Our Dream Team

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Pan- African Arts and Culture Creative Director, Nansare Consolata.  

Nansare Consolata is the founder of African Print Takeover, a cultural awareness organization established in 2016, formally known as Best of Both Worlds Production, founded in 2005. The organization specializes in cultural awareness fashion shows and event planning, providing community education and recognition of the influence of African culture. Nansare is currently sits on the board of the Washington State Coalition of African Community Leaders and is a Cultural Ambassador for Umoja Festival. Dissatisfied with the lack of cultural events in the Greater Seattle African community, Nansare, a Ugandan native, took the Mahatma Gandhi quote “You must be the change you wish to see”, and she applied it. As a student at Highline Community College, she was an active leader in the Black Student Union, where she was inspired to actively participate in and give back to her community. Her first platform was at the annual Umoja Festival & African American Day Parade in 2005; the show was a success and was covered by the Seattle Times Newspaper the following year. In addition to her community activism, Nansare has produced many fashion shows for various events in the greater Seattle metropolitan area: Seattle Central Spring Bling, Festival Sundiata, Mwangaza Jitegemee Foundation, Igbo day Celebration, Madaraka Festival, Spirit of Africa formally known as Spirit of West Africa, Her Big Day cultural wedding show, local community colleges and universities, and many more.

Nansare is a fashion stylist who believes we are not all born the same; our differences make us unique. Her vision is for people to walk away from her cultural awareness fashion shows with a greater understanding of the African culture and the influence it has on Western styles. She hopes her audience will also walk away with new ideas on how to integrate traditional African clothes into their wardrobe and gain an increased consciousness of how and what clothes communicate values, identity and culture. Nansare Consolata Cultural Awareness with an African identity.

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Program Manager:

“ My name is Deborah Keme, I am currently a sophomore studying Computer Science. I am passionate about elevating the African Diaspora. This school year I’ve had the privilege of serving the people in a greater sense by being the Marketing Director of an independent organization ran by undergraduate student of UW. This year will be our second annual leadership conference that holds the theme of « Empowering the Diaspora. » As a curious and ever changing young-adult I’m learning to take advantage of my intuition. I’m grateful to African Women Business Alliance for giving me a platform for growth. "



Business Development Coach: Joy Egbejimba

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Joy Egbejimba: Having been in the financial sector of the corporate world for over-twenty years and from healthcare, energy, telecom, and Aerospace, Joy knew that fashion is her passion and with a degree in Accounting and an executive MBA, she launched NUCIANO. Joy Egbejimba an award-winning designer, is the creative-force behind Seattle-based, NUCIANO, a luxury value but “indie-priced” line of high-quality leather-handbags and crystal clutches. ‘’The NUCIANO brand is my effort to bridge the gap between luxury and affordability, and help women look and their best without compromising on quality or price”. NUCIANO leather bags, designed with the mantra “from desk to dinner” and crystal clutches, designed for that million-dollar look that the right structured fashion piece can bestow on an “evening out” ensemble have been featured on several high fashion runways and award shows in the US. See more designs at www.nuciano.com

Board Members

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Kathy Fowells is Art Director at SouthEast Effective Development SEED. She has always been passionate about creating economic opportunities for artists. She lived in southern Africa for 4 years, consulting with the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and numerous artist cooperatives to improve the economic vitality of the arts. She was awarded a Fulbright research grant to document this work. When she returned to Seattle in 1995, she opened Mwoyo Arts, a gallery that featured contemporary art from southern Africa. Fowells holds an MBA degree from Seattle University and a Bachelors of International Studies with a focus on Economic Development.

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Niesha Brooks:  Niesha Fort is Leadership & Engagement Program Manager for Global to Local. She brings a diverse set of skills and experiences as a board member for the African Women Business Alliance. A graduate of California State University-Sacramento in Political Science, Niesha is trained in mediation, negotiation, and peace building through the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution at California State University – Sacramento. Niesha holds a Masters in Urban Environmental Education from Antioch University.

Brukab Sisay:  Brukab is first and foremost a student of Pan-Africanism, immigration & black diasporic resistance cultures. He is a graduate student working towards his doctorate in African Diaspora Studies and aspires to teach and conduct research impacting the African diaspora in the northwest. He is a resident of Tukwila, WA, and currently lectures at the University of Washington, Seattle in the Department of American Ethnic Studies. 

Advisory Board

Bill Unger

Bill Unger

With 30 years in the venture industry, helping new ideas become significant companies, and the last 15 years learning what works, and what does not work, to change lives in the developing world. 

After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Bill began his career as a Special Education teacher, then worked in Community Mental Health programs before becoming an Executive Recruiter and then co-founding his own firm. He joined Mayfield Fund in 1983. He served in leadership positions on many corporate and not-for profit boards, and continues to advise early stage technology companies.

