Dr. Kim Dulaney: Director of Education, DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center – Moderator
SHANTRELLE P. LEWIS: New Orleans native, Shantrelle P. Lewis, a United Nations Programme for People of African Descent Fellow, is a multi-hyphen creative and scholar who accesses multiple disciplines to help elucidate African diasporic history, aesthetics, culture and spirituality. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in African American Studies from Howard University and Temple University, respectively. Her directorial film debut, in collaboration with GirlTrek, In Our Mothers’ Gardens premiered at the BlackStar Film Festival in 2020, won the Shine Award for Best Film from a Philadelphia based filmmaker, and was acquired by ARRAY Releasing for distribution. Dandy Lion: The Black Dandy and Street Style, her first book, was published by Aperture in 2017. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, BBC, Washington Post, Slate, The New Yorker and the Philadelphia Inquirer. She co-founded SHOPPE BLACK with her husband and fellow Howard alum, Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson. Shantrelle is an initiated Lucumi Sango Priest. Also, a self-identifying Hoodooist, she can be found waxing poetics about all things African spirituality online at Beaucoup Hoodoo.
JaSAUN BUCKNER: JaSaun has lead innovative and impactful projects at OWN, Creative Time, & Viacom. Her leadership granted her the opportunity to work with several notable figures including Oprah, Drake, Bradford Young, and an impressive crop of social influencers. A Digital Emmy and Cynopsis Social Good Award-winning producer and writer, JaSaun has worked in the entertainment industry for over 15 years on both Scripted and Non-Scripted Content, Live Shows, PSAs, OTT, Mobile, and Digital Content. An alumnus of Howard University, she also holds a Masters Degree from the University of Southern California in Communication Management and is extremely proud of DREAM, the national mentoring program she co-founded that molds young content creators and tastemakers.
Erica Sewell is a Talent Leader and Founder of creative consultancy, Escape Artist. Her experience started in the global fashion industry, from working as Head Designer of Isaac Mizrahi’s Target line, to leading programs at The Cape Town Fashion Council, including Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in South Africa. Her design work also included labels such as Armani Exchange, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren, and she’s been in the administration of higher education institutions such as Parsons The New School for Design, The Art Institute, and FIT, where she coached students and career changers on attaining creative opportunities and negotiating. Sewell currently leads inclusion talent acquisition efforts for Netflix’s Outreach & Engagement team, where she focuses on engaging underrepresented creatives across writing, art, and story for film, series, and animation. Prior to Netflix, she recruited and developed creative talent for CBS Interactive’s portfolio of 30+ digital brands across multiple lifestyle categories, and did the same for Williams-Sonoma Inc., Ann Taylor/ LOFT, and Adecco Creative. Other notable projects include founding the book deal-turned-career-development program, CreativeTypes, as well as creative consulting for artists/filmmakers, Bradford Young and Leslie Hewitt on Untitled Structures. Sewell holds an MA from The New School for Social Research, a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, and research credits from the Democracy and Diversity Institute for Graduate Studies at the University of Cape Town. Her work and collaborations have been featured in Elle South Africa, Vogue Magazine, The New York Times, and ArtForum
IN OUR MOTHERS’ GARDENS: In Our Mothers’ Gardens is the third ARRAY Releasing title of 2021 from filmmaker Shantrelle P. Lewis. The film, which had its world premiere at the BlackStar Film Festival in Philadelphia (where it won Best Film), celebrates the strength and resiliency of Black women and Black families through the complex, and often times humorous, relationship between mothers and daughters. The film pays homage to Black maternal ancestors while examining the immediate and critical importance of self-care, and healing tools necessary for Black communities to thrive.