With over 25 years of experience as the most widely read newspaper columnist in the American West, S. Renee Mitchell left a successful career in journalism to pursue a calling as an artist, author, poet, playwright and community activist. Nominated twice for the Pulitzer, Renee left an indelible mark on the world of journalism before stepping out into this new phase of her life. She is a celebrated spoken word artist, a painter, an inspirational speaker, a woman’s advocate and an all around tornado of art, creativity and activism. Renee has shared the stage with greats such as bell hooks, Erykah Badu, Danny Glover, pianist Tom Grant, Grammy Award winners Esperanza Spalding and Dr. Thara Memory, the late singer Linda Hornbuckle and many others. She has written a libretto, seven full plays, a children’s book, a novel, two books of poetry and countless articles and short pieces.
Renee has been described as a “Creative Revolutionist” who explores the issues of gender, race, poverty, art and identity in her diverse work. She has also been called a “creative healing griot, who nurtures hope, empowerment and inspiration.” I think she is an artistic doula who helps people give birth to their own creative power. In this episode, we discuss her 25 plus years as an award-winning journalist, what it's like to be the only person of color in a neighborhood, school or job, and what drives her to keep transforming suffering into beauty and art.