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We are a community of black women and non-binary folks who believe in the power of storytelling. Although we have roots everywhere from New York to Ohio to Sudan, we are united by our love for creativity, the strength we find in resistance, and our dedication to creating a space for artists who have been marginalized for too long.
Ava Pauline Emilione (she/they)
From the NY/NJ area, Ava is studying Film & TV and Economics at NYU Tisch. Before Ava is a writer, director or photographer, Ava considers herself to be a witness in eternal search of how to set down and share all they have seen and felt. Ava is passionate about the power of storytelling to empower underserved communities. In their free time, she loves to explore cafes in NYC.
Co-Founder, Managing Editor
Leslie Vargas (she/her)
Leslie is from NJ. She is currently studying Entrepreneurship/Business Management, with a minor in French at Pace University. She has loved creating stories in her head since she was a child. Leslie is a painter who often recreates meaningful scenes in her life. Her goal is to create art that inspires.
Co-Founder, Photo/Film Editor
Jasmine LeCount-McClanahan (she/her)
Jasmine is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer originally from South Orange, NJ affectionately called MAPSO, currently studying Film and TV with a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies at NYU. She believes in the power of storytelling as a force for social change, interpersonal understanding, and an expression of the Spirit. She remains curious in everything she does and allows light and love to shine through her.
Co-Founder, Writing Editor
Rachel Goulston (she/her)
Originally from the greater Boston area and now based in NYC, Rachel studies Sociology and Education at New York University with a passion for creating equitable sexuality education for all. Among the titles of researcher, educator, and musician, Rachel considers herself an astute observer of the quiet and unseen, which she seeks to make visible through her writing. In her free time you can find Rachel, a lifelong swimmer and student of the ocean, exploring or relaxing by bodies of water.
Co-Founder, Writing Editor, Social Media Director
Yumna Elhdari (she/her)
A senior at NYU studying Journalism and Africana Studies, Yumna is an aspiring journalist with a passion for writing about and researching various topics. She is always striving to cultivate spiritual harmony, allowing her to harvest creativity, direction, and most importantly beauty in her everyday life. Her hobbies include crocheting, reading and scrapbooking. She is in the works of learning how to sew.
Cecilia Innis (she/her)
Cecilia Innis is from Virginia and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is graduating from NYU Gallatin with a concentration in Black Studies and Decolonial Studies and a minor in creative writing. In her free time, she loves to read and write poetry.
Jalyssa Jimenez (she/her)
From New York, Hell’s Kitchen, Jalyssa is FIlmmaker with a post-production background in editing and archival research. Her film work centers around mental health, where she explores documentary-style work. Her goal is to bully men and conquer the world.
Defne Egbo (she/her)
Defne has made homes in Turkey, England, Las Vegas, and France before arriving to New York for college. She is a senior majoring in Education Studies at Barnard College, interested in using literature and writing as tools to empower people. Influenced by her childhood, she loves learning languages, traveling and fostering cross-cultural connections. In her free time, she loves reading, crocheting, making tea and coffee for loved ones, and socially watching TV (with loud jokes and commentary).
Payton Selby (she/her)
Payton is a student at NYU double majoring in Politcs and Journalism and minoring in Social Cultural Analysis. However, she is primarily a student of the world around her and passionate about advocacy and representation through the written word. Art is finding our own reflections in the life of another and cherishing our shared vulnerabilities.
Social Media/Marketing Coordinator
Cheyenne Edwards (they/she)
Born and bred in Brooklyn, NY, Cheyenne is the standout artist in a chaotic Caribbean family of nurses. With no siblings, half a dad, and a busy working full-time mom, her method to handle the madness was writing. Cheyenne’s artistic mission as a multi-disciplinary writer is to center Black queer characters in genre-bending narratives in her distinct, ironic comedic voice. Outside of writing, Cheyenne enjoys museum-hopping, working out to Beyoncé, and studying her favorite show, BoJack Horseman.
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