A transplant from Los Angeles, Ryan Leano graduated in 2005 from SFSU, where he earned his master’s degree in Asian American Studies with an emphasis on Pin@y Critical Cultural Production, culminating in his thesis entitled, “The Rhythm of a Nation: The Filipin@ American Movement in Hiphop Dance.” During his graduate studies, he was introduced to a community of educators, activists, and artists working towards social change, cultural pride, and community empowerment. He became involved in several community organizations, participating in campaigns for immigrant rights, full equity for the Filipino World War II veterans, ending gentrification in San Francisco’s low-income working class neighborhoods, and combatting human rights violations in the Philippines and all war-torn countries.
Before his move to the Bay Area, Ryan was also a b-boy, dancer, and choreographer as a member of Team Millennia, a Hiphop dance company based in Fullerton, CA, which allowed him to train professionally in the Los Angeles dance industry. Recognizing that art can not be independent from social consciousness, he commits himself to the masses as a transnational cultural worker, working with like-minded cultural workers on projects that incorporate dance, music, and visual media. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in International & Multicultural Education with a Human Rights emphasis at University of San Francisco, dancing for the Bay Area based Hiphop dance company Soulidified Project, and continues serving the people as a general member of SF-Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (SFCHRP), Active Leadership to Advance the Youth (ALAY), as well as the National Secretary General of SanDiwa, the youth & student arm of National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON).