Nakia has been featured in many notable news media outlets. Learn more about her work from launching programs, producing podcasts, and publications.
The project is a collaboration among Wardwell, poet Nakia Hill, and the young poets of the Youth Literary Advisory Board at 826 Boston, a writing, tutoring, and publishing nonprofit in Egleston Square, part of a nationwide network cofounded by writer Dave Eggers and educator Nínive Calegari in 2002. Hill directs 826 Boston’s Youth Writing Program Innovation and Partnerships.
“Shai Mendez is a senior at Jeremiah Burke High School in Dorchester, planning for his future. ‘I’ve always been a writer, ever since I was eight,” Mendez said. “That’s when I discovered I had talent with it … I could write for anyone and you know, they’ll always need me.’ Yes they will. That’s the idea behind ‘The Writers’ Room,’ run by the local chapter of national non-profit 826. Students get help improving their writing skills from trained tutors from universities like Northeastern and UMass Boston. What started in San Francisco 15 years ago at 826 Valencia Street now has 6 chapters, including Boston. It’s all free of charge.”
“Mayor Marty Walsh announced the seven artists who’ll participate in the city’s third annual Boston AIR (Artist-in-Residence) program. Hizzoner praised this year’s eclectic group, which includes painters, poets, choreographers, visual artists, and musicians.The AIR program is designed to bring local artists, city employees, and community members together to collaborate on projects exploring local issues, such as racial and social inequity, and intertwining art and public policy.”
“’My biggest passion is women of color,’ says Nakia Hill. The Boston-born writer, educator and journalist is talking to me via FaceTime from London, her first time in Europe for “restoration, relaxation and some exploration.” She’s talking about the driving force behind her artistic collaboration with the city of Boston’s Department of Resilience and Racial Equity and the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, but that statement also speaks to the core of her many projects.”
At the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, Nakia generously joined as a guest editor and oversaw a section dedicated to reclaiming space and celebrating Black writers, artists, and creators based in Boston titled "Revel in Black Excellence." The section, which comprises nearly half the issue, is a space for joy, healing, journeys of self, remembrance, and visions of future through an African diasporic lens.
Nakia Hill partnered with the International Women's Writing Guild (IWWG) to conceive of and launch its first mentorship program. Not only did Nakia recruit all mentors and mentees, she also developed the program content and guided the publication of the Guild's first anthology featuring poems and stories on social justice and racial identity.Thanks to her dedicated partnership and leadership, the Guild has successfully expanded the program both in Boston and nationally.
Nakia’s gentle presence, balanced demeanor and ever brewing creative passion are traits to admire and learn from. She is truly someone you would feel blessed to work with and would be wise to imitate.
Where do I start? Whenever someone asks me for my biggest role model and inspiration I always say Nakia. Not only has she guided me through my time at 826 and helped shape me into a confident leader she also inspired my creative work. Nakia is quick to credit my success to my own vices however I beg to differ. Many of the opportunities I have received are the result of her belief in me and her extended network. We have worked together on numerous projects in which she has always been a guiding hand never a controlling one. During the height of the pandemic our weekly check-ins were something I looked forward to because she would always ask me how I was doing mentally/emotionally. I could probably go on for pages about how hardworking and dedicated Nakia is to her community and the students she serves, but know that I could never be where I am today without her and for that I am eternally grateful.
I was fortunate to work with Nakia Hill in the creation of a public funded site specific mural for the newly renovated Roxbury Public Library in Nubian Square. Collaborating with Nakia over the past two years has been an absolute joy. Not only did Nakia greatly exceed my expectations as a partner but she did so with thoughtful calm and clarity that grounded me during the stressful process of planning, design, and fabrication of the mural. Each step of the way her ideas were creative and concise. Nakia always kept focused on the larger picture.Working with Nakia showed me the true importance of creative voices combined and how with respect and care our work together can create meaning exponentially greater than the sum of our collaboration. I am truly grateful for the experience of working together.