Cynthia C. Harris, MPH
Visionary and Founding Playwright
Ms. Harris has been committed to the advancement of women through art, education, research, activism, and outreach over the past 15 years. In her capacity as a Project Coordinator with Emory University, Vanderbilt University, and Meharry Medical College, she developed and implemented policies, trainings, and outreach materials integral to the recruitment and retention of women of color into inter-disciplinary health disparities research studies.
Since 2002, Ms. Harris has created and performed works that capture the experiences of women of color. “Phrases of Womanhood”, a text and movement performance was created for the women of the dance company The Village Drum and Dance Ensemble which was funded by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and the Tennessee Art Commission. The performance explores issues of gender, identity, body image, personhood, spirituality, community and African heritage.
“Why Won’t She Leave?” (WWSL)was originally written in 2005 and after presenting small community- based performances, the work was shared during the 2006 National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA. WWSL was developed into a domestic violence educational tool and many community members and artists have been trained to present the work for national audiences. Through large & small community sponsored gatherings, national conferences, and arts festivals, hundreds of community members have viewed the performance. Collaborators and sponsors have included the Village Cultural Arts Center, The Black Church and Domestic Violence Institute, Beautician’s Local #3, the National Black Arts Festival, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Harris has also created workshops and presentations for Planned Parenthood of Middle Tennessee’s PG-13 Players, Vanderbilt University, and the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.
In 2014, the initial qualitative data collected for the Reinvention Project with Actors Bridge Ensemble, eventually led to two other projects for Ms. Harris: How to Catch a Flying Woman (2018) and The Calling is in the Body (2022).
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Dia S. Hodnett, MPH
Director of Content Analysis and Engagement
Dia S. Hodnett, MPH, is a delighted steward of social transformation and an awesome action figure. Dia specializes in politics of intimacy, culture and collective consciousness; working professionally in intimate partner violence and intimate lived experiences of social violence, sexual health/expression and reproductive justice, HIV/AIDS, gender studies, self-care and re-evaluation, and our intersecting movements for human dignity.
Hodnett’s extensive formal education includes a BA in English (French minor) from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Public Health, with a Behavioral Science and Health Education concentration, from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. She holds long-standing institutional relationships with Healing Waters Productions (Nashville, TN), The Black Church and Domestic Violence Institute (Atlanta, GA), and Hampshire College’s Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program (Amherst, MA); where she is the Lead Consultant on Special Projects, the Public Health Specialist, and member of the New Leadership Networking Initiative, respectively.
For nearly fifteen years, Dia has built an impressive, multidisciplinary, cross-cultural client list; delivering keynote addresses and public engagement, technical assistance consultation, training, critical analysis on emerging issues, strategic planning, bridge building and organizing. Her contemplative approach to experiential education, spiritual discernment and vocational development creates a truly awesome dynamic of present-time participatory activism; honoring all lived experiences and multiple intelligences, past, present, and future.
Committed to liberation and self-determination for all, Dia facilitates the recovery and support of flexible human intelligence through listening, affirming, learning, and sharing with intentional compassion, Big Medicine, and crazy faith.
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