Meet Our Cohort

Research, Study, and Practice

Our research and practice cohort has been cultivating a culturally specific healing justice process for women of African descent, along with an accompanying theoretical framework. Several cohort members facilitated a group of POC activists in the foundations of this process for a one year period, and have witnessed it’s healing and transformative capacities first hand. We believe it is medicine our communities need and are entitled to.

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Rachael Uwada Clifford

 Cohort Member

I am a black writer and poet who was born to working-class Nigerian immigrants in the American South. I locate my work along the intersections of childhood, memory, migration, identity, home, and various forms of loss. Much of what drives my writing are the words of Toni Morrison—that narrative is “radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created.” I am interested in the ways black people have emerged—and can emerge—out of stories, out of finding and sculpting their own narratives. I recently completed a creative writing teaching fellowship at Johns Hopkins University, where I also received my MFA in the Writing Seminars. Most recently, I have been selected as a 2018 Southern Methodist University Kimbilio Fellow.

Ratasha Elise

Cohort Member & Founding Director

Healing, Transformation, Black Love & Liberation make my heart sing... 

Songs of praise to the Spirit World from which we came, and the Ancestors on whose shoulders we stand.

The past 12 years of my life have been an exploration of redefining love, discovering what it means to be fully human, and learning/teaching what it means to

Embody Liberation.

I also embody 17 years of training and experience as a Teaching Artist, Experiential Workshop Facilitator, and Cultural Educator. I've spent the past 8 years focused on Healing Justice Facilitation and Racial Justice Consulting, having trained and practiced in Oakland, CA, the Washington, DC metro area, and the rural outskirts of the Raleigh/Durham Triangle region of NC. Areas of study and experience include personal and systemic transformation methods, music medicine, generative conflict resolution, trauma healing, Black psychology, African & African American history, West African ancestral spiritual practices, and Generative Somatics. 

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Aries Jordan

Cohort Member

I am an Educator, Author and Literary Arts Curator with 10 years experience working in education and nonprofit management industry. I currently hold an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. My writing weaves together prose, proverbs and cultural narratives of the African Diaspora that provoke thought and inner reflection. As curator of Literary Arts, I have co- produced countless events and workshops that explore the intersection of social justice, creativity and spirituality. Some past events include “Poetry N the Park”, “My Sister, Not My Competition” and “Feeding the Artist Within”. Since 2011, I've mentored and advocated for increased exposure, access, and representation of underrepresented youth in Global careers and leadership opportunities through my organization Urban Youth Ambassadors.