Poet, performance artist, transformative educator, spiritual activist, and prison abolitionist, Murshida VA (Rev. Cheraga Murshida Victoria Angela, MEd, EdS) has been called everything from the Mother of the World to the Living Incarnation of the Whore of Babylon.
Murshida VA’s experiments with reclaimed Ancestral healing sound radically transformed the curriculum at Harvard’s Institute of Mind-Body Medicine and Harvard’s Annual Spirituality and Healing Conference. She has presented at Harvard’s Positive Psychology Conference, the International Women’s Writer’s Guild, and medical conferences nationally as a voice for Indigenous Medicine.
The first Performance-Artist-in-Residence at the Shands Hospital Arts-in-Medicine Progam, she pioneered the arts-in-healing in jails, prisons, several domestic violence shelters, and community agencies. She has appeared as lead vocalist and composer for Jawole Willa Jo Zollar’s, Urban Bush Women, and her passionately-sung, wordless prayers were commissioned by the Foundation For A Healing Among Nations to be sung for the dead in Auschwitz and Dachau. Her poetry has been published in “Heart and Wings”, “The Journal of Humanistic Education and Development”, and several small-press, literary mags.
A lifetime meditator trained by Indigenous Elders and Healers, Sufi Masters, and Tibetan Yogis, her work weaves together 40 years of professional experience in the Arts and Healing and a formal education spanning world literature, comparative religion, Gestalt and Jungian Psychology, Systems Theory, and the Recovery of Indigenous Mind.
Murshida VA loves responding to warm invitations to contribute to the evolution of human consciousness and the fields of social and cultural transformation. Most recently, she has been invited to:
- Collaborate with the Healing and Reconciliation Institute‘s Taos Project in creating a program for more effective White Allyship in Taos, NM
- Midwife the birth of Amrita Institute and join Amrita’s teaching faculty
- Develop a video series on gender fluidity, transphobia and gender awareness
As a prison abolitionist, Murshida VA brings a rich experience to the dialogue table as she has been both employed by “Corrections” as a therapist/counselor/case manager and convicted of multiple felonies for bringing medical marijuana into Georgia.
Murshida VA the Spiritual Director of The Message Collective, a branch of the Universal Sufi Message of Hazrat Inayat Khan. She lives in Gainesville, FL with her daughter and the local members of her community.