Raven is a proud Detroiter. An artist, educator, writer, facilitator, and consultant, Raven has lived at the intersection of art and social justice since her early days at the Detroit School of Arts (DSA). Being from a predominantly Black city, Raven was allowed to be cocooned with education centered on her history--art being introduced in the form of Motown being played on the radio and August Wilson, Cassandra Medley, and Maya Angelou being the assigned literature. Unintentionally indoctrinated with antiblack sentiments through the “get out of the hood” and “college is everything” mantras, Raven took her first generation self to a predominately white institution where for the first time in her life she was a minority and “black” was her primary descriptor.
Determined to put language to the rage and ostralization she was experiencing, she obtained her research honors in Ethnodramatic Theatre Studies at Illinois Wesleyan University. Using theatre to ask difficult questions around oppression (race, class, and gender) and seeing how art created intimacy for humans to answer them, Raven the found her politic with Theatre of the Oppressed as a Teaching Artist.
In addition to using art to curate and produce space for folks of color, Raven found herself with a resource and privilege to use it through a partnership with a prominent recreation center where she used Theatre of the Oppressed to increase literacy skills in elementary aged black and latinx children. Her research and experiences led her to creating Anti-Oppression workshops as a tool for community building and organizing. Raven’s passion of advocating for social change and human rights and the strategy to lessen being thrice accursed (Black, queer, and woman) led her to her Master’s in Education Policy and Management with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In her artist’s hat, Raven’s work is concerned with examining the impact of white supremacy through proximity to oppression and contemporary violence (allyship, gentrification, white liberalism, internalized anti-black sentiment, etc.). With her pedagogy focusing on creating space for intimacy and community to be built (believing that a deeper trust creates deeper engagement which lends to deeper learning) and her politic being one of Black Queer Feminist Thought, she intends to provide tools to reexamine, dismantle, and create for liberation.
Some previous partnerships include the A.R.T (Cambridge, MA), H.G.S.E. Equity Fellowship (Cambridge, MA), Western Avenue Community Center (Bloomington, IL), Delta Dental Health Theatre (St.Louis, MO), Illinois Shakespeare Festival (Bloomington,IL), and Mosaic Youth Theatre (Detroit, MI), CYI Detroit (Detroit, MI), Global Campaign for Education- US Chapter (D.C.), Lawndale Christian Legal Center (Chicago, IL), Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (Chicago, IL), Teachers for Social Justice (Chicago, IL), Avodah (Chicago, New York, D.C., New Orleans), The Goodman Theatre (Chicago, IL), Harvard Defenders (Cambridge,MA)...
Intellectual Contribution EPM, Harvard School of Education 2017