Artist Bio: Natasha Thomas-Jackson

Natasha Thomas-Jackson will be performing at the Michigan Sociological Association Annual Meeting reception on Friday, October 23, 2015, in the University of Michigan-Flint’s Michigan Rooms from 7-9pm. This reception is free and open to the public, but please RSVP. For more information and to RSVP, visit go.umflint.edu/MSA2015. Read below for a bio provided by the artist.

Natasha Thomas-Jackson is a social justice activist, writer, feminist, performance artist, consultant, and the co-founder/executive director of RAISE IT UP! Youth Arts & Awareness, an organization that promotes youth engagement, expression, and empowerment through performance, literary art, and social activism. Natasha has been featured on National Public Radio (NPR) and her writing has been published by AlterNet, John Hopkins University, and the Black Congressional Caucus.

As a performance artist, Natasha was featured in the Michigan Emmy Award-winning short documentary, Making Genes Dance. As a member of Neo GrIot, a collective of writers, dancers, performers, educators, and activists, she released 2 group albums, 1 solo album, and shared the stage with the likes of Slum Village, Grace Lee Boggs, and the Last Poets. In 2005, she was a member of Flint’s first-ever National Poetry Slam Team and in 2008, she received the National Hip Hop Political Convention’s Up & Coming Social Justice Artist-Activist Award. In 2012, she was recognized by the Detroit Pistons for her contributions in the areas of youth development and entertainment. The Pistons and their Come Together Foundation honored her as one of their first-ever Community Impact awardees and donated $25,000to her organization.

Natasha is the founding editor of a new website launching in December 2015 called Flying through the Intersection (FTTI). This site is designed to be an innovative digital space where intersectionality within the womanist/feminist movement is explored. Through a variety of content media, Including articles, videos, and podcasts, FTTI will serve as a resource for those looking to explore the various models, strategies and opportunities for creating and sustaining a more intersectional, inclusive, accountable, and holistic women’s/feminist/womanist movement.

Recently, Natasha was selected by the Windcall Institute to be a 2014 Resident. Windcall fosters transformative learning and leadership through residential and alumni programs that improve the quality, effectiveness, and vitality of social movements and supports the organizers who devote their lives to social justice. In 2015, Natasha was a “Black Women in Arts & Media” panelist for the first annual State of Black Women in Michigan Conference hosted by Mothering Justice, the Black Women’s Roundtable and the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. Additionally, Natasha is the lead singer and songwriter for the new soul/hiphop/rock/funk band, Audio Insurgence.