Dr. Ayo Sekai is the founder and publisher of UWP Books, LLC (2004). As CEO, Sekai prioritizes historical legacy and Black Academic Excellence through rigorous peer-reviewed titles, demonstrating a commitment to African agency in its analysis to produce new research that relies on African narratives. She has reimagined the scholarship of cultural and Afrocentric agency, by creating space and value in publishing and the academy.
Sekai is on the Board of A Woman's Wing, serving the DMV
population lending her voice to children of incarcerated parents. As a Board Member of Friendly Law, she implements synergy of Linguistic Imperialism and Politics, which manifests with legal and political ramifications.
An HBCU alum, Sekai's Ph.D. is from Howard University. This Linguistic Activist and Poetical Scientist specializes in Black Politics and Int’l Relations. She is keenly attuned to social justice in systematic and political behaviors, forcing code-switching among indigenous Black and Brown people through dog-whistle politics, causing cultural linguicide and identity impostor syndrome.
Jamaican-born, migrating to the US as a teenager, she honed her skills as Associate Publisher and Exec. Editor in NY publishing houses; and was former Editor in Chief at one of NYC premier Hip-Hop Magazine. Her film experience, fiction and poetry publications evolved in New York, where she later taught English in public school. A Poetess, "spitting," presentations, keynote events; her eclectic laugh and bubbly personality shines on syndicated radio. Her accolades include journalistic and print media.
My trajectory from the Island of Jamaica as a teenager to Brooklyn, New York, was not easy. There was no time to be a kid in a single-parent household and the eldest of three sisters. Through many struggles and trials, no creature comforts, isolated and alone in a strange country with no lifelines, I was rescued from the grip of homelessness in the city as I transitioned from high school to college. It was torture, but the ancestors provided guides and mentors!
My first degree in English put my love affair with words since a child, on full display. I hid in the lonely crowd of poets and spoken word artists, telling their stories through painful rhymes and lyrics. My fiction identified me as a writer, I blossomed during the Harlem Book Fairs, book clubs, and BEA conferences, all of which propelled me into the literary world. As a first-generation, I wanted to be part of something bigger than myself, give back in more ways than I could imagine. My ability to dream and create was surpassed only by my desire to succeed. That passion landed me in coveted publishing positions, networking with talented authors and other publishing media professionals, which brought me to almost 20 years as a publisher of UWPBooks.
There is always a story.
The moral is always to find a village and never give up!