Runs marathons • Took off by herself in Cuba • Loves off roading • Has performed in 7 countries • Touched Prince's hand at a concert • Did a speaking tour in Iran • Swam around a sand dune in the Indian Ocean • Taught Afro-Latino History • Took a boat ride on the Nile River • Got lost in Barcelona...on purpose • Facilitated three trainings in three states in three days • Took a bus from Uganda to Rwanda • Survived the canopy walk at Kakum National Park in Ghana...three times • Got on a rowboat in Malta and had lunch on a random island • Has performed and recorded music in 7 countries making music with local artists• Was interviewed on International TV broadcast all over the Middle East and Africa • Was featured in AfroPunk • Was the artist in residence for the International Congress on Critical Pedagogy & Transformative Leadership at the University of Malta • Received the Distinguished graduate student award • Collects owl figurines and pineapples • Was named a 2017 Woman to Watch by KQED • Wrote a song for UNESCO's Women in Africa curriculum • Lead singer of beat boxing band Antique Naked Soul • Loves vintage clothing • 2017 Cubena McClure Arts and Culture Award recipient• Co-wrote a hip hop seder for the Contemporary Jewish Museum
Former National Program Director of Youth Speaks • Toured Spain in a small car with Nita Friere, the widow of Dr. Paulo Friere • Performed at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Zulu Nation • Jumped out of a plane with Poet and Playwrights Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Chinaka Hodge • Created the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Program • Led tours of young people to the Door of No Return in Ghana • Visited ancient cities around the world • Key orchestrator and builder of the Youth Spoken Word Movement • Co Founder and original Manager of the Oakland Panther Baseball Club • Performed for James Baldwin, Maya Angelou and others as a teenager • Toured London with Olympic Gold Medal Winner and Black Power legend Dr. Tommie Smith • Survived a coup while studying with ballet Africaines in Guinea, West Africa • Taught Black Studies at Merritt College and Berkeley High School • Walked on the molten lava of an active volcano in Sicily • Directed or Produced over 30 short films • Produced multiple events at and with the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts • Led an award winning Public Health Campaign against type 2 diabetes • Appeared in the film "Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme" as a Beat Boxer and MC • Knocked on doors for Dr. Pedro Noguera to be elected to the Berkeley School Board • Presented at the International Congress for Critical Pedagogy in Corinth, Greece • Co Founder of the Oakland Pink Panther Girls Softball Club • Immortalized in graffiti on a rooftop in Tripoli, Lebanon • Worked with Dine youth in the Navajo Nation to fight Type 2 Diabetes
Oakland native. Quit corporate America after 18 years to become a youth educator. Traveled to 9 countries in 10 years. Can’t swim but was featured in a film about how the ocean transforms people’s lives. Trained in conflict resolution and mediation. Ran Bay to Breakers in 1.5 hours without training once. Fur parent. Made Dean’s list after 15-year school hiatus. Hiked El Yunque National Forrest (Puerto Rico) in flop-flops and faux swam in the waterfall. Is a baby whisperer. Is a yogi in training. Wakanda Forever.
Shana S. Sylva is a youth development educator who holds certifications in Youth Development, and conflict resolution and mediation. She holds an AA in Social and Behavioral Sciences and will attend the California Institute of Integral Studies in Fall 2018 to pursue her Bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus in Critical Psychology.