Bathsheba is a motivational speaker, radio personality, performing artist, author, educational consultant, and the CEO and Founder of Cage Free Voices, LLC, an educational entertainment company, that seeks to educate youth and young adults who struggle with self-image and identity by constructing powerful learning experiences. She is the playwright, producer, and lead actress for, From Divorce to Restoration. From Divorce to Restoration is the first play to come out of the Cage Free Voices Theatre division. The play was featured in the Page to Stage Theatre Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center this September.
Bathsheba is a native of Newport News, Va. Having experienced homelessness, depression, and abandonment by her parents as a teen, and having raised two teenage boys—one now in graduate school and the other graduating in Spring of 2015—before she herself turned 26, Sheba connects readily with the disenfranchised, offering them hope by teaching both social and academic skills through her lessons, writing, and performance. She is a young thought leader with over 13 years of professional experience working with challenged youth, adult-learners, and presents the full package as a lyricist-songwriter, author, poet and public speaker. Ms. Smithen has been acclaimed a first-rate thinker, by world-renowned poet, Dr. Nikki Giovanni. Woven into the fabric of her writing is transparency, vulnerability, and spirituality, combined with a voice of freedom developed through personal strength and joyfully offered to others.
In her spoken performances of her original poems, Sheba infuses the same breadth and depth as she does in teaching Reading Language Arts. Students and general audiences alike are moved by her often controversial and advocacy-driven topics. She states, "My mission is to see the revival of a dying social conscience. People today are more concerned about themselves than others, and I am certain that we are not here on this earth to simply serve ourselves." Bathsheba has opened/performed for Black Nativity at the Anacostia Playhouse in Washington D.C., DAR Constitution Hall, Howard Theatre, The Capitol Region National Day of Prayer Multigenerational Dialogue with World Vision, I’m All In: A solutions driven discussion on race relations in Charles County, Social Solutions and many others. She spends most of her time training teachers and empowering young women to, “See themselves, even if the world is blind.”
Ms. Smithen provides training and curriculum development to school districts, church leaders and educational publishing companies such that they may infuse youth culture in educational materials. Bathsheba has spent time training leaders within the Omaha School District, and Abyssinian Baptist Church. As a curriculum developer and writer, Ms. Smithen has made contributions to PEARSON, US, Urban Learning and Leadership Center, GEAR UP, REAL Women, and others.
Born and raised in Virginia, Bathsheba Smithen is an International Baccalaureate diploma recipient, a graduate of An Achievable Dream Academy, and a Mary Hughes-Harley Davidson and McNair Scholar. She is also a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Biology and holds a Master’s in Health Systems Management from George Mason University. Her creative memoir, Who Cares What You Think...So What You Think?: A Journey Through the Mind, takes readers on the common journey from anger, disappointment, and hopelessness, to love, forgiveness, and peace. A companion book of her poetry entitled, No Longer Hidden as well as the sequel to the first; What Happens to “Them” When You Change, were released in 2013. Bathsheba has been featured in Urban Buzz, NURA, and Path Magazines, Pretty Period, The Daily Press along with many others. Ms. Smithen has made appearances on abc7, WHUT, WHRO, DCTV, WEAA 88.9, The Voice of the Community with multi-award winning journalist, Sean Yoes, Conversations Live with Cyrus Webb Blog Talk Radio, and WPFW 89.3, for her expertise in education, youth development, and entertainment.
Author: Bathsheba Smithen | Publisher: The ProfoundThought Press | ISBN: 978-0-615-85388-8
How do you feel about Change? Is Change the lover you relate to intimately and trust with your very life? A friend you're happy to see now and then but from whom you sometimes need time apart? Or an enemy you fear and keep at a distance? Such heart-wrenching and soul-probing questions bring reader and author alike to a place of enlightenment, deepened relationships, and . . . change. But it can be a long journey from there to here.
And if possible, cultivate envy until it breaks through the walls of your desperately desirous heart.
Bathsheba Smithen adopts these principles in order to survive, until things go from bad to worse. When her father, who is also a pastor, suddenly dies of a heart attack eight years after she saw him last, she is left to deal with the clash of emotions between his two rivaling families and -hardest of all- within herself. Issues spin out of control at his funeral, and in the aftermath, so does Sheba's life. To cope with her grief over what was and what might (should) have been between a dad and a daughter, the simultaneous abandonment by her mother, financial struggles, and her new role as legal guardian to two teenage siblings, she must entrust herself to an uncertain hope, even if it means losing some of the people she loves and the habits she has long relied on. She must accept Change.
By sharing her own experiences transparently, Bathsheba hopes to support others who find themselves where she once was -on a dead-end street. What Happens to Them When You Change is an offering of the heart, through which the author aims to help bridge the gap between the change you seek and the resources you need in order to make -or let- change happen. This creatively written memoir will give the helpless teen a shoulder to cry on, the step-mother a listening ear, and the black sheep of the family a will to come back home. As the nightmare fades, the only thing loud is the silence. Will the reader accept the freedom Change brings or remain wed to the shackles of destructive habits -the "Them" of the title?
Unique in style, this book goes beyond a narrative of the author's life to examine the process of change that touches us all. Change, along with other unexpected characters, is memorably personified as part of the author's experience, offering the reader a visual of his or her emotions as well. The subject matter here is universal, with the power to inspire people of all nationalities, ethnicities, and walks of life.
Author: Bathsheba Smithen | Publisher: The ProfoundThought Press | ISBN: 978-0-615-73094-3
No Longer Hidden is an account of my journey through life, captured in metaphorical images and lyrical format. Poetry permits a person to see through a kaleidoscopic lens as the sequence of life events presents challenges that would be unbearable if not written in melodic form. Where the book serves as a cutting board for me, a space for dissecting my innermost feelings, it is also an entree served to the reader, since one may be able to absorb secret truths as he or she ingests each piece of poetry.
Author: Bathsheba Smithen | Publisher: The ProfoundThought Press | ISBN: 978-0-615-44623-3
The debut book by Bathsheba Smithen invites readers along as she, at the age of 25, confronts the harsh realities of her existence-the product of adultery between her mother and a married pastor; growing up as one of twelve children; and being molested in early adolescence. Who Cares What You Think...So What You Think? is an urban, creative memoir that concerns the emotional struggles of a young woman who finds it difficult to embrace her identity in the midst of an often judgmental society. The book serves as a journey through the author's mind, revealing the natural tendency of human beings to develop coping mechanisms-sometimes seemingly opposite ones-to deal with personal issues and societal pressures. Often we desire to be unique, but that feeling is overturned by conflicting emotions and the need to be accepted.