BEKEZELA MGUNI

BEKEZELA MGUNI is a radical librarian, activist, artist and abundant bodied femme. She believes that the collective sharing of knowledge, beauty and inspiration is a part of life’s purpose and brings that intentional spirit to her work. Born in San Fernando, Trinidad, she immigrated to New York at the age of 11 and lived in the Caribbean neighborhoods bustling in the hearts of Brooklyn and Queens before coming to Pittsburgh.

Bekezela Mguni is a queer Trinidadian artist, librarian, birth worker, and educator. She has over 15 years of community organizing experience in the Reproductive Justice movement and holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. Bekezela participated in the Librarians and Archivists with Palestine delegation in June of 2013. She completed her first residency at the Pittsburgh creative hub Boom Concepts and was featured in the 2015 Open Engagement Conference. She was a 2015-2016 member of the Penn Ave Creative Accelerator Program with the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and launched the Black Unicorn Library and Archive Project. The Black Unicorn cultivates libraries as sites of learning, possibility, and freedom, celebrating the literary and artistic contributions of Black women, queer, Trans, and gender-expansive people.  She has also served as the 2016 Sophia Smith Archive Activist-in-Residence at Smith College.  Bekezela was selected as an Emerging Artist in the 2016 Three Rivers Arts Festival and won the Juror's Choice award for her visual artwork. She was a featured artist of the 2017 Activist Print Project, a partnership between, Artist Image Resource, BOOM concepts, and the Andy Warhol Museum and is an artist in residence at Artist Image Resource. Bekezela is a member of Boom Concepts and also serves as the Education Program Director at Dreams of Hope which affirms the voices and leadership of LGBTQ youth through the arts. 

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