Antioch University New England (AUNE) is honored to announce that racial justice advocate, award-winning writer, nonprofit executive, and alumna Shay Stewart-Bouley will deliver the commencement address at AUNE’s ceremony on Sunday, May 15, 2021.
Stewart-Bouley is a prolific blogger at her award-winning website/blog Black Girl in Maine Media, where race is a major theme but also other social and political issues, as well as sometimes just commentary on daily life as a Black, middle-aged woman in a world where these traits frequently are not valued. Her writing has been featured in a variety of national publications and anthologies. In November 2016, she gave a TEDx talked entitled “Inequity, Injustice… Infection.”
A Chicago native born on the crossroads of working-class, Black and female, Stewart-Bouley’s career since 1997 has focused on weaving these intersections into her daily life and professional work. Since the mid-1990s, Stewart-Bouley has worked in the nonprofit sector, during the earlier years working primarily with marginalized groups in Chicago, including the homeless and women being exploited in sex work.
In the early-2000s, Stewart-Bouley moved from to Maine and, as a Black woman living in one of the least diverse spaces in the United States, found herself writing regularly about race relations, social justice, and white supremacy in such publications at the Portland Phoenix (where she had a monthly column, “Diverse City” for more than a decade), the Portland Press Herald, the Journal Tribune, and DigPortland.
It was also in Maine that her work shifted to nonprofit administration, working both as an executive director at a small faith-based nonprofit in Southern Maine and nonprofit consultant/grant-writer to other organizations, then later becoming executive director of the oldest continuously operating anti-racism organization in the nation, Community Change Inc. (based in Boston), where she still works today.
Stewart-Bouley holds an undergraduate degree from DePaul University, where she self-designed a program to focus on African-American Health and Wellness and health disparities and a master of education in Administration and Supervision from Antioch University New England.
The commencement ceremony will honor more than 500 graduates. Members of Antioch University New England’s 2021 graduating class will receive master’s degrees in applied psychology, clinical mental health counseling, education, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary studies; and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, and environmental studies.
The virtual ceremony will begin at 12-noon pm ET and will be streamed live.