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Executive Director of Remove term: 5th Element Center for Dance 5th Element Center for Dance

I am passionate about using the arts and social emotional learning to create equity in education for low-income students and Black & Brown students. As the founding Executive Director of 5th Element Center for Dance, I lead a nonprofit dance studio that provides dance, academic, and social emotional resources to youth in Aurora with no cost barrier. 5th Element is named after the fifth element of hip hop, Knowledge, and centers hip hop styles and pedagogy as a culturally responsive approach to education. Currently in the process of startup, the organization strives to foster personal & artistic development for youth to grow into compassionate, knowledgeable, and expressive artists who are connected to themselves & their communities, because we envision a society in which the waves of culture and the arts have uplifted the expression of the most historically silenced people. I also hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity with Honors and a concentration in Identity, Diversity, and Aesthetics, as well as a Master of Arts degree in Communication with a concentration in Media Studies. Both degrees were earned from Stanford University, where I committed my academic work to 1) exploring how hip hop is a unique medium through which low-income, youth of color, specifically Black girls, can tell their stories and connect with themselves, their experiences, and their communities and 2) identifying the impact of mass media, particularly its portrayal of hip hop music and musicians, on low-income youth of color’s self-perception.

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