Mai’a Williams is a writer and poet and lives in the U.S. with her daughter, Theresa. She worked in Quito, Ecuador in 2014 and 2015 as a journalist for teleSUR English, the global Venezuelan revolutionary news agency. In 2013, she lived in Berlin, Germany and worked as a writer and editor.
From 2009 through 2013, she was a community organizer and journalist in Cairo before, during and after the Egyptian revolution. In January 2009, she spent three days in Israeli detention with her one-year old daughter, during the bombings on Gaza, and after being freed from Israeli jail, she moved to Cairo and organized outreach programs with Sudanese teenage refugees/gang members.
She lived and studied in Chiapas, Mexico in 2007-2008 for six months and attended the Zapatista Women’s Encuentro with her baby daughter. In Minneapolis in 2007, she worked as a doula (birth assistant) for working poor Black American and recent west African refugee young mamas.
In the summer of 2006, she was a print and radio broadcast journalist for International Middle East Media Center, during the Israeli-Hezbollah war. In the autumn of 2005, she researched the effects of the of war on local communities, especially on woman, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. That year, she also worked on staff as the anti-oppression consultant and training director for Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). In 2004, she lived in Jerusalem, Hebron, and the village of at-Tuwani in the southern Hebron hills, Palestine, accompanying communities under the threat of Israeli military violence.
It was her living and working with Palestinian, Congolese, and Central American indigenous mothers in resistance communities, that initially inspired her to become a mother and continues to guide her as she practices this life-giving work, called radical mothering.
She is author of two chapbooks of poetry, No God but Ghosts and Monsters and Other Silent Creatures. She is the instigator of the Outlaw Midwives movement, zines, and blog which shifts the discourse around birth, life, death and healing by offering a vision of radical empowerment and accountability. In 2008, she published the Revolutionary Motherhood anthology zine and the corresponding group blog, a collection of writing and visual art about mothering on the margins, which became the inspiration for Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines. Her memoir, This is How We Survive: Revolutionary Mothering, War, and Exile in the 21st Century will be published by PM Press in autumn of 2018.