Meet the Educators: Maya W.
A spoken word poet with a masters in social work, educator Maya is all about the intersection of activism and art.
We’re so excited to start introducing our newest class of educators to our fans and followers. 25 new educators are beginning training this month in Portland, preparing to embark on a month-long tour of colleges across the country. Our first educator we’d like to introduce you to is...Maya Williams!
Currently local to Portland, Maya is originally from North Carolina. They have a Masters in Social Work from the University of New England, and in the two years they’ve lived in Portland they’ve left an indelible mark on the community. They are currently an Educator with EqualityMaine, a local LGBTQIA+ advocacy organization, and bring their many talents to educating young people across Maine about gender, sexuality, and many forms of diversity.
Maya is also a force in the performing arts scene throughout New England, performing original slam poetry with Port Vertitas and at numerous other venues. They are a published poet, and recently performed their solo show, a performance poetry compilation, ‘How to Speak With An Extraterristerial,’ at the Port Fringe Festival this June.
Maya is joining us for their first tour on the road, and we are just as excited to have them on the team as they are about this new adventure. “I really enjoy work that combines art and education related to social justice efforts. And consent education is a form of promoting social justice,” says Maya. “I’ve been involved in youth work for a long time. But this will be my first time being in a touring production for different schools and different youth. It’s very exciting!”
We asked Maya a few more questions about who they are and what they’re bringing to tour. Get to know them a little more in the interview below!
SAI: Why do you think theater is an important vehicle for educating young people about consent?:
MW: In the majority of my experience working with young people, the more interactive an activity or presentation is, the more receptive they are and the more likely they will take what they learned into their personal lives. Theater is such an interactive experience, and I love that it is able to call young folks in to a conversation without making them feel pressured.
SAI: What is something you’re hoping to learn on tour this summer and throughout the year?
MW: I hope to learn more about what works and doesn’t work in different communities, especially in performing art and promoting healthy consent. I’m curious to see how to call folks in or welcome them to the dialogue, encouraging them to work through or with their discomfort that comes with being unfamiliar with a subject matter.
SAI: This can be tough work sometimes, do you have a favorite self-care practice?
MW: Definitely! Prayer, therapy, writing, reading, and watching movies, especially with loved ones.
SAI: If you had to give a TED talk on something, what would it be
MW: I would give a talk on representation in stories about suicide and suicide prevention efforts.
SAI: What song is giving you all the feels right now?
MW: The cover of “Home” by MJ Rodriguez and Billy Porter from the FX show Pose.
SAI: Do you take the last slice of pizza, yes or no?
MW: ...yeah. 🙂
SAI: What is something you’re super proud of?
MW: Staying in therapy, 100%.
Heck yes #selfcare!
You can keep up to date with Maya and their team as they tour the country on our Instagram. And, stay tuned for more interviews with our great educators on the blog!
Speak About It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with high schools and colleges to educate, entertain, and empower students to create positive change within their communities, advocate for and practice healthy relationship habits, and prevent sexual violence.
Copyright 2016 Speak About It, Inc. Website by Alexandra Valleau