Maria Velazquez is a doctoral student at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests include constructions of race, class, gender, and sexuality in contemporary media, as well as community-building and technology. She serves on the board of Lifting Voices, a District of Columbia-based nonprofit that helps young people in DC discover the power of creative writing. She blogs for _The Hathor Legacy_ (www.thehathorlegacy.com), a feminist pop culture blog, and recently received the Winnemore Dissertation Fellowship from the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities. She has also received a fellowship from the Consortium on Race, Gender, and Ethnicity’s Interdisciplinary Scholars Program. Her dissertation project examines the use of the body as a component in community building, paying particular attention to the Bellydancers of Color Association, the anti-racist blogosphere, and Red Light Center, an adults’ only virtual world. Maria is also a Ron Brown Scholar and an alumna of Smith College.