Representative investments include Sandisk (SNDK), Silicon Architects (acquired by Synopsys (SNPS), Calico Commerce (acquired by Oracle(ORCL), Newport Communications (acquired by Broadcom (BRCM), Stream Machine (acquired by Cirrus Logic (CRUS), Simplex Solutions (acquired by Cadence (CDN), Excess Bandwidth Corporation (acquired by Virata (VRTA), Verplex Design Systems (acquired by Cadence (CDN), Nextest (acquired by Teradyne (TER), Sabio Labs (acquired by Magma (LAVA) and Berkeley Design Automation (acquired by Mentor Graphics (MENT). 

Bill’s current philanthropic activities include; Board member of CARE USA, CARE Enterprises LLC, Microvest, D-Rev, and Wildlife Conservation Network, and he serves on the Deans’ Advisory Board of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Other organizations he has served include; past board chair of the Career Action Center, YouthNoise, and former Vice Chairman of the Anita Borg Institute. He was an advisor to the Dean of Engineering of University of California at Berkeley, a member of The Philanthropy Workshop and Legacy Ventures, and is an active supporter of Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

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Mariama Camara

Mariama Mounir Camara-Petrolawicz is one of the most influential rising African women. Her inspiring presence reflects her power, optimism and energy. Her entrepreneurial spirit and humanitarian work has led her to mingle with some of the most influential individuals in the business, entertainment, political, and nonprofit sectors.
Mariama is a voice of her country Guinea and fights to ensure hidden voices are heard. Her career experience includes working in fashion, cosmetology, and public relations.

Mariama is also the President of Mariama Fashion Production. She has readily given her support and voice to worthy causes dedicated to ending violence against women, breast cancer, and diabetes. She also supports organizations bringing change to developing countries, and has participated in high-level meetings including those organized by the World Food Program, Feed the Future and World Pneumonia Day.

Our Evolving Story

10 years ago, in 2007, our founder was a young immigrant woman/mother and still new to the country - living in Oakland, California where she worked hard and wanted to start a small business to own her financial security; and to follow her passion of supporting artisans in Tanzania, in order- to build bridges and create a hub for African cultural aesthetic-in handcrafted/custom wooden furniture business in America.  She was introduced to The Women's Initiative org-where she joined and graduated from a ten-week course: Simple Steps to Start, Strengthen or Grow a Small Business. She self financed, launched her business, identified her target market, finished her business plan, manufactured and shipped her products ready to sell. She couldn't afford a store-front and she struggled to sell online. She ended up losing more money she couldn't afford to waste.  Due to many challenges contributed by her own personal life then, but also systemic barriers and restrictions fueled by sexism and racism, she decided to put her dreams on hold and pursued college instead. 5 years later she found herself still challenged to fit in as an African immigrant woman; but nonetheless, she was truly grateful and happy exploring, learning, and growing at University of California Santa Cruz where she re-discovered herself anew-majoring in Feminist Studies, Political Science, and Pre-Law. In 2001,  her beloved and beautiful home country of Somalia was hit yet again, by recurring and man-made  worst famine in history so she travelled to the largest refugee camp in the world, Dadaab, where she conducted research and focused on Somali Women in Conflict Zone and Sustainable Development. There she re-discovered herself anew again, this time with a strong will power to fight cyclical-intergenerational poverty contributed by colonialism/imperialism/ and ill structural legacies of patriarchy and corruption. She wanted to move back home and work with Small-Scale Women Farmers in East Africa in order to fight poverty and famine. She's still working on this dream but because she had a child in America and was still in school/wanted to pursue grad school, she yet again had to put her dreams (on hold) and decided to move to Seattle after college graduation. Seattle was very attractive to her social justice lens and progressive nature. She also wanted to work with/be connected to her community of Somali immigrant population, (the third largest Somali population in the nation.)

·       Surprisingly, Seattle wasn't/isn't as progressive as she thought, oppressive structures of power and systemic barriers are still haunting her vulnerable community of African immigrants/black diaspora and people of color in general. Access and opportunities isn't available to all. 

·       In Seattle she saw the same barriers and systemic gaps preventing African women immigrants from pursuing their fullest potential in entrepreneurship and small business development. She then spent 4 months of her time and out of pocket expenses to collect surveys and conduct focused groups with existing African immigrant women-small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with great help from her husband and son; in producing a facility study/report to determine community's needs and assessment. In honor of her beloved mother who died from a preventable disease at 45, and all women who came before her, Nourah  launched African Women Business Alliance, a holistic/culturally responsive platform for inclusive economy and entrepreneurship geared towards black women diaspora for gender and racial equity in business development. Few months later we changed our mission to include all black women diaspora and not just African immigrant women. 

·       If you read this far, THANK YOU! Thank you for visiting our digital foot print and for joining our movement. We hope to build, create, learn, and grow with you as we collectively strive to work hard for a more just and equitable world.  

·       We are here: The Puget Sound is a dynamic, multicultural, beautiful home to a diverse pool of people with great talents, resilience, and strength from all walks of life. The King County Demographics-Census Bureau of 2012 proved King County to be one of the most diverse counties in America, with half of its children being children of color and more than half of its population being immigrants (foreign born).

·       The King County African immigrant population continues to rapidly grow, contributing to the social, economic, political, and