Seheri S. Swint portrait
2018-2019 Luce Scholar

A proud Detroit native, Seheri turned to storytelling at a young age to reimagine the world around her. Joining a youth theatre company at age 12, her first performance was aptly entitled, “The Story of Me.” That same year, Seheri wrote her first screenplay and has continued to write and tell her story in various formats ever since. At Pepperdine, Seheri made the leap from screenwriting to film production with the completion of her debut short film. During her senior year, Seheri participated in The Multicultural Theatre Project, reciting an original monologue about the socioeconomic issues affecting her family in Detroit. This pivotal experience was the first time Seheri employed oral storytelling in a personal, reflective manner. Her work often functions as witness literature, drawing on personal narrative to transcend conflict and inspire hope. Her writing style is inspired by Maya Angelou whose boundless prose transcended literary genres and sparked healing through her piercing imagery and selfless vulnerability. Seheri’s inner-city upbringing gifted her with an acute awareness of the unique challenges facing urban youth.

During her graduate studies in Urban Education, Seheri conducted research at a Baltimore high school investigating whether the stimuli students encountered along their commute to school impacted their well-being. This research culminated in her commencement address before the Johns Hopkins University School of Education during which she shared a poem about her adolescent experience commuting the streets of Detroit. In 2017, with a renewed sense of purpose motivating her art, Seheri began a master’s program in Film and Media. She founded 5 Minute Shorts, a graduate student organization dedicated to fostering collaboration and producing impact-driven media. Striving to harness the cooperative nature of filmmaking as a powerful medium to engage local youth, she partners with an after-school program to teach documentary filmmaking to fifth grade students in Baltimore City. Seheri aspires to found a production company dedicated to telling diverse stories and a non-profit arts organization for students in Detroit. Through her art and community involvement, Seheri hopes to spark social change and empower urban youth with the tools to express their stories and gain agency in directing their lives. In her spare time, Seheri enjoys journaling, writing free-verse poetry, and riding her beloved bike.