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Monica Daye    

Author, Poet and Activist on Prevention & Awareness of Domestic and Sexual Abuse

Monica Daye is the voice for many silent whisperers; a leader, advocate, poet, and womens activist. Hailing from Durham, North Carolina this fearless woman, and fierce spit-fire poet touches audiences around the country with her biting poetry, soulful stories, and heartfelt commitment to the healing of women and community. Through the gift of spoken word poetry Daye shares her intimate story of surviving sexual abuse and domestic violence.

Daye was raped at a church convention at the age of 11; a teenage run-away, and in her first abusive relationship at the age of 13. Bad choices, and hanging with the wrong crowd led Daye to a youth detention facility and classified as a juvenile delinquent at the age of 14she was incarcerated for two years. After her release from the youth detention facility, Daye was still searching to fulfill the void of emptiness she carried in her spirit since the beginning of her abusive journey. In search for love and acceptance she found herself wrapped in the arms of another abusive man at the age of 17. How did she survive? Daye shares this story as her testimony that God and her gift of poetry was truly her savior. Through poetry she captures all generations and gives hope to those facing the same obstacles she has overcome.

Capturing the poetry scene by storm at the young age of 19, she performed at her first open mic at Yancys Night Club in Raleigh, North Carolina. The release of her first book, And You Thought You Had Problems: Well This Is My Life, in January 2004 directed her path towards community activism, poetry slams, theatrical performances, community organizing, workshop facilitation, media marketing, and radio personalitytalents she never knew she possessed. Since dedicating her life fulltime to the gift of poetry and the womens movement, Daye has featured at many of the local poetry venues, universities, (North Carolina Central University, University of Chapel Hill, Meredith College, NC State University, Shaw University, Duke University, University of Vermont, University of Denver, University of Pembroke), and churches (Union Baptist, Victorious Praise, Mount Zion AME, Compassion Ministries, Trinity AME, New Hope Baptist, New Life Community Church) across the East and West coastAlbuquerque, New Mexico, Vermont, Chicago, Denver, Colorado, Austin, Texas, Montgomery, Alabama, Jacksonville, Florida, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Manhattan, New York, Atlanta, Georgia, Columbia, South Carolina, Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and many others in the last 10 years. She has been a guest feature on several local and national radio programs; raising awareness on womens issues, domestic violence, sexual abuse, child abuse, HIV prevention, and gang violence; just to name a few. Organizing and performing at Bimbe, Centerfest, Martin Luther King Festival, National Organization for Women, Hip-Hop Feminist Nation, Durham Parks and Recreation Community Day, Juneteenth, and many others. Daye has graced stages with legends of poetry such as The Last Poets in 2007, and been an opening act for Adina Howard, and Ky-mani Marley.

As the founder of STANDUP- SPEAK OUT, Monica's personal mission is to speak out and act out against sexual violence and domestic abuse. STANDUP-SPEAKOUT (S.U.S.O) was founded in the spring 2005, a community outreach program against domestic violence and sexual assault. Daye organized S.U.S.O's first series of community events in April 2005 to promote awareness on violence against women. In addition to community awareness S.U.S.O launched its first community-wide collection drive in April 2005--collecting personal hygiene items for battered womens shelters and rape crisis centers in the state of North Carolina. Since the launching of S.U.S.O the programs and services have expanded which has led the small outreach program into the direction of becoming a state and nationally recognized non-profit organization.

Daye has been nominated for several awards during the course of her journey of community activism; a four-time award winner honored by the National Underground Spoken Word & Poetry Awards in 2007: Best Female Spoken Word Artist, Best Album of the Year (7 Days of Freedom), Best Album Cover (7 Days of Freedom), and Community Oriented Underground Poet's Award 2006-2008.

Dayes first album, 7 Days of Freedom a passionate collection of poetry mixed with hip hop music was released in May 2006 to a sold out audience in Downtown Durham. The album tells real stories about violence against women, relationships, spiritual warfare, youth violence, and freedom; an ear opening experience of poetic truth that has captured the young and old--tracks such as Sound da Sirens, 3 Years, Im At War, and 6ft. Deep. Produced by ME MusicWorks Studio in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the album sold over 7,500 copies underground within the first year. 7 Days of Freedom is a classic collectible for now and future generations. Daye is currently working on a 2nd album, a book, and a documentary of her life story.

Daye has starred in several stage plays that include Anatomy of a Woman Abused, HerStory of Love: A Stronger Daye; a poetic theatrical production, and Campaign For Change-Riding with Joe Crack; an anti-gang production. She was featured in Street Life Education in 2008; nominated and awarded Best Segment; a documentary that focuses on the challenges of American youth. In addition, she also featured in Healing through Spoken Word: A Survivors Story; a documentary released in October 2009addressing domestic violence and the healing benefits of spoken word.

Founder and Organizer for Shairis Spit That Poetry (2005-2008); a local poetry venue held in Durham was rated the #1 poetry venue in North Carolina. Shairis open mic was more than a regular poetry venue, it stood on community morals and values, and family--a relaxed atmosphere full of good vibes, and positive energya place where people was not only entertain but educated as well. Welcoming the stage to all generations with a 7 year old being the youngest poet to perform at Shairis. Shairis Radio WXDU 88.7fm (2006-2008) was a collaboration with the poetry venue, bringing the stage to the airwaves. Daye created a platform for local and national underground artist to be heard on radio airwaves, addressing real issues happening in the world--allowing the community to voice their thoughts and poetry for the world to hear. Shairis Radio was not only a local radio program, the show has featured national poets such as; 13th of Nazareth, Talaam Acey, Bluz, Queen Sheba, The Original Woman, and Saul Williams, just to name a few-- national recording artist such as Adina Howard, Common, Baby Cham, Ky-mani Marley (Bob Marleys son), Wayne Wonder, Professor Griff (X Clan), Last Poets, Jaisun McMillian, and many others. The show aired for three years every Friday night until December 2008 when Daye decided to say goodbye to Shairis to focus on personal goals family and education.

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