Alumni Ambassadors are alumni representatives who embody the values and aims of the M.A. in Cultural Studies program. As alumni working across diverse roles and sectors, they support prospective students, current students, and fellow alumni by sharing how they've translated their degrees and navigated their careers.
Learn about our Alumni Ambassadors and email firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected.
Nafasi Ferrell, '15
Nafasi Ferrell is a bridge builder, facilitator and consultant with over 8+ years’ experience working to transform and advance racial equity and social justice. Hailing from Altadena, California, a place rooted deep in diversity of race, place and experiences, she is deeply committed to creating spaces of dialogue across cultures and generations.
For her Cultural Studies capstone project, Nafasi developed and facilitated a three-hour workshop with community members of varying ages in partnership with the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA). Let’s Talk!! Race and Class Through Hip-Hop and Poetry challenged participants to redefine their understandings of race and class using the mediums of hip-hop and poetry. Nafasi’s capstone intended to demonstrate the value of cross-generational, interracial community spaces and advocate for them as a site in which to imagine new ways of engaging with and understanding current circumstances and issues.
Since graduating, Nafasi has served as the DNDA Cultural Events Project Coordinator running a nine event series, and as a Project Specialist where she developed the Let’s Talk Race Series for the Delridge community to connect organizations and individuals through film, dialogue, storytelling and restorative justice. She is currently the Restorative Justice Program Manager for DNDA where she manages a Trauma Informed Restorative Justice Program across Interagency Academy school aimed to expand understandings and methods of trauma healing and restorative practices to support the dismantling of racism and the growth and leadership of staff and scholars.
Nafasi has also begun to expand her work to encompass Financial Literacy and Economic Equity. In January 2019 she formed Narratives Unbound LLC, a consulting and education company dedicated to advancing racial and economic equity through financial coaching, community workshops and youth leadership trainings. Through her one-on-one financial coaching and Stages of Wealth Building Program she equips clients and groups with the knowledge and confidence to understand the colonial history of money, develop a positive relationship with money, tackle debt and create a solid financial future. Her work focuses on working with organizations, working adults, scholars, and their families to support them in decolonizing their wealth building through education, saving, investing, and redistribution.
Savita Krishnamoorthy, '20
Savita Krishnamoorthy is a graduate of the M.A. Cultural Studies program (MACS 2020), and also holds a Master’s in Fine Art (History of Art) from the University of Bangalore, India.
Savita’s MACS capstone research investigated how orality and storytelling are vital methodological tools of disruption for social justice, resistance, community building, and social advocacy within the socio-cultural/political context of the South Asian community in Seattle. Yoni ki Baat narratives are autobiographical testimonies performed by cisgender female, trans, and gender non-conforming South Asian women presented annually by Seattle nonprofit Tasveer. Her study explores how Yoni ki Baat addresses and challenges discourses on female sexuality, gender/sexual identities/fluidity, gendered violence, choice, and grief.
Parsing her mediations with theoretical concepts helped her understand the multiplicity of meaning embedded within our stories. How we tell our stories and how we use our voices from the archived memories of one’s own lived experiences.
Her training as a Cultural Studies scholar and a community organizer reinforces the importance of mindfully bridging one’s scholarship and research interests between academia and beyond the institution; how to thoughtfully engage with inclusive and intentional community engagement + community building.
A longtime volunteer with Tasveer, Savita also sits on the on the board of the Redmond Arts and Culture Commission and is founding member and co-organizer (Programs + Operations) for Black Cinema Collective, a Seattle based arts organization that screens, examines, and celebrates the works of African + African diasporic filmmakers. She is the recipient of the competitively awarded Alpha Kappa Alpha Merit Scholarship 2019-2020.
Marcus Johnson, 16
Marcus Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate at the UW Department of Communication, where he researches and teaches Black Cultural Studies. He recently co-authored the article “Black Cultural Studies is Intersectionality” with Dr. Ralina Joseph, published in the International Journal of Cultural Studies. Johnson earned a B.A. in Global Studies and minor in Human Rights at UW Bothell (’13). His Cultural Studies capstone project, “The Multi Dimensions of Blackness: Cultural Hegemony in the United States and Abroad,” investigated different formations of Blackness in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the United States.
Learn about other Cultural Studies alumni.