Award winning Poet, Activist and Transformational Leader Sonya Renee believes in the life shifting power of art. Sonya is Founder of the intersectional international movement, The Body is Not An Apology, a global coalition of over 26, 000 people focused on radical self love and body empowerment. She is the creator of the RUHCUS Project (Radically Unapologetic Healing Challenge 4 US) a 30-day transformational healing action to address pain, shame, trauma and fear in our lives. Sonya is also a National and International poetry slam champion, author and educator who has mesmerized audiences across the US, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands as well as in prisons, mental health treatment facilities, homeless shelters, universities, festivals and public schools across the globe. Believing that art is a vehicle for social change,

Sonya's wild success can be attributed to her commitment to creating art that challenges, engages and heals the human spirit. Her poetry appears in numerous journals and anthologies including Spoken Word Revolution:Redux, Growing Up Girl, Off Our Backs, Beltway Quarterly, Just Like A Girl, X Magazine,On the Issues Magazine, Flicker and Spark: A Contemporary Anthology of Queer Poetry and Spoken Word, Tandem Literary Journal, FeministWire and more . Her first collection of poetry, A Little Truth on Your Shirt was released by GirlChild Press in 2010. Sonya’s work has been translated into Dutch, Swedish and German, used as curriculum in universities across the country and abroad, and as a tool for community and national action for organizations such as the Black AIDS Institute, HIV Campus Education, Advocates for Youth 1 in 3 campaign, and Gloria Steinem’s reproductive rights organization, Choice USA. Ms. Renee has also seen commercial success with appearances on MTV, BET, TVOne, Oxygen Network, CNN, PBS, and NPR..

With all her success, Sonya has still found time to devote herself to the causes she has fought for since her teenage years. With a B.A. in Sociology and an M.S.A., she is the former Capacity Building and Training Director for the Black AIDS Institute, the nation’s only HIV/AIDS think-tank focused exclusively on the HIV epidemic in Black communities. She has served on the National Board of Directors for the arts and activism organization, Blackout Arts Collective. She is a teaching artist for Lyrical Minded, an arts and transformational learning program working with incarcerated, at-risk and mentally ill youth in locked and alternative facilities in San Francisco, CA. She continues to lend her talents and time to numerous organizations as well as having worked in direct service with at-risk youth, HIV +, sex workers, incarcerated, and those most impacted by social inequality. All the while, Sonya has toured the globe, performed at hundreds of colleges, universities, conferences, and public venues as a champion of Human Rights, International Award Winning Poet and a captivating and entertaining artist.

In 2011, Sonya founded The Body is Not an Apology, an international radical self love and body empowerment movement created as a resource to promote, demonstrate, and assist people of all genders, ages, ethnicities, abilities and sizes in accepting and embracing the magnificence of their mental, physical and spiritual bodies. Since its inception, thousands of people have joined the commitment to living in and loving the bodies they have today. She is currently touring workshops and lectures focused on radical unapologetic healing and personal transformation. Art can change, shift, investigate, entertain, illuminate and make us fall in love with ourselves and each other. It is from this unapologetic truth that Sonya Renee’s work is.

No Frame

about the artist