Speaker

 

Speaker Brief

 

Lydia Joyner 

Author, Artist, & Advocate

Little Wild Thang: A Living Diary Presentation

 

Lydia Joyner chronicles her abuse and trauma-filled youth, as well as her journey into adulthood as an author and agent of change in “Little Wild Thang - a Living Diary Presentation.”

 

Based on her newly released book, “Little Wild Thang Part I” Joyner tells her story through social services documentation, video files, photographs, and diary entries to create an immersive experience that deeply connects with the audience and shows them that no challenge is too great to overcome.

 

By the time she turned 18 years old, Joyner had 18 social workers, was placed in and out of 35 different homes, experiencing four failed adoptions. In school she failed kindergarten and couldn’t read or write until the third grade. Her family had a history of mental illness and drug addiction recycling traits of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. She lost her cousin and best friend to rape and murder and spent a majority of her late teenage years sleeping on the couches of friends. Yet, none of this stifled her dream to one day find love, happiness and success. She did not want to end up living on the streets, in prison or dead; just another number in a statistic. Joyner wanted to be a warrior paving new paths on unpaved ground.

 

Today, she is an advocate for all little wild thangs, appearing on television and radio and in newspapers and publications, and speaking to groups and organizations throughout the U.S. She’s addressed the United Nations in New York and worked with Columbia University as a writer and creative consultant for “My Sky Is Falling,” a program that immerses individuals into the world of foster care and youth homelessness. Her background also includes working on shows for ABC, BET, Lifetime, the Oprah Winfrey Network and MTV.

 

Joyner will share the five things she believes got her to where she is today, with examples excerpted from “Little Wild Thang.” They include love, forgiveness, bravery, community and imagination. Her words are straight forward and her passion is evident as she shares through her presentation that one can’t be judged by their DNA, nor does it dictate who they are or the future they’ll have. Lydia Joyner tells her story, not because it’s hers but because it represents the stories and voices of millions of children and adults across the world.