It is no small task, changing the world. While few set out with “world changing” as a goal, all around us deficits glare and call out to us, whole orbs of insufficiency beckon our gifts and talents compelling us to respond. These are the feet keeping cadence, reminding us that we walk not alone. These are some of the women, amazing in their own right, who lend themselves to the work of the Beautiful Project. This is the Beautiful Community.
AERAN N. BASKIN
Her passion for advocacy and storytelling has professionally taken her into the child welfare, K-12, and higher education sectors. As a lawyer, she partnered with parents, foster parents, and grandparent caregivers in Detroit, Michigan. She later galvanized the philanthropic community through storytelling as the head of development for a leading education incubator and designed programming with young women impacted by the foster care system.
Currently, Aeran strives to create reflective and restorative spaces that will ensure that women and girls of color have the experiences, community, and resources that will propel them into purpose and position them to become leaders and advocates within their own communities. Aeran earned a BA in economics from Howard University, a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, and a Doctorate of Education Leadership from Harvard University.
A graduate with distinction of Duke University with majors in History and African & African American Studies, Alexandria has presented her research at the University of the West Indies at Mona, amongst others. She hopes to continue her studies dissecting Caribbean women’s impact on the world using music as her medium. Alexandria is a steadfast warrior woman driven by the importance of cultural studies to uplift Black people everywhere.
AMBER CARROLL SANTIBANEZ
After 7 years away, she returned to her hometown to teach visual art in her alma mater, Durham School of the Arts, and marry her high school sweet-heart. In the classroom, she strives daily to help students discover, develop, and value their creative voices and the unique gifts they have to offer to their communities. She believes that art is the most essential form of universal communication. It allows humans to critically examine the world and connect with one another on a personal level. Amber is committed to ensuring that young artists in her community have a diverse range of meaningful experiences, in safe environments that encourage them to explore themselves and the world around them. Today, she uses mixed media, collage, and installation processes as a means of self-exploration and healing.”
She is influenced by time spent in the U.S. South, Guatemala City and Brazil, and she currently resides in Austin, Texas. Cristin is pursuing an MFA in Film Production at the University of Texas, Austin, and is a member of the Beautiful Project Collective, based in Durham, NC.
DAWN MICHELLE DOWNEY
DR. MAYA CORNIELLE
Kara is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a B.A. in Global Studies with a concentration in Global Health and the Environment and a minor in Medical Anthropology. She loves writing and is an avid reader. In her spare time you can find her cooking, sleeping, watching movies, attending anything artsy, spending time with friends and family, doing yoga, and dancing. As a member of The Beautiful Project Cohort of 2011, Kara served as a teacher with the Saturday sessions.