Nekisha Killings (www.nekishakillings.com) is a military spouse, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and homeschooling Mama of 3 lionesses. A former marketing exec and ghostwriter, Nekisha melds many different talents into supporting families and creating written works that heal and inspire.
Nekisha fell into her passion for supporting mothers and babies through her own breastfeeding challenges with her first baby. She quickly came to realize how having informed, caring support throughout one's journey can make all the difference between reaching breastfeeding goals and never coming close.
While pursuing her Master of Public Health degree, she completed research projects in areas such as The Global Environmental Impacts of Not Breastfeeding, and How Ethnotheories Impact Mothers' Breastfeeding Decisions Across Cultures. Nekisha continues to perform research, write, and speak on the topics of Breastfeeding Practice for the Mobile Clinician; Breastfeeding Equity; Culturally Appropriate and Humble Care; and The Impact of Historical Trauma on Breastfeeding Today.
To Dem Black Mamas Podcast, Nekisha lends her cynicism, wit, cackle, and pearl clutching in large doses.
CRYSTAL TENNILLE IRBY
Crystal mother of 4, 3 boys and 1 girl, (www.crystaltennilleirby.com) identifies as a Black Mother Creative, an artist who creates work across multiple artist disciplines that centers on Black women and mothering. She is a poetry slam grand slam champion, published author and actress. Crystal is a 2017 Watering Hole Poetry Fellow and the cofounder and Director of Writers Well Youth Fellowship Retreat, which is a retreat for Black girls ages 14-19 focused on writing and performance. Her 2017 TEDxTalk entitled Bible Belt Black: A Biomythography focused on Black Southern motherhood. Crystal's recent theatre credits include, The Mrs. & the Mistress and Untitled Reconstruction Play, which she directed and coproduced.
Crystal was a member of the international poetry collective, Colors of the Diaspora, which was comprised of female artists from the U.S. and South Africa. She traveled to South Africa and performed in the premiere of the original multi-lingual theater piece, Colors of the Diaspora, at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. Crystal was a contributing writer for For Harriet. Her work has also been published in anthologies, including Hub For the Holidays (2013) and HIS RIB: Poems, Stories and Essays by HER (2007). Beyond poetry and spoken word, Crystal works with Speaking Down Barriers and facilitates a monthly workshop entitled Healing Us for Black people to discuss the process of healing from race and gender trauma. She is a member of the board of Hub City Writers Project a non-profit press, which publishes well-crafted, high-quality works by new and established authors, with an emphasis on the Southern experience. Crystal obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Media Production from Florida State University.
Thea Monyeé, mother of 3 girls (www.theamonyee.com) is an accomplished spoken word artist, speaker, and writer with credits that include appearances on HBO Def Poetry, BET, and TV One's Verses & Flow, performances at the legendary Ford Amphitheater and House of Blues in Los Angeles, countless college tours, and commissions to write poetry for the NAACP and other national organizations. In 2017 Monyee added TEDx speaker to her list of accomplishments with her TEDxTalk entitled The Language of Our Ancestors. In addition to blazing stages from theaters to film and television, Monyeé is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Cal State L.A., a regular contributor to For Harriet and Black Girl in Om online publications. Currently, Monyeé is a contributor to SayWordLA.org and a board member of Manhood Camp for At-Risk males. She is the author of Murmurs of a MadWoman: An Unconventional Memoir, and a signed fiction writer with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. Monyeé travels the country for speaking engagements ranging in topics such as mental health, social activism, intersectionality, and creative writing.