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Nselaa Ward

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Nselaa Ward (born June 26, 1980) is a business architect, TEDx speaker, former attorney, author, spiritual life adviser, inner child specialist, and an International women's poetry slam champion. She is known primarily for her international TEDx talk where she discussed leadership and diversity[1][2]

She spent almost a decade as an attorney during the black lives matter movement. She spent two decades studying business, entrepreneurship, inner child, and feminist grassroots organizing.[1] [3]

She also was a key organizer and international speaker at the 2004 March for Women's Lives, the largest march in the history of the United States for it's time. [4]

Early Life and Education[edit]

Ward was born on June 26, 1980 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the daughter of Fernice Sellars and Narlie Kirby. She was raised by her grandparents Virginia and James Ward. She is the oldest of one sister and five brothers. As a young prodigy she was admitted to the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in the 10th grade, a residential school for academically gifted students[5]. She received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from North Carolina Central University in 2002, followed by her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2008.


Nselaa Ward was the National Field Director for the National Organization for Women.[6] [7] She specialized in women of color in the feminist movement and is remembered for her nationwide two-year tour where she organized women to attend the 2004 March for Women's Lives[8][9], the largest March in the history of the United States for it's time, bringing in over 1.2 million people marching on Washington[10] She also took the stage, as one of the few youth women of color, with Whoopi Goldberg, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Ted Turner and many others[11]. Prior to working with the National Organization for Women she worked with North Carolina NARAL Pro-choice America[12].[13]

Ward is also one of the top female slam poets in the world[14]. Here stage name was the Original Woman. She is compared to poets such as Maya Angelo, Nikki Giovanni, and the Last Poets. [15]She is the number one slam champion of the national slam team, Slam Nuba of Denver Colorado[16] - which ended up winning the National Poetry Slam[17]. She was the first woman to win the Arkansas Grand Slam[18]. She is also ranked as one of the top 5 Women of World Slam Poets by the National WOWps competition[19]. She toured over 422 cities in her early career using Slam Poetry and Spoken Word to unite women and communities of color[1][20][21][22][23]

In 2005 she moved to Denver, Colorado where she graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and eventually started to practice law[24]. She worked for Baker and Hostetler one of the nation's largest law firms.[25] She also worked as a law clerk int for Judge Wiley Daniel, the first African American male appointed as a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado[26]. In addition, she worked for North Carolina Senator Ellie Kinnaird, a women's rights pioneer, who decided to go against the grain and pursue her dream of being an attorney and politician in her 70s[27]. She also worked on the Erskine Bowles senatorial campaign[28].

In 2009 she opened her own law firm where she practiced business and bankruptcy law[29]. However, she is most notably recognized as the notorious aggressive attorney during the black lives matter movement who freed over 300 years of black lives from the prison industrial complex even at the risk of her own license[29]. During this time she studied inner child psychology and thousands of business and bankruptcy cases to understand the correlating factors that result in businesses failures and successes[29].[30]

In 2016, she became the managing partner at Ni' Nava and Associates, eventually managing one of the largest business architect firms in the southeast[31]. In 2009 she spoke at TEDxSaintLouisUniversityMadrid debuting her talk "Leadership and Diversity Lessons from the Bar [1]." The talk picked up attention quickly and was distributed to an international audience[1]. Ward has spoken at over 200 colleges and universities and is the Chief Executive Office of "What a Super Hero Looks Like," an organization that helps ex-offenders and sex workers to open businesses and rediscover their divine purpose.[32]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ward, Nselaa, Lessons of Leadership & Diversity from the Bar, retrieved 2020-02-19
  2. "TED.com Who is Nselaa Ward". TED.com. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. "Principia College Pan Africanist Conference". Principia College. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  4. "CSPAN coverage of the Nselaa Ward and the march for Women's Lives". CSPAN. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. "North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics – Student Research". www.ncssm.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  6. "Media Center". National Organization for Women. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  7. Deborah, Hopkinson (2018). What Is The Women's Rights Movement?. Penguin Workshop. ISBN 9781524786298. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  8. "Flashback: Over One Million March for Women's Lives". National Organization for Women. 2014-04-25. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  9. "Principia PRI Radio News". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. "Flashback: Over One Million March for Women's Lives". National Organization for Women. 2014-04-25. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  11. "Flashback: Over One Million March for Women's Lives". National Organization for Women. 2014-04-25. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  12. "News". NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  13. "CSPAN coverage of Nselaa Ward the organizer of the 2004 March for Women's Lives". CSPAN. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  14. "Decatur Hosts National Poetry Slam Competition". 90.1 FM WABE. 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  15. "The Original Woman (Ward, JD) Beats everyone! If you are going to be beat; be beat by the best!". 2009-10-09. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  16. "About | Slam Nuba". Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  17. "Women of the World Poetry Slam | WOWPS". IWPS. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  18. ""The Original Woman" Ward is the first Woman to win the Arkansas Grand Slam". The Arkansas Gazette. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  19. "Women of the World Poetry Slam | WOWPS". IWPS. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  20. "John Hopkins News". Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  21. "ThirdEyeSpoken". www.thirdeyespoken.com. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  22. "Reading Series". washingtonart.com. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  23. "New Dawn Unlimited". www.newdawnunlimited.com. Retrieved 2020-03-09.
  24. "Diversity and Inclusive Excellence | Sturm College of Law". www.law.du.edu. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  25. "About Us". www.bakerlaw.com. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  26. Fulcher, Michelle P. "After Judge Wiley Daniel Made History, He Mentored Young African American Lawyers". Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  27. Writer, Mark Tosczak Staff. "Event works to suspend executions". Greensboro News and Record. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  28. "ERSKINE BOWLES FOR US SENATE - committee overview". FEC.gov. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 "Authorizemove". Spotify. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  30. "CSPAN Coverage of the feminist agenda in law". CSPAN. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  31. "Ni Nava & Associates - Preeminent Partners to Level Up Your Enterprise". www.ninavafirm.com. Retrieved 2020-02-19.
  32. "Laredo College". Laredo News. Retrieved 2020-02-19. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)

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