Nikki is an artist and an art teacher. She has bee teaching for 18 years in Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. Nikki’s artwork is her activism. Activism has been an essential part of her life since her mother helped her understand the origin of her culture and role within this society. Through the years she has sought out ways to find her artistic voice through images of dark skinned portraiture, shapes, lines, color and movement combined with photos, words and fabrics. All the while operating within the margins society has put upon her based on her race and gender and sexual orientation.
Amena has had a deep commitment to youth, social justice, advocacy and education for the entirety of her career. The promotion of social justice is something she has been passionate about since she was a child. When she was six years old she rode with her grandfather to pick up people who could not get themselves to the polls to vote on Election Day. In between picking up voters and dropping them off her grandfather spoke about when it was illegal for African Americans to vote and stressed that they must vote in order to get issues that are important to them addressed by the government. Although he passed away shortly after that car ride her grandfather did not leave this earth without teaching her valuable lessons about social justice and leadership.