A seasoned writer, editor, and strategist, Maya Trabin has devoted her life and work to confronting injustice and creating a more equitable world.
Whether developing digital strategies or creating tailored content to express an organization’s highest goals, Maya brings together deep strategic and technical knowledge to help people and organizations share their unique story with the world – and be heard. She believes in the power of storytelling and the act of listening. In perhaps her biggest ahead-of-the curve moment as part of her Master’s thesis in the 2000s, Maya conducted participatory research on youth voices in HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns – as social media was being born, capturing the radical transformation of how we speak and listen to each other.
Maya holds a Master’s degree in International Development with a focus on human rights, social justice and gender studies from the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands, and a BA in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Why are you a strategist for good?
“Not long ago, I found a dusty, black-and-white photo of my mother marching in the streets as a kid. It got us talking. I didn’t grow up in a very political household, but it turns out that my mother had – from passionate dinner debates, to quiet into-the-night talks. This photo, and the moment it captured, was an affirmation of so much that drives me, with one foot in history and the other marching ahead.”
What’s your superpower?
“The ability to help people get ‘unstuck’ in their work. In our work to help create and shift narratives, there are always dynamics playing out – whether those have to do with how power and privilege show up at work, or the specific context of the issues we work on. I love being able to listen deeply and help people get to where they want to go.”
Who is your intellectual crush?
“There are an incredible number of change-makers, truth-tellers and hope-givers today. I’m really appreciating people who are bringing stories and laughter and reflections into the world and, in the process, facilitating culture change: Lena Waithe, Samantha Bee, Kamau Bell, Nato Green. As a parent, I also appreciated Nato Green’s parenting goal, which he shared in an interview with Rinku Sen: ‘I want to raise the wokest white kids.’ If he’s getting first place, I’m going for second.”