering Asian American Buddhism. I have been an Asian American and queer advocate for over twenty years working with the Asian American theatre company East West Players and the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team, and as a founding member of API Equality-LA, a queer Asian and Pacific Islander social justice organization. I also had the pleasure of serving as a California State Commissioner on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, informing the Governor’s office about issues concerning my community.
As a writer, I’ve published two novels, Letters to Montgomery Clift and Talking to the Moon, a Los Angeles Times bestseller. My work tends to explore themes of immigration, queerness, displacement, and spirituality. My fiction and nonfiction have been published in USA Today, the Asian Pacific American Journal, McSweeney’s, StoryQuarterly, Best Gay Stories, 2012, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and many others. I recently received a grant to write a novel about 1920s Hollywood.
I’ve worked in academia as staff or adjunct faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, and the University of the West. Oh, and I’m also a multidisciplinary artist engaging in performance and the visual arts. I have a BFA in drama.
My very eclectic life is sustained by Buddhism. I deepened my practice by earning a Master of Divinity in Buddhist chaplaincy at UWest and was ordained through the International Center for Chinese Buddhist Culture and Education. I’ve contributed chapters to A Thousand Hands: A Guidebook to Caring for Your Buddhist Community and Refuge in the Storm: Voices in Buddhist Crisis Care (forthcoming). I facilitate meditation groups for Meditation Coalition and LA Artcore.
Please reach out to me if you have Asian American Buddhist stories we should hear about. My email is [email protected].