My name is Malika Hollinside, and I have been a part of S.o.N. since its first year. We started with ten sixth-grade girls in 2009, and now have reached a membership of thirty-six wonderful sistas who are blossoming into strong and confident young women. I have watched my group learn and build, laugh and cry, struggle and persist together during our wonderful cycle. There is nothing more powerful than to witness the positive growth and transformation of our future nation!
I am originally from New York City, and I grew up in the Bay Area. I have lived in Sacramento for almost fifteen years, teaching and raising three children (who are now 17, 15, and 11). I love my family and friends above all else- they are my motivation and strength! My closest friends and I have been together since the age of thirteen, and I can only pray that the Nia girls can develop meaningful relationships that last a lifetime as well.
As a devoted youth advocate and program director/developer, I am actively involved in the Sacramento community, and I have been since I moved here. I have worked with and learned from many, many good people in Sac who are dedicated to the collective advocacy and education for our children. There is never enough time and resources to do all the work we need to in order to ensure the success and livelihood of our daughters and sons, nieces and nephews, granddaughters and grandsons– who will one day inherit the communities we leave for them. Programs like Sisters of Nia promote the retention of culture, tradition, and heritage so that our future lineages and generations will know our truths.
I graduated from Sacramento State University with a B.A. in Ethnic Studies, and I have been teaching high school here for eight years. Throughout these years, I have taught and learned from hundreds of Sacramento youth who keep me inspired to continue what I do. I stand for culture, truth and rights, and justice for all; I was brought up in respect of the traditions of Black power and leadership, and I a dedicated freedom fighter striving towards the liberation of our minds, bodies, and souls, so help me God. Who is Great! Always!
I am currently a graduate student at Sacramento State University, pursuing my M.A. in Bilingual and Multi-Cultural Education. I am thrilled to be a student of such a worthy study; we MUST support and participate in multi-cultural programs and keep our voices present, loud, and clear as we enter into new times as a nation. I plan on pursuing a Doctoral degree in Education accordingly in an effort to gain the agency to create and sustain the programs that our community recognizes as beneficial and worthy.
In my spare time, I am a professional Reggae singer who has recorded four albums to date! I started singing background for a number of legendary reggae artists about twelve years ago, and I decided to write my own music in 2003 when I put out my first CD. My music represents spirituality, knowledge, and upliftment, and I hope that more and more people can learn to appreciate the beauty and power within Reggae music! I was brought up on stage; my mother had me performing since the age of four. As a result, my experience and love of music and performance is something that I truly want to inspire in the youth today. The feeling of being on stage and trying your best is an empowerment that all children deserve to experience!
I dedicate my time, energy, and love to Sisters of Nia….In God’s grace may we continue to grow and succeed eternally!