POET , Multi-Hyphenate Artist & Educator
U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo is a Zimbabwean-American Boston-based poet, performance artist, storyteller, and educator with an international reach and a transnational lens. In January of 2023, She received a Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Wu for her creative work in the city, her commitment to health and wellness from her time at Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Public Schools, and a true commitment to making Boston more inclusivity and equitable. She is presently working on a project " Threads of Assumption "an interactive art exhibition with Maria Finkelmeier, Martha Rettig, and Sofie Hodara. It surfaces interwoven experiences shaped by gender bias. Through interpretation and interrogation of both human stories and artificial intelligence (AI), This will be making its third installation on April 1, 2023, in East Hartford. Ct. Mhlaba-Adebo is a 2021 Creative Entrepreneur Fellowship recipient from the Arts and Business Council of Boston and A recipient of the BIPOC Arts Leaders Ripple Grant by the Cultural Equity Leadership ( ACI)”. She has been featured on GBH’s “Suitcase Stories,” and Boston Globe Black History Film Festival as Costume Stylist for Award-winning “ Memoirs of A Black Girl”. By Thato Mwosa. Her debut poetry collection, Soul Psalms (She Writes Press) published in 2016, was hailed by the President of the American Psychology Association Dr. Thema Bryant- Davis as “… a therapeutic collection…beautifully transparent..” U-Meleni is also an occasional adjunct professor who teaches creative writing and performance poetry. She has a Master’s in Education from Lesley University, focusing on Multicultural education and theatre arts. Combining Art, Education, Healing & Social Impact has always been her mission. To that end, she founded Maoko Project, an arts+social impact practice guided by Ndau ( Shona) principles stemming from the breadth of her experience. Kicking off in February 2022 is her partnership with Friendship Bench Zimbabwe. This NGO trains Gogo’s ( Grandmothers) to provide talk therapy for free on a bench to those in crisis. Her fundraising efforts supported 2 Clinics in Zimbabwe. Collectively impacting over 5,000 people. Her work can also be found in the groundbreaking Book by Linda Villarosa “ Under the skin” a compelling examination of racial disparities in health care as well as in the book “ Art in the Time of Unbearable Crisis: Women respond by Stephanie Raffelock with a foreword by Brooke Warner, both released June 2022. U-Meleni is a board member for Write On the Dot and Mass Poetry as well as a member of the New England Poetry Club & the National Writers Union. She is deliciously loved by her adorable husband and son.