Identity and Empowerment Speaker
Bathsheba Smithen Bio
Bathsheba is a motivational speaker, radio personality, performing artist, author, educator and the CEO and Founder of Cage Free Voices, LLC, an educational entertainment company, that seeks to educate youth and young adults who struggle with self-image and identity through literature, spoken-word, workshops, conferences, seminars, music and events. She is the co-host for NPR station, WEAA 88.9, The Voice of the Community, a member of the NSBA Leadership Council and the host for her own radio show, Cage Free Voices Radio.
Bathsheba is a native of Newport News, Va. Having experienced homelessness, depression, and abandonment by her parents as a teen, and having raised two teenage boys--one now in graduate school and the other graduating in Spring of 2015--before she herself turned 26, Sheba connects readily with the disenfranchised, offering them hope by teaching both social and academic skills through her lessons, writing, and performance. She is a young thought leader with over 13 years of professional experience working with challenged youth, adult-learners, and presents the full package as a lyricist-songwriter, author, poet and public speaker.
Ms. Smithen has been acclaimed a first-rate thinker, by world-renowned poet, Dr. Nikki Giovanni. Woven into the fabric of her writing is transparency, vulnerability, and spirituality, combined with a voice of freedom developed through personal strength and joyfully offered to others. In her spoken performances of her original poems, Sheba infuses the same breadth and depth as she does in teaching Reading Language Arts. Students and general audiences alike are moved by her often controversial and advocacy-driven topics. She states, "My mission is to see the revival of a dying social conscience. People today are more concerned about themselves than others, and I am certain that we are not here on this earth to simply serve ourselves."
Bathsheba has opened/performed for Black Nativity at the Anacostia Playhouse in Washington D.C., DAR Constitution Hall, Howard Theatre, The Capitol Region National Day of Prayer Multigenerational Dialogue with World Vision, I'm All In: A solutions driven discussion on race relations in Charles County, Social Solutions and many others. She spends most of her time training teachers and empowering young women to, "See themselves, even if the world is blind."
Ms. Smithen provides training and curriculum development to school districts, church leaders and educational publishing companies such that they may infuse youth culture in educational materials. Bathsheba has spent time training leaders within the Omaha School District, and Abyssinian Baptist Church. As a curriculum developer and writer, Ms. Smithen has made contributions to PEARSON, US, Urban Learning and Leadership Center, GEAR UP, REAL Women, and others.
Born and raised in Virginia, Bathsheba Smithen is an International Baccalaureate diploma recipient, a graduate of An Achievable Dream Academy, and a Mary Hughes-Harley Davidson and McNair Scholar. She is also a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Biology and holds a Master's in Health Systems Management from George Mason University. Her creative memoir, Who Cares What You Think...So What You Think?: A Journey Through the Mind, takes readers on the common journey from anger, disappointment, and hopelessness, to love, forgiveness, and peace. A companion book of her poetry entitled, No Longer Hidden as well as the sequel to the first; What Happens to "Them" When You Change, were released in 2013. Bathsheba has been featured in Urban Buzz, NURA, and Path Magazines, Pretty Period, The Daily Press along with many others.
Ms. Smithen has made appearances on WEAA 88.9, The Voice of the Community with multi-award winning journalist, Sean Yoes, Conversations Live with Cyrus Webb Blog Talk Radio, and WPFW 89.3, for her expertise in education, youth development, and entertainment.