"The earth is a beehive; we all enter by the same door but live in different cells." - Bantu Proverb

The past year has been virtual, but grounding. The work we produced as Young Scholars is part of a hive and the door we entered was fixed with the humaneness of Black girlhood. The hive is a vital part of the bee’s existence, however long or short that existence is. Hive as a part of our name represents the inherent connectedness that Black girls & femmes feel when we work to sustain ourselves, community, and the world. As researchers, our name serves as a declaration that passion and purpose are inextricable. When the CreateHive gathers, we search the flowers, redistribute knowledge, and we create honey. What would the cell or the hive be without Black girls?  As Black young scholars, it was important for us to be able to develop and create in the safe environment that the Young Scholars Program has provided for us was a necessary outlet for us to express our anger, joy, sadness, and happiness. CreateHive is a name we were drawn to because it celebrated our creative vision within our own respective research projects, but it also embraced our strength of working as a unit - a hive. In the CreateHive, you will find assets that we produced, such as Diary of a Black Teen Mom, where you can anonymously share experiences of black adolescent motherhood. We are also excited to share the Melanin Minds research project, presenting the reflections on Black female leadership. Finally, you can peruse through the virtual gallery and resources that We 2 Are Art have curated.

2021 AMBASSADORS AND SCHOLARS

Scholars

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MAYA ANDERSON

Pronouns: They/Day/Shey

Research Team: We 2 Are Art

Maya Anderson is many things but is overall a knowledge seeker driven by their curiosity. Insatiably seeking stimulus, they experiment through their love of Art and spend hours reading numerous books and researching to seek out the unheard and erased records that are not in the mainstream archives.

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JUSTINA BLANCO

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Research Team: Melanin Minds

Justina Blanco is a junior Political Science major African-American Studies minor at Howard University where her work focuses on Black Political Theory.

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LEAH BOVEDA

Pronouns: She/Her

Research Team: Melanin Minds

Leah Boveda is a rising freshman at Brown University aspiring to double major in Political Science and the Visual Arts who uses an intersectional lens to inform her studies.

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KENDRA GOURGUE

Pronouns: She/They

Research Team: We 2 Are Art

I am a Caribbean-American rising senior who believes in Black artistry as a spatial reclaiming and racial counter-script, as well as social justice and promoting education and self-love!

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SHANBRAE MCFARLAND

Pronouns: She/They

Research Team: Gospel GIrls

While living in a society that 'depends on public amnesia', I gather my memory.

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GIA MITCHAM

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Research Team: Gospel Girls

I am a rising junior at Boston College majoring in Communication with a double minor in Marketing and African and African Diaspora Studies, and I hope to pursue a career in law!

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JOLECIA SAUNDERSON

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Research Team: Melanin Minds

Jolecia Saunderson is a rising sophomore at Brandeis University studying Politics and African & African American Studies. Her minors include Creativity the Arts & Social Transformation and English. Amongst the Young Scholars Program 2021 I am apart of the Melanin Minds group in which we discuss the gap in reclaiming Black female leadership as well as creating endeavors of change for Black girls to see themselves as the beautiful leaders that we know they are.

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DENIA SMITH

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Research Team: Melanin Minds

Denia Smith is an intersectional feminist, political organizer, researcher, and activist aiming to build a racially equitable society through education reform.

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ESSENCE SMITH

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Research Team: Gospel GIrls

Born and raised in Boston, MA is a sophomore at Trinity College, double majoring in Political Science and International Studies. Essence is pursuing a career in law, and hopes to leave a mark in all the respective communities she’s involved in.

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TAYLOR TROUP

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Research Team: We 2 Are Art

Taylor is a junior at Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga where she majors in Advertising Marketing Communications with a minor in English with an emphasis in writing hailing from the city of Alamo, Ga.

Ambassadors

GABRIELLE CROOKS

I am a junior at Stanford University, studying International Relations, double minoring in Human Rights and Spanish.

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ANIAH FRANCIS

I am a junior at the University of San Francisco studying Sociology with a concentration in Criminology, Law and Society. Her minors include African American Studies, Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Legal Studies.

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ERYN MCCALLUM

I am a senior at Emerson College majoring in Journalism and double minoring in African American/Africana Studies and Political Communication.

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CARLY MCINTOSH

I am a senior at Harvard College from the suburbs of West Philadelphia. Carly is currently earning an honors degree in Social Studies: an interdisciplinary major in the social sciences.

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HALEY TAYLOR-SCHLITZ

I am a law student, author, public speaker, and respected thought leader on the issues students of color face in navigating gifted and talented programs in our public schools.

2021 YOUNG SCHOLARS PROGRAM RESEARCH COLLECTIVE
CREATEHIVE