Bathsheba is an international motivational speaker, radio personality, performing artist, author, educational consultant, 7th grade English teacher, and the CEO and Founder of Cage Free Voices, LLC, an international multi-service educational entertainment company, that educates youth and young adults who struggle with self-image and identity by constructing powerful learning experiences. CFV is a global partner to the United Nations General Assembly Conference held by the Journalists and Writer’s Foundation. Bathsheba 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 Kennedy Center September, 2018 and Capital Fringe Festival in 2019. She is also a member of the Global Youth Leadership Roundtable and Executive Steering Committee.
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—who are both now college graduates and flourishing in teaching and mental health careers—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 English 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 the United Nations Human Rights Awards 2020, Black Nativity at the Anacostia Playhouse in Washington D.C., DAR Constitution Hall, Howard Theatre, Bishop T.D. Jake’s The Potter’s House, Dallas, 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. Bathsheba Smithen has consulted and/or developed curriculum and educational content for multi-million-dollar companies PEARSON Education, The ELOCEN Group, and Urban Learning and Leadership Center. She was instrumental in identifying Effective and Promising Practices for Chronic Disease Management and consulted key policymakers in the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease Management (PFCD). Bathsheba continues to work with Oulu University in Finland on leadership, educational methodologies, curriculum design and implementation.
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.