The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will host Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa on Tuesday, January 30, at 7 p.m. in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center. The event, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by the Academic Village, Committee for Gender Equity, the Criminal Justice Club, Diversity Student Coalition, and the Creative and Professional Writing Program.
The 25-year-old Katwiwa is a 2017 TED Women speaker who was ranked third at the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam. She describes herself as an Immigrant, Queer, Womyn speaker, writer, and performer. An internationally touring author, host, youth-worker, social-justice lecturer, teaching artist, and workshop leader, she has spent her life at the intersection of arts, education, and activism.
Katwiwa is a founding member of the New Orleans chapter of BYP100 and a founding committee member of the New Orleans Youth Open Mic. She runs the Young Women with a Vision afterschool program in New Orleans at Women with a Vision (a social justice nonprofit whose major focus areas include HIV+ Women’s Advocacy, Sex Worker Rights Drug Policy Reform all through a Reproductive Justice framework). She also is a blogger with the African fashion and culture blog Noirlinians.
An award-winning poet and speaker, she and/or her work in Reproductive Justice, #BlackLivesMatter organizing, LGBTQ+ advocacy and poetry have been featured on Upworthy, OkayAfrica, TEDx, the New York Times, For Harriet, Teen Vogue, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, and other outlets.