SONYA RENEE TAYLOR
Award winning Poet, Activist and Transformational leader Sonya Renee believes in the life shifting power of art. Sonya is a National and International poetry slam champion who has shared her work and on stages across the US, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Sweden, Canada and the Netherlands in prisons, treatment facilities, homeless shelters, universities, festivals and elementary schools. Believing that art is a vehicle for social change, Sonya is founder of The Body is Not An Apology and 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'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 and On the Issues Magazine. 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, and Gloria Steinem’s reproductive rights organization, Choice USA. Ms. Renee has also seen commercial success with appearances on HBO, Oxygen Network, BET, CNN, and MTV.
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.