Bio

Wendy Shaia is a British-born Jamaican living in Maryland, United States. She spent her formative years in Kingston, Jamaica, and emigrated with her family to Queens, New York, at age 14. Wendy earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hampshire College, her Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and her Doctor of Education from the George Washington University.

For the past 30+ years, Wendy has worked in social service and government organizations. She is currently a faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and the Executive Director of the Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS), a community-facing agency working across Baltimore and Maryland to reduce the effects of poverty and structural oppression in communities.

Recognizing the incredible trauma Black children experience in K-12 education, in 2015 Wendy founded the Positive Schools Center at the University of Maryland. This Center focuses on creating positive school climate and reducing the disproportionate suspensions and expulsions of children of color and children with disabilities from Maryland schools.

Wendy writes and teaches extensively on racism and developed the SHARP framework for providing services to people who have experienced poverty and oppression. This framework is now being adopted by several service providers around the nation. 

In her spare time Wendy enjoys writing fiction, gardening, and learning to dance swing. She and her husband, Clinton, share five grown children, and a dog named Khaleesi (yes, from Game of Thrones!).