Denisha “Coco Blossom” Bland
Denisha Bland, also known as Coco Blossom, is a college student, inspiring poet, and teaching artist who severs as our Operations Manger and Lead Poet-Mentor Education. Coco recently transferred into UC Davis, where she is double majoring in communications and African-American Studies.
Coco Blossom is a single-mother who comes from the urban ghettos of Pittsburg and Sacramento CA. Her passion lies in empowering youth and others through spoken word, writing and education. She believes spoken word is the most powerful element of healing the soul, and the fuse to create change in the world. She is dedicated to the youth voice, social change and empowering women.
In 2009, She attended Los Medanos College (LMC) in Pittsburg, CA. While attending LMC, she was apart of the Umoja Scholar and Create-2-Change program; where she was introduced to social justice work and found her voice. Coco Blossom made her first spoken word debut at Pittsburg Word in 2009. Since than, Coco has performed at a host of open-mic's and community events. She competed in the Oakland Poetry Slam in 2009, where she came in third place. She performed at the Fillmore Black History event and emceed Microphone Monday’s at Sol Collective. She received her name Coco Blossom in 2006 while attending a open-mic at Listen and Be Heard Cafe in Vallejo, CA when the host could not pronounce her childhood name, she came up with Coco Blossom after a character name Orange Blossom in a book she was reading at the time.
In 2011, Denisha relocated to her native town of Sacramento, CA to be closer to family. She enrolled in Consumes River College and begin attending local open-mic's. While attending CRC, Coco served as treasurer over the DIOP Scholar club. She also worked as a Student Ambassador supporting others student success, speaking at board meeting and hosting campaigns to promote CRC to other college perspectives and high-school students. Coco received her AA/AS in Communications and Liberal Arts at Consumes River College (CRC) in 2015.
Coco also served two-term in Americorps, where she completed a series of professional development courses and trainings and served as tutor and peer-mentor. In 2010, She worked as literacy specialist for the Contra Costa County of Education reading to foster youth in group homes. After relocating to Sacramento in 2011, Denisha worked as recreational aide for City of Sacramento.
While working at SAYS, Coco has facilitated a wide variety of writing and hip-hop workshops at events, conferences, and schools/colleges throughout local and nation-wide regions. She has conducted writing-workshop in Juvenile vacillates and New Folsom Prison. Coco is known for her innovative and cultural relevant writing workshop that promotes healing, social change and voice. Ms. Blossom has facilitated writing-workshops at UC Davis Equity Summit and SAYS Summit. She recently performed at the 2016 Fall Convocation were she received a letter of honor from the Interim Chancellor at UC Davis for her performance.
In her spare time, she enjoys walking, traveling, attending comedy shows and spending time with her son. She's an undercover weather geek who loves geography. She’s into fashion, acting, music, art, and cultural. She’s a Artivist who is an advocate for Social Justice. She is also very talented comedian.