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Mwende "FreeQuency" Katwiwa  

Speaker & Performer

Mwende "FreeQuency" Katwiwa is a 26-year-old Kenyan Queer Womyn speaker and performer. Ranked third at the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam, Katwiwa is an internationally touring author, host, youth worker, social-justice lecturer, teaching artist and workshop leader who has spent her life at the intersection of arts, education and activism. An award-winning poet and speaker, her work in reproductive justice, Black Lives Matter organizing, LGBTQ+ advocacy and poetry have been featured on Upworthy, OkayAfrica, the New York Times, For Harriet, Everyday Feminism and more.

As a writer, she has always centered storytelling as an avenue to create change and believes in "speaking things into existence." Her work is heavily influenced by her heritage and her pan-African upbringing, and centers "the other" and "the in between," places she has often found herself occupying as a black, queer migrant. Her experience of the power of words and stories to impact the lives of those sharing and receiving has pushed her to share and teach the craft from conferences to community gatherings to work with currently and formerly incarcerated youth and adults.

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