How a curator crafts a communal conversation

Ashara discusses turning her shyness on and off like al ight switch, being a workaholic and not holding it up as a badge, how tending to one’s “zero zero” makes the work she does possible, and how to support the widest array of Oaklanders through acknowledgement, anti-racism, and space-making

About the speaker

Ashara Ekundayo is a cultural strategist, independent curator, serial social entrepreneur and connector of the urban landscape who facilitates the creation of “collaboratory” spaces where methodology amplifying the intersections of social permaculture, social entrepreneurship, and social justice can be manifested. Considered a thought-leader and strategic executor, she honed her business skills in the non-profit arts sector and is often found organizing and moderating at the intersections of spirituality, sustainable design, and impact. Through her company AECreative she consults with organizations to assess and build capacity for equitable community engagement through the uses of mindfulness, creative arts practice, exhibition, and project management.

In 2012, Ashara Co-Founded Impact Hub Oakland, an innovation incubator and co-working community, and brought to fruition Omi Gallery, both creative enterprises committed to the social, cultural, economic and political liberation of people of color, women and girls, and the LGTBQ community. In her role as Chief Creative Officer and Curator she designs, produces and listens for place-based solutions revealed through a multiplicity of gatherings often with unlikely allies.

Currently she holds Advisory Board positions with KQED Arts, Black Girls Code, and the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, and has served as a Fellow with Green For All, Emerging Arts Professionals, Schools Without Borders and Institute For The Future. Ashara holds an M.A. in Gender & Social Change from the Korbel School of International Affairs at the University of Denver and is also a Certified Permaculture Designer, Certified Foresight Practitioner, and a Graduate of Thousand Currents Leadership Academy.

Ashara’s commitment to social transformation is informed by an intersectional framework that aims to expand the influence and impact of arts and culture on racial equity, gender+justice, and environmental literacy. T/I: @BluBlakwomyn

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