Bathsheba Smithen

CEO & Founder

Cage Free Voices, LLC.

Bathsheba is a motivational speaker, radio personality, performing artist, author, educator and the CEO and Founder of Cage Free Voices, LLC, an educational entertainment company, that seeks to educate youth and young adults who struggle with self-image and identity through literature, spoken-word, workshops, conferences, seminars, music and events. She is a playwright, was the co-host for NPR station, WEAA 88.9, The Voice of the Community, is a member of the National Small Business Association Leadership Council and the host for her radio show, Cage Free Voices Radio. Ms Smithen provides training and curriculum development to school districts, church leaders and educational publishing companies such that they may infuse youth culture in educational materials. Bathsheba has spent time training leaders within the Omaha School District, and Abyssinian Baptist Church. As a curriculum developer and writer, Ms Smithen has made contributions to PEARSON, US, Urban Learning and Leadership Center, GEAR UP, REAL Women, and others. Born and raised in Virginia, Bathsheba Smithen is an International Baccalaureate diploma recipient, a graduate of An Achievable Dream Academy, and a Mary Hughes-Harley Davidson and McNair Scholar. She is also a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Biology and holds a Master's in Health Systems Management from George Mason University. 


Leadership stream

25 February 2020 | 14:00 - 14:30 | The End of Apathy: Why Curriculum Needs to Change to Engage the Global Learner

The world has changed. How we learn and what we learn has altered significantly with modern day advances in technology. With all of the social ills plaguing young people and competing entertainment and technologies, we need to provide individuals working with youth and young adults, new and different tools that are more culturally sensitive; tools that focus not just on academic content and college preparation, but information that holistically empowers individuals to pursue their interests. Students want to find where they fit and that does not always equate to opening locks to doors that lead to “typical” career pathways but instead, vocations. This presentation will discuss ways to: - Design and adapt culturally sensitive curricula that brings adult stakeholders and youth into the learning process and; - Devise and execute plans that encourage reading through the creative arts (spoken word, music, dance, etc.) and technology into classrooms and youth development programs.


26 February 2020 | 13:15 - 13:25 | Becoming Cage Free in Your Teaching: The Importance of Experiential Learning

“Becoming Cage Free in Your Teaching,” discusses the importance of replacing assessments with experiential learning to offer students the opportunity to move beyond recall and comprehension, to application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Becoming Cage Free in Your Teaching focuses on incorporating student culture, media, and literacy into curricula. This talk is designed to inspire and equip teachers with the tools needed to re-engage, disengaged youth by highlighting different teaching modalities that may be used to bring academic content to life.