BALTIMORE, MD, March 31, 2021 /24-7PressRelease/ — Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Chezia Thompson Cager Strand, DA, with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. A renaissance women who is an accomplished listee, Dr. Strand celebrates many years’ of experience in her diverse professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities in different areas and the credentials and successes she has accrued in her fields of expertise. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
Dr. Strand has excelled at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) as a professor of language, literature and culture since 1994, the poet director of Spectrum of Poet Fire reading and publication series since 1999 and a faculty advisor for the award winning student poetry journal FIRE. She produced four audio compact discs with the most recent being “KERQ: Live from Mississippi.” Directing Jean Toomer’s 1923 CANE and other works at the Mildred E. Bastian Performing Arts Center in St. Louis, she continued to develop her belief in the Poetry/Theater connection which she acquired from writers Langston Hughes, Kamau Braithwaite and Wole Soyinka. She expanded her expertise at Smith College’s Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts with an extraordinary production of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls…” featuring formally omitted poems, an original music score and original choreography and “An Evening with Rosalind Cash” starring Hollywood star Rosalind Cash. At the University of Maryland Baltimore County she wrote new poems and ritual plays and directed the American premier of Edward Kamau Braithwaite’s “Middle Passage” with a staged landscape featuring Howard University genius Ed Love’s giant sculptures. Dr. Strand also conducted consulting work for the Baltimore City Public Schools Multicultural Initiative and the African American Newspapers Archives and Research Center. The Sankofa Children’s Museum 2020 publication of her “African Alphabet and Proverbs book” continues that work for children.
As a renowned poet and writer, Dr. Strand’s works have been included in numerous poetry journals and anthologies; including “Stand-(England),” “Moving Beyond Boundaries: International Dimensions of Black Women’s Writing Vol.1,” “Earl Lovelace –Dictionary of Literary Biography of 20th Century Caribbean & Black African Writers, “Mythium” and “From Totems to Hip Hop.” As an editor she has used the Diva Squad series to introduce new diverse poets to classroom workshops; the most recent of which is “When DIVAS Speak in Tongues” in 2018 written in 3 indigenous languages. She won the Artscape Poetry Award in 1996 for Power Objects while contributing to numerous scholarly journals throughout the course of her academic career. As guest editor in 2011 for Black Magnolias she organized a ground breaking issue on the relationship of Native American and African American literature & Culture.
As a former artist in residence at Albany Georgia State College and in the Theatre and Black Cultural Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Strand worked as a site reviewer for the Expansion Arts Program and the National Endowment of the Arts. Active as an early coordinator of the reading and writing workshops at the Saint Louis Public Library, she served as a freelance cultural reviewer for PROUD, The St. Louis American Newspaper, The Pittsburgh Courier, and other local publications. She also served on the board of directors of Maryland Art Place and the Baltimore Writer’s Alliance.
Dr. Stand is an alumnus of Washington University in St. Louis, from which she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1973 and a master’s degree in 1975. Accepted into Carnegie-Mellon University, she obtained a doctorate degree in 1984. She also holds certifications in curriculum design in the areas of language, literature and culture from Washington University and Carnegie-Mellon University. Her multicultural interests warranted her membership in the Langston Hughes Society, American Indian Association, The Modern Language Association, The Academy of American Poets and the College Language Association.
Among her awards, Dr. Strand won the 1996 Artscape Poetry Competition who published Power Objects. She additionally accepted Individual Artist Awards in Poetry from Maryland State Arts Council in 1999 and 2001, a Poetry Legacy Award from the People’s Poetry Awards in 2005, and a Distinguished Black Marylander Award in the Arts from Towson University in 2000. She was honored as a finalist for the 2002 Naomi Madget Long Poetry Award from Lotus Press and several other journals, secured a grant to study with Ismael Reed at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and with the director at Bread Loaf in 2002. Dr. Strand has been featured in the 25th and 26th editions of Who’s Who of American Women.
Her work as a curator includes “Phenomenology,” “The Eye of Carl Clark Photographer” at MAP, “Through the Fire to the Limit: African American Artists in Maryland,” “Faces of the Real and the Imaginary,” Power Objects in the Here and the Now,” “Landscapes of the Mind and Beyond,” in the Maryland Governor’s Residence, and “Playing in the Dark Tower: Images from the Black Literary Landscape. Dr. Strand’s recent work as a visual artist includes her fiber art in “We Choose” at the Frederick Douglas/Issac Myers Museum in 2019.
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