• Social Innovation Fellowship


RISD, Illustration/Gender, Race & Sexuality

Award Year 

Healthy Roots

My research has shown that in order to combat issues of colorism and internalized racism, there must be more exposure to diversity. These issues thrive off of black women’s lack of knowledge of proper hair care, empowerment in cultural identity and natural beauty. My project is a doll and storybook that teaches young black girls about their roots and the history of the African Diaspora. My venture aims to educate young Black girls by creating diversity in dolls and a story that engenders acceptance and understanding. It is extremely powerful and influential to have a doll that looks like you in all your aesthetics. Unfortunately many of today’s dolls do not accurately reflect Black girls. Black girls do not have dolls that look like them. My dolls will come in a multiple hair types ranging from 3b-4c and a variety of skin tomes to accurately represent the diversity of the African Diaspora. This doll combats issues of internalized racism and colorism toy creates a positive experience for children.
There are cute people of all kinds of skin tone/features/hair combinations. There should be cute dolls of all kinds of skin tone/features/hair combinations.



I study Illustration at RISD with a concentration in Gender, Race & Sexuality. I am an artist but I identify as a visual activist and use my art to prompt discussions about race and social awareness of systematic injustices. I recognizes that artists have a responsibility as society’s image-makers. I encourage artists to recognize the impact and influence their work has and to be responsible for the work they create.

I am passionate about issues of colorism, racism, and internalized racism because I myself have felt the negative impacts of these issues as I watched my family members, friends, and other Black women struggle with self acceptance and confidence. Black women suffer from the pressure to appeal to the western European standard of beauty that feeds the social hierarchy of colorism. I continued to see the impacts of the lack of diversity in media and the negative portrayals of women of color. I am passionate about these issues because they are rarely openly addressed and discussed among members of the black community. Black women should not feel like they need to appeal to the European standard of beauty. Perms and skin bleaching products are dangerous and have been proven to cause severe health issues. I care about these issues because no individual should endure pain, in the name of beauty, in order to be valued. People should define themselves as they choose, not what social constructs tell them. I have been driven to address issues of colorism and internalized racism because I don’t want my own children, or any child to suffer from the negative impacts of colorism and internalized racism.