I am an educational psychologist, jewerly maker, and entrepreneur based in the Greater Boston Area. Visit my website to view some of my jewelry and accessories, [Ananse Design Essentials] (https://anansedesignessentials.com/).
I became interested in digital fabrication–specifically laser cutting and engraving–over the past four years. I use these mediums to design and create accessories for my own art through Ananse Design Essentials and for the instruction that I provide to middle schools girls. I am looking to strengthen my skills using other fabrication tools to produce high quality products for my own artistic and entrepreneurial endeavors and to strengthen my capacity to teach young makers through my work-related project, Black Girls Create which I deliver in partnership with an urban community housing development and a neighboring school in Massachusetts
I am a native of Jacksonville, Florida. I am a formally trained African-centered educational psychologist, mental health counselor, and social scientist and a self-taught maker and digital fabricator. I earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Morris Brown College, my first master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Howard University, and a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University. I also hold a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Georgia State University. In 2016, I earned a second master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Georgia Regents University.
I am a research scientist at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), Wellesley College. Over the past decade, I have been researching and trying to draw attention to and overcome the social, racial and cultural obstacles that hinder the progression of Black girls and women. In 2013, I discovered my natural talent for “making” and merged it with my knowledge of and love for West African art and culture to produce laser cut jewelry and accessories. I have also been able to merge this personal interest with my full-time job as a research scientist at WCW. The Black Girls Create (BGC) project, a culturally responsive maker program for middle school girls, represents my effort to integrate my scholarly work with my creative, entrepreneurial skills to create opportunities for girls to embrace their natural talents, learn STEM skills, and launch their dreams. Through BGC, I have the opportunity teach and support to eight young makers and 2 college students who serve as mentors to the young makers. Currently, I have been awarded $20,000 from corporate and private foundations to pilot test the curriculum for Black Girls Create in partnership with Lena Park Fab Lab.