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Meet Shelly Strothers! Shelly, a spoken word artist and educator, is a faculty member for Sadie Nash’s Sisterhood Academy and a site leader for Summer Institute. She believes unity and the collaborative efforts of the community are the only way that marginalized people will collectively liberate themselves. Shelly is looking forward to DJ-ing our dynamic Evening of Joy and Liberation.

How did you become part of the Sadie Nash community?
I crossed paths with Sadie Nash through poetry two years ago. I’m a part of the slam poetry community, and my teammate was a facilitator for Sadie Nash. She invited me to attend a class as a guest presenter.

And what was your first experience like?
I saw that it was a phenomenal program doing libertatory work with an amazing group of young people. I asked myself what I could give to them, and I also saw what they could give to me. It was nourishing and refreshing to see a reflection of myself in these young people.

How have you seen Nashers develop through Sadie Nash?
There’s a sense of belonging.  Young people want to tap into leadership, but they often don’t have a space where they feel comfortable, important, or valued. Once Nashers feel that they’re safe in siblinghood, I see how the community blossoms.

When you think of Sadie Nash’s community, what stands out?

Love stands out for me. In every Sadie Nash interaction there’s an unspoken standard of love. Even if I’ve just met someone here, within five minutes I feel there’s a real exchange. Whether it’s the love they have for this work or the feeling of being happy to meet someone.

Looking back, what advice would you have for your 16 year old self?
It’s okay to let go. If it is the end of one chapter, there are more chapters waiting to open themselves up. It will get bigger and more beautiful from here. Let go of anything that doesn't serve you and tap into what's next.

And what advice would your 16 year old self have for you?
Honestly, pretty much the same. Sis, you need to have a little bit more fun!

Why should others join us at Joy and Liberation?
You should join us because community is fun! It’s worth it to take a break and celebrate where we’re at in the work we’re doing. Come if you want to dance!