Joy Elan was born with a hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids since she was 15 months. Despite the obstacles she faced, she overcame many of them and continues to overcome obstacles. Her mother always told her that she had three things against her: Black, female, and disabled.
With her family being from Mississippi and Louisiana, they gave her the tools to deal with racism and discrimination. Joy Elan went through life prepared for what she would face and has smiled throughout everything she has been through. She received her BA degree in African American Studies at UC Berkeley and her MA degree in Education at Stanford University. Graduating from these two prestigious universities was proof that she can be successful at whatever she puts her mind to and she instills that in her daughter.
Joy Elan is an award winning author and spoken word artist from Oakland and Berkeley, California. She uses her writing to advocate for civil rights for Blacks/people of color, women and people with disabilities. With her poetry and novels, she speaks about social issues that affect people from locally to globally.
Joy Elan can be seen performing in the Bay Area and she writes for three publications: Broke-Ass Stuart, Dope Era Magazine and Panther Times. She was the first person to report on the BBQ at Lake Merritt incident (BBQ Becky) before it went viral. Her writing evolved from poetry, then creative writing, and now to journalism. She wants to tell the people’s stories that the news do not report. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her family and go to events. She is raising her daughter and grooming her daughter for her artistic interests.