• @CityMississauga Poet Laureate '17 | • @WeAreGCM Changemaker '18 | • @RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrants '19 | 🍁🇵🇰 • @UofT Alum 🗣️ Listen to my @TEDx Talk ↓
Beth speaks with Wali Shah who is a spoken word poet, author, Tedx speaker and advocate for education. Wali speaks about the community that school provides and the changes that students are experiencing due to COVID and our current pandemic situation. Wali recounts his experience in high school when his teacher introduced him to a book of poetry and saw the potential in his abilities. He attributes his success and passion for writing to his interaction with this teacher and the book of poetry he was given to read. They discuss the importance of sharing culturally responsive texts with students that allow the students to see themselves in the characters and authors they are exploring. Wali shares about the book he is working on with author Eric Walters and the appreciation he has for the opportunity to learn with and from Eric as they collaborate on this new book. The book will allow students who connect with the immigrant experience and growing up as a Muslim to see themselves in a book written by an author who looks like them and understands their lived experience. Books Mentioned in this Episode-The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac ShakurDamn Good Advice for People with Talent by George Loishttps://www.lifeaswali.com/@LifeAsWali Shout out to Eric Walters @EricRWalters
Wali Shah is a Pakistani, Muslim, Canadian, public speaker and poet. Wali came to Canada in 1997 with his mom. After years of dealing with assumptions and name calling, hate crime and more, a small altercation escalated leaving Wali in hand cuffs. It was at that point he realized the immense power that is in our narratives. The way we speak, the stories we are told and the manufactured ideas we believe make for conflict and anger that could be easily avoided. In this episode we talk his journey from hand-cuffs to the stage of 100's of different schools. We talk about the word terrorist, we talk about cultural misunderstanding, we talk about the heroic initiative we can all take to understand different people better. It is simply educating ourselves that can literally make this world a better place. We don't have to like each other but it would make this world a better place if we respected each other. Wali Shah on Twitter
This episode we have a special guest! Our guest today is Wali Shaw. He is a spoken word poet, public speaker, and a hip-hop artist. He was selected as one of Canada's top 20 under 20 in 2014. You can check out his work at www.lifeaswali.com Check out our website atfindyourworthvys.ca/ Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @findyourworthvys Email us @ findyourworthvys@gmail.com Don't forget to subscribe! Intro & Outro music by J.Cole - Love Yourz Copyright disclaimer: We do not own any copyrights on the song used. Allowance is to be made for "fair-use" purposes only.    
Very few voices can cut through a room like Wali Shah’s. The Mississauga-raised spoken word artist’s signature baritone has led him to appearing on MTV with Selena Gomez, presenting as a TEDx speaker, performing at the Air Canada Centre, and even freestyling with Kendrick Lamar. Born in Pakistan, Shah touches on social issues and his South Asian and Muslim background, and blends it with comedy and personal experience in his spoken word art. In 2014, he was selected as one of Youth in Motion’s Top 20 Under 20 — a Canada-wide honour — and this year, he was announced as Mississauga’s Poet Laureate. “It’s a dream come true. All of this,” says Shah. It wasn’t too long ago, he notes, “I had every strike against me.” Shah was 15 years old when he was arrested for assault charges and spent the night in jail. “For a long time, I felt like I didn’t know where my place was,” he says. “When I was younger, I had a lot of friends that weren’t the best examples or influences in my life. I ended up making some wrong friends.” Being taken away from his home in a police car — while his mother looked on in tears — affected Shah deeply. “I remember thinking, ‘I let my parents down. My parents came from Pakistan to Canada to give their kid an education and a future, and I let [them] down,’” he says. Vowing to turn his situation into a positive, Shah began volunteering in earnest and looking for ways to make a difference in his community. “The positive I took from that situation was that I want to use this experience to fuel my future work in terms of advocating for kids that are at risk, or advocating for men that have the wrong perception of what masculinity is, which [leads] them [to] make decisions that can be life-altering,” he says. “You can make a difference through your art.” Shah’s high school teacher handed him a book, Tupac Shakur’s The Rose That Grew From Concrete. He began finding his calling as a spoken word artist and motivational speaker, gaining strength from telling his story. He started working with UNITY Charity, then United Way — the latter of which he has raised over $1-million for to date. “I’ve always been able to take a positive from every situation,” says Shah. “If I didn’t have the struggles, I also wouldn’t be able to appreciate all the blessings.”
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Creator Details

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
2 hours, 53 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 545831