CageFree Voices, LLC. is a newly formed entertainment company located in Washington D.C. that seeks to educate youth and young adults who struggle with self-image and identity through literature, spoken-word, workshops, conferences, seminars, music and events. It is grounded in the following principles: reflect, connect, transcend.




Our vision is a world where all youth and young adults are engaged in learning.

  E2 + Self Discovery = Unlocked Human Potential

Contact Us: Cage Free Voices, LLC.

PH: (301) 730-0206 / Email: bsmithen@cagefreevoices.com

Meet The Team

CEO & Founder

Bathsheba Smithen CEO & Founder

Bathsheba Smithen is the CEO and Founder of Cage Free Voices, LLC. She is a young thought leader with over 12 years of professional experience working with challenged youth and presents the full package as a lyricist-songwriter, author, poet, and nationally known public speaker.

Bathsheba is a native of Newport News, Va. Having experienced homelessness, depression, and abandonment by her parents as a teen, and having raised two teenage boys—both now in graduate school —before she herself turned 26, Sheba connects readily with the disenfranchised, offering them hope by teaching both social and academic skills through her lessons, writing, and performance.

Ms. Smithen has been acclaimed a first-rate thinker, by world-renowned poet, Dr. Nikki Giovanni. Woven into the fabric of her writing is transparency, vulnerability, and spirituality, combined with a voice of freedom developed through personal strength and joyfully offered to others.

In her spoken performances of her original poems, Sheba infuses the same breadth and depth as she does in teaching Reading Language Arts. Students and general audiences alike are moved by her often controversial and advocacy-driven topics. She states, “My mission is to see the revival of a dying social conscience. People today are more concerned about themselves than others, and I am certain that we are not here on this earth to simply serve ourselves.”

Born and raised in Virginia, Bathsheba Smithen is an International Baccalaureate diploma recipient, a graduate of An Achievable Dream Academy, and a Mary Hughes-Harley Davidson and McNair Scholar. She is also a graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Biology and holds a Master’s in Health Systems Management from George Mason University. Her creative memoir, Who Cares What You Think…So What You Think?: A Journey Through the Mind, takes readers on the common journey from anger, disappointment, and hopelessness, to love, forgiveness, and peace. A companion book of her poetry entitled, No Longer Hidden as well as the sequel to the first; What Happens to “Them” When You Change, were released in 2013.

Bathsheba has been featured in Urban Buzz, NURA, and Path Magazines, Pretty Period, The Daily Press along with many others. Ms. Smithen has made appearances on DCTV, WEAA 88.9, The Voice of the Community with multi-award winning journalist, Sean Yoes, Conversations Live with Cyrus Webb Blog Talk Radio, and WPFW 89.3, for her expertise in education, youth development, and entertainment.

Research Manager

Briana Pressey Research Manager

Briana Pressey is a researcher in the children’s media field who is passionate about diversity, equality, and education. She is currently Research Manager at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. There, she works primarily on the Families and Media Project, doing research with Latino children and their families to highlight the innovative ways that families incorporate media and technology into their everyday lives and learning arrangements.  She is a co-author on Designing for Diverse Families: Using Research to Inspire Design, which encourages media producers and community educators to reflect on ethnographic research in the design of their products and programs. Prior to joining the Cooney Center, Briana received her Ed.M from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Communication and Cinema Studies and minored in Africana Studies.

Youth Development Specialist

Sydne Kersey Youth Development Specialist

Sydne S. Kersey is a graduate of Bowie State University with her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Industrial & Organizational Psychology. It was during her scholastic career at Bowie State that she was able to discover her passion for entrepreneurship and youth development and develop initiatives that helped to equip the future generations with the necessary tools to achieve success. She credits serving the youth in her community as playing a significant role in shaping who she is as an individual today.

While attending Bowie State University, Sydne was inducted into the Emerging Leaders Effecting Change Today, (ELECT) Leadership Institute and held an Assistant Director position to a non-profit, youth empowerment organization called, From Broken Pieces to Masterpieces. She was also inducted into the Golden Key Honor Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon – The International Economics Honor Society, is a member of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and received the honor of becoming the Maryland Senatorial Scholarship Recipient throughout her scholastic career.

Overall, Sydne is passionate about developing initiatives that allow our youth to evolve on a holistic level, in order to better prepare them for college and career placement, as well as maintain a healthy individualistic mindset. One of Sydne’s core beliefs is that when given a safe space for growth and self- development, any and all individuals can grow into successful people with a flourishing self-concept.

Co-Host, CFV Radio

Joan Nelson- Gerbier Co-Host, Cage Free Voices Radio

Joan Nelson-Gerbier is a graduate of Clark University in Worcester, MA, where she obtain a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology. She later went on and completed a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources Management. She has over fifteen years of experience as a Human Resources professional with a specialization in Talent Acquisitions. Joan is a catalyst in connecting, interviewing, building, and maintaining effective relationships with people. During her career as a Workforce Development and Higher Education professional, she found fulfillment preparing young adults for college and being their career advisor. She realized that her greatest strength and passion is to connect, encourage, empower and inspire young adults to reach their greatest potential. Overall, Joan’s passion is to promote a message of self-empowerment, self-worth and image. She is firm believer that in order for an individual to be fully transformed, live their best life and experience true success, the work must first begin from the inside. Today, she feels compelled to use her voice to inspire young adults who are underprivileged and often misrepresented.


Ani Thompson Administrative Assistant

Ani Thompson is a bilingual MBA professional and a graduate of Clark Atlanta University. She has blended experiences in client relationship management, marketing consultation, and project management. Currently she works for University Legal Services in Washington, DC as an Intake Specialist where she connects clients to housing counselors and provides comprehensive information on the organization’s services.

Ani was born in Panama and lived in Spain and Puerto Rico before settling in Newport News, VA. She’s a fitness enthusiast and enjoys helping people build their professional brands by helping them craft resumes and cover letters.

Curriculum Developer

Keyuna (Key) Roundtree Curriculum Developer

Key Roundtree is a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland where she graduated from Charles Herbert Flowers High School. She attended Philadelphia University where she worked to combat Hunger and Homelessness as a Community Service Outreach Coordinator. She received her Bachelors of Art at the University of Maryland College Park and her Master of Education in Learning Design & Technology at the University of Southern California. Key currently works primarily for the Department of Treasury where she designs materials to equip the workforce to integrate and utilize emerging technology. Key also focuses on designing a variety of external programs that engage, inspire and empower learners to achieve their goals and make meaningful contributions to society. Going forward, Key hopes to design learning experiences that are personalized to cultivate learner talent, skills and interests.


Rev. Dr. Trenace Richardson Advisor

Dr. Richardson earned a Master of Divinity degree from Howard University and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University. As a result of her education and experience, Dr. Richardson is a sought after speaker and leader in educational and religious settings. She has spoken to audiences across the country, helping churches, organizations, and individuals excel in the areas of spiritual empowerment, servant leadership, and leadership development. Trenace is an award-winning professor and Director of Teaching and Learning at Strayer University.