Meet the Family

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Nia J. Mays
Co-Founder

 

Hi! I am Nia J. Mays. I am a Senior at AU; double major in Theater Arts and Business Administration. I love all forms of art and practice several forms myself. I am a writer, performer, culinary artist, director, lyricist, theater technician, poet, sculptor, painter and producer. Creation is my passion. I couldn’t dream of a life without art. BlackList is my baby; a dream that seemed so distant not too long ago. I hope BlackList will become a safe haven and motivator for artists that look like me.

 

BlackList is a creation that facilitates growth and exploration into what art looks like when you have African ancestors. I plan to share my voice, that of a Black American, Disabled, Queer Leader, through my art and BlackList. I hope BlackList will give anyone who may identify similarly to me the chance to express themselves unapologetically and passionately-- the way it should be.

Be Kind; Stay Patient

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Ngakiya "Kiya" Camara

Co-Founder

Ngakiya Camara is a first year graduate student at American University studying Political Communications. A child of Guinean musicians, Ngakiya began singing and acting around the age 8, and later developed a love for writing poetry, short stories, and screenplays. She was one of four actors chosen to perform revised monologues at the Pennsylvania State Thespian Festival, and received a perfect score on revised monologues at the International Thespian Festival in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Aside from acting within numerous productions at American University, Ngakiya has also acted in various film and television productions both in Philadelphia and D.C,, and hopes soon to write for film in a way that centers Black joy and being.

Right now, Ngakiya does a lot of work in radio and technical production, and currently script-writes for a small production company located in Baltimore. Much of her work centers on Black liberation struggles, both international and at home, indigenous liberation struggles at home and abroad, and anti-militarism. She organizes and writes with Dissenters, an anti-militarist organization working to end conflict creation for profit and seeking to redirect resources granted to war-making institutions back into the communities which need it most.

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Esther Jeanty

Events Coordinator

Hi everyone, I’m Esther Jeanty! I’m a third-year student at AU, studying Political Science and Women, Gender and Sexuality -- or simply WGSS studies. At AU, I am the Director of Intersectionality and Inclusion for our WGSS honor society, and I am a part of the pre-law professional organization. I am passionate about all mediums of art, but especially poetry, literature, and film. The fact that BlackList not only highlights black art and artists but also empowers them to showcase their work by giving them a platform to do so is why I wanted to be a part of BlackList; it is work that is so critical to our AU community that more often than not forgets black art and artists. As the daughter of Haitian immigrants, it is so important to me that the significance of the African diaspora is stressed in Black spaces, and I can’t wait to help craft events that do that along with fostering community and healing!

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Bekah Zornosa

Public Relations Coordinator

Bekah Zornosa is a Latinx artist studying to obtain her BA in Musical Theatre and Public Relations. She has performed at various theatres in the DC area including: Adventure Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and Rorschach Theatre. She is Colombian-American, currently living in Florida. Bekah joined the BlackList team because she would love nothing more than to  help amplify voices that often aren't heard. 

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ArKayla Napper 

Freshman Liasion 

ArKayla Napper is a First-Year student studying Psychology. Her dream is to move to Germany to be a psychologist for foreigners living there. When she's not completing classwork, she is listening to new music or learning a new language. She prides herself in continuing the tradition of playing the Flute in a band that her mother started when she was just in high school. A tradition she hopes to start is writing poetry. She writes poetry to reflect her moods and to clear her thoughts for the day. She’s excited to start a new journey with BlackList. 

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Mary Luz S. Tagorda is an Asian/Filipino-American artist currently pursuing a BA degree in Business Administration specializing in Marketing and Studio Art. Throughout her artistic career she has had several Art Exhibits in New York, was nominated twice for a theater Metro Award for Graphic Design, and has mentored hundreds of young students at the art studio she has attended. Mary Luz is both an actress and freelance visual artist excited to help create not just a safe space for the BIPOC theater community, but help take their ideas and innovations to a new level.

Mary Luz S. Tagorda

Visual Promotions and Outreach Manager

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FAEDRA CHATARD CARPENTER is thrilled to be joining American University this year as an Associate Professor in the Department of Performing Arts and as the faculty advisor of BlackList.  Dr. Carpenter comes to AU with 26 years of experience in professional theatre as a project-development and production dramaturg; over 14 years of teaching at the University of Maryland, College Park; and life-shaping lessons learned at Spelman College (BA), Washington University (MA), and Stanford University (PhD).  

A freelance dramaturg, theatre scholar, and cultural critic, Dr. Carpenter’s research and creative interests coalesce in both academic and artistic spheres. Dr. Carpenter has also published widely on a range of topics, addressing issues such as cross-cultural synergies, trans-racial performance, color-consciousness, and the dramaturgy of intentionality within dramatic literature, theatrical productions, and “everyday life.” Through her research and activated practice, Dr. Carpenter applies her expertise in expressive culture, creative collaboration, and dramaturgical methodologies to illuminate issues regarding race, gender, class, and sexuality in order to forge compassion and greater understanding. 

Faedra Chatard Carpenter

Falculty Advisor

We welcome anyone who believes they are qualified to apply for a position at BlackList.

Please be connected to the American University community. We realize these are exceptional times and not all previous AU students have the liberty to continue their AU education. However, please do not let that stop you from applying or joining any of our events. If you can find joy from our offerings please reap them! 

We are always searching for artistic liaisons, communication liaisons, event coordinators, event organizers, writers, visual artists, dancers, technician gurus, and more. Click the button above that says "click here" and if none of the aforementioned positions fit what you have to offer feel free to email us at BlackList.americanu@gmail.com

Lastly, if you would like to support us without joining our permanent team click the button below! That button will provide you a way to contact us directly and explain how you would like to help! You could offer your services, time, connections or more!