In January 2020, the Kinky Curly Theological Collective announced our 2020 Writing Opportunity: Fragmented and Whole (c). We invited Black women from Minnesota to be a part of this cohort, to share space with each other, honor our spiritual practices, all the while writing in community with each other. We are pleased to announce the following as cohort members, who will be accompanying us on this writing journey:
Over the next several months – because that Rona won’t stop us – we will gather, reflect, and write. While our original plans have changed a bit because of the current circumstances, we remain steadfast in this journey, believing that our coming together is of only of Divine origin and preparation for what is ahead.
* Some of the bios are listed below *
Arleta Little serves as the Director of the Artist Fellowships and Arts Program Officer and at the McKnight Foundation. Prior to working in philanthropy, she served as the Executive Director of the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, a literary arts organization in Minneapolis dedicated to advancing and celebrating African American literature and writers. With degrees in English, Social Work, and Public Affairs, Arleta also worked for over 15 years as an organizational development consultant providing strategic planning, program evaluation, and grant writing services to organizations in Minnesota. Committed to advancing racial equity and justice, she currently serves on the boards of Headwaters Foundation for Justice and Grantmakers in the Arts. As a poet and writer, her literary work can be found in Blues Vision: African American Writing From Minnesota (2015) and in Hope in the Struggle: A Memoir of the Life of Dr. Josie Johnson (2019).
Christie Owens. I am Ms. Christie. I live with passion and commitment in my work and life as an educator, artivist, healing practitioner, and scholar. I embrace tenants of Yoga, Healing and Social Justice, Play, Intersectionality, and The Arts to create space and intention around developing ones wholistic and cultural self. Working with children and investing in our future brings me hope and joy!
A California native with ancestral roots in Chicago, my interest in education was clear from an early age. A consistent reality I played with was that of a teacher. I was lucky to have parents who worked hard to be involved in and supportive of my education, and was lucky to have several impactful teachers in my life who further cemented my excitement to choose the path of the lifelong teacher/learner.
My journey in education has been filled with ups and downs, quite nonlinear, and full of surprises. I’ve had the opportunity to show up to facilitate the learning the risk-taking, dynamic, brilliant, and kind students at Bancroft Elementary School since the beginning of my teaching journey. I’ve experienced failure, success, frustration,isolation, breakthroughs, deficit, abundance, pain, hope, and everything in between.
As I show up for my students, myself and my colleagues, I hope to come from a place of trust, authenticity, and equity. As I show up to serve and impact every person I interact with at MPS, I seek to operate from that place of trust, authenticity, and equity to vision a brighter alternative to what exists for the Indigenous, Black, and People of Color (IBPOC) members of our MPS community.
Ebony Adedayo is the founder and creator of the Kinky Curly Theological Collective, a space that centers the experience of African and African American women, grounded in healing justice, liberation and community health and wellness. In this work, she has gathered Black women to build out a theological pedagogy based in their own experiences and expertise. This collective includes women of various faith and cultural backgrounds, each who embodies a commitment to using the lens of spirituality to uproot systems of oppression.
In addition, she is a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota and works for the City of Minneapolis as the Resiliency in Community After Stress and Trauma Program Manager (ReCAST). As the ReCAST Program Manager, Ebony has implemented community based models to increasing the understanding of community trauma, healing and resiliency, and systems change. Prior to her work at the City, she worked with the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability for nearly six years in various capacities, most recently as the Communications and Capacity Building Manager where she designed an asset based model to equitable development in the Twin Cities.
Ebony holds a Bachelor of Arts in Pastor Studies from North Central University and a Master of Arts in Global and Contextual Studies from Bethel Seminary. She was a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God from 2012 through 2019 and has served in various ministries including young adult, missions, and congregational care since 2004. Ebony is the author of Dancing on Hot Coals and Embracing a Holistic Faith: Essays on Biblical Justice.