Sharayna Ashanti Christmas is a Baltimore-based dancer, independent creative director and activist. She has founded multiple initiatives dedicated to uplifting people of color in the arts, including the platform Necessary Tomorrows.
Jenny Dorsey, a chef, artist and activist who works to raise consciousness about the Asian American experience, says she uses food as "one of the platforms in which I tell stories." She founded the Asian in America dinner series, and spearheaded a collective effort by Asian chefs in New York City to raise support for Black Lives Matter.
Melani N. Douglass, NMWA’s director of public programs, heads the museum’s groundbreaking Women, Arts and Social Change initiative. She cultivates a network of artists, curators, collectors, journalists, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers who understand the power of art to shape and transform society.
Instagram: @familyartsmuseum; @melani.naim
djassi daCosta johnson is a dancer, a maternal health advocate and a douala. She is building a dance program at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Croix.
Tsedaye Makonnen, a multidisplinary artist, explores themes of ritual, migration, and identity in wide-ranging performance art and installations. An early work used the traditional coffee ceremonies practiced in Ethiopia and Eritrea as a vehicle to explore gentrification and change in her native Washington, DC.
Maggie Pate, owns a Chattanooga, Tennessee, studio specializing in naturally-dyed textiles and home goods, and serving as center for learning the art of natural dyeing. She explores the use of food waste collected from restaurants and forms to create dyes, and authored The Natural Colors Cookbook: Custom Hues For Your Fabrics Made Simple Using Food.
Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, a visual and performance artist, teaches at the University of Central Florida. Among her works, the Ask Chuleta: Contemporary Art series, deploys humor “to starkly criticize topics such as elitism, race, gender, class and separatism within art and academic institutions.” Among the many places Chuleta has been performed is at a supper club organized by the artist Elia Alba.
Aletheia Hyun-Jin Shin uses art to lift up the Korean community of Baltimore, Maryland. She incorporates community organizing and storytelling into her artistic practice, which is dedicated to cultivating community leadership.
Lauren Von der Pool, author of Eat Yourself Sexy, teaches communities about agriculture and healthy food. She trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu, worked with numerous high-profiled chefs and celebrities, and served as executive chef for Let’s Move, the healthy child campaign initiated by First Lady Michelle Obama.