Sofia Snow – An Emerging Emcee

Scope Music Artist Sofia Snow seems to make waves wherever she goes. When she departed earlier last year to take a position with First Wave at the UW Madison we knew she we would be as much of a treasure to Madison as she is to Boston where her work as an activist, educator and artist continues to inspire and inform, even after she left us to live in an even more frozen part of the country. Well it did not take long for Madison Magazine to recognize Sofia Snow as An Emerging Emcee in a piece highlighting Millennials in Motion. Below is an excerpt of the article and link to the full text. We look forward to debuting Sofias new video for “Energy” right here on and even more so to having her back here for a show on January 13 at Motivate Monday. Until then here’s a missive from the midwest via Madison Mag showing what Sofia’s been up to:

Opportunities to give back to the Madison area span cultural, professional and socio-political realms. Twenty-something organizers are using hip hop and spoken word to mobilize and engage youth, young professionals work hard to create networking and professional development opportunities, and sororities and fraternities band together to help diverse populations. Here are some of their inspiring stories.

An Emerging Emcee

The vessels of activism and community organizing run through Sofia Snow’s veins—literally. As the daughter of a public school teacher and caseworker for homeless shelters, she witnessed firsthand the institutional injustices faced by poor communities of color. She credits that exposure with guiding her work today as an artist, educator and community organizer.

“I’ve been very aware of systems and how important it is to build relationships with people who are in charge of those systems and in power,” says Snow, who was born and raised in Boston.

Today, she carries that insight with her as the education coordinator for UW–Madison’s Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives. OMAI administers the renowned First Wave Hip Hop and Urban Arts Learning Community, a multicultural student group comprised of young artists focused on urban arts, spoken word and hip-hop culture.

At eighteen, Snow entered UW–Madison on scholarship as a First Wave scholar. She performed around the world with the program, and in 2011 graduated with a degree in social work. She plans to attend graduate school and recently joined the Madison Arts Commission. “I never imagined myself [attending] a large institution like UW–Madison, but I quickly learned I could use the connections I made with professors and community leaders for my [work] as an activist.”

After less than a year with OMAI, Snow has established herself as a powerful community organizer and emerging emcee. She organizes the annual summer program, Hip Hop in the Heartland, a weeklong institute that teaches educators and community leaders about engaging marginalized students. She also works to develop and maintain community engagement/outreach partnerships in greater Madison.

At just twenty-four years old, Snow has already shared stages with famous musicians and been honored as the top spoken word artist of the year. She has her own day in Boston: Sofia Snow Day, February 28, which honors her artistry, community activism and advocacy for young women artists, work she began at age sixteen.

Her commitment continues here: Dane County’s disproportionate incarceration rate for young men of color has haunted her through the years. “[Dane County] is a battleground,” Snow says. “So being back in Madison and having the chance to
address this issue means a lot to me.

“I was given the chance to find and use my voice, and I want to create a safe space for others to do the same,” she says. “There’s much work to be done.”


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