Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Maeva Romy Nathalie Guirand Renaud migrated to the U.S. in 1991 during the Coup d’etat against former President, Jean Bertrand Aristide. At an early age, Maeva developed a passion for the arts as a way of escape from her fears and sorrow. Due to the death of her mother, Maeva had difficulties understanding who she was and why she was here. Even though language was a barrier for her, Maeva found the arts as a way of communication and interaction with others outside of her culture.
In grammar school, Maeva boldly declared that she wanted to be a clown when she grew up so that she could make people happy. She performed her first poem before the Prime Minister of Haiti in 1992. The poem was none other than, Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” (which she recited in French). By the time Maeva reached high school, she was already involved with the International Thespian Honor Society and participated in a variety of theatre festivals. Maeva was also nominated for the Silver Knight Award in Drama for Miami-Dade County. Throughout her college career, she performed with The Metropolitan Diversity Theatre, Chichima Productions, and various community theatre troupes.
In 2000, after playing the role of a praying grandmother, Maeva began to seek for greater purpose behind her work. As her journey of faith began, Maeva started to see clearer and gain better understanding of who she was, who she was created to be, and her responsibility to mankind. Maeva’s dreams of becoming a star didn’t change, but her understanding of what a star was changed her entire concept of being an entertainer. Because of her spiritual awakening, Maeva’s passion for the arts grew into a passion for people.
In 2003, Maeva started a multi-media and performing arts mentoring program for youth and young adults, where she produced, directed, and performed in two major showcases, “Poetry in Motion” and “Change is Coming”. In 2008, Maeva published her first book of poetry entitled”Change is Coming: Dreams Pursued, Purpose Fulfilled”- A poet’s retrospective on life and faith. In April 2009, Maeva published her second book of poetry, “One Mind to the Body”- a collection of poetry touching on love, self-doubt, faith, and purpose.
As an educator, artist, and activist, Maeva’s objective has always been to utilize her creative community building and organizational skills to create a lasting impact on individuals and communities. With a Master of Science in Special Education from Brooklyn College, a Master of Arts in Urban Studies with a concentration in Community Arts Development from Eastern University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Multi-Media Communications from Florida Atlantic University, she utilizes her passion, knowledge, and experience to create awareness on social justice and advocate for educational equity in communities of color.