Taiwana Shambley

Taiwana Shambley

Program Associate - Black Community Trust Fund

Pronouns: She/her
Started at Nexus: 2022

At Nexus:

I began working with Nexus in November 2022 as the program associate for the Black Community Trust Fund. I help organize the program’s design, internal logistics, and community engagement efforts, all to ensure community members are active decision makers in the process and that we are simply facilitators and collaborators.


I’m a slam baby, came of age writing & performing poetry in Saint Paul. A Black transgender woman with disabilities, I write stories, teach stories, perform stories, all to imagine liberation for BIPOC youth in Minnesota, with special focus on abolition movements, black feminism, disability justice, and anti-capitalism. From 2021-22 I worked full time with the Legal Rights Center leading the creation and launch of End Youth Prisons MN, a youth prison abolition campaign. I earned my bachelor’s in English and African American Studies while studying Philosophy, and am pursuing a master’s degree in fiction writing. Between seasons of rest, you can often find me hanging out at cafes and restaurants in my home of South Minneapolis. Interested folks can find my writing at taiwanashambley.com.


Aspiring to be a good ancestor to my descendants, a good mentor to my students, and a good older sibling to my younger siblings. Also, I’m a nerd for social movements, so quotes like this inspire me: “DuBois argued that the abolition of slavery was accomplished only in the negative sense. In order to achieve the comprehensive abolition of slavery—after the institution was rendered illegal and black people were released from their chains—new institutions should have been created to incorporate black people into the social order.” — Angela Davis