First inspired by her childhood mentor Angela Davis’s selfless dedication to women and Black people’s rights, Lysania Thomas joined Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2023, committed to continuing her path of over twenty years in social justice, spoken word and nonprofit. Lysania proudly hails from Philadelphia (the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection) though it was her alma mater, the University of Massachusetts Amherst that inspired her professional development in the areas of social justice, equity, and empowerment.
Lysania cultivates purpose in folx that look like her, and those that don’t. She’s committed to speaking the names of Black girls and women who are often forgotten or never mentioned, to writing the wrongs in a world that boxes in LGBTQIAP+ and Identity, and to being the example that underprivileged youth never needed saving, simply opportunity.
Lysania has shared stages with the likes of Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Sonya Sanchez, Jill Scott, and The Roots. The Last Poets, Tank and the Bangas, Amir Sulaiman, and Saul Williams. She’s partnered with communities and organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta, Brave New Voices, NAACP, Audre Lorde Project, NOW, Urban League, Black Lives Matter, Pride Philly, GARE and more. Lysania’s journey has included mentoring Emmy winners, Grammy nominees, sex offenders, gang members, and scholars. From group homes and housing projects to community centers and prisons. Through all these experiences, there has been a resounding sense of gratitude, dedication, and Black girl magic!
When asked about accolades Lysania Thomas states: “I feel like my whole life is an accolade. I’m a mom, a spouse, and the best spades partner you could ever ask for. But honestly, I feel that the intentionality of my life is what I am most proud of. I am my Ancestor’s dream deferred and I have never taken that responsibility lightly.”