A spoken word activist and teacher with a powerful vision of “unsilenced” Black women.
El Jones uses the power of poetry to make change. She believes that poetry can empower the powerless and give voice to the voiceless. She is committed to the “unsilencing” of Black women through voicing the struggles and resistances of Black women both historically and in daily life.
Born in Cardiff, Wales, from a Welsh father and a Trinidadian mother, El immigrated to Canada with her family, settling in Winnipeg. Coming to Halifax to for graduate school, she found political heart in the African Nova Scotian community, which gave her voice and purpose.
El says her biggest accomplishment is being named Poet-Laureate for Halifax, largely because of what that appointment represents. She has been blessed to be able to help others through connections she has made performing and to be invited to so many communities and places she would otherwise not have had access to.
She is the recipient of a number of scholarships and awards, a published author, and highly sought after public speaker. Her work in various capacities all over Canada lends to her knowledge and experience of the complexities and challenges that Canadian women face as well as an understanding of our strengths and gifts.
Ms. Jones’ work is motivated by the knowledge that we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. She feels a constant and urgent need to continue action on behalf of marginalized people against oppression, racism, gender and sexual discrimination, and colonization.
In El’s view, leadership is not made up of big actions. It is earned every day on the ground by doing the small tasks, often without recognition and reward, that are needed to build relationships, to meet needs, and to empower all around.
Learn more about El Jones’ leadership approach learn from her advice on creating and achieving your own vision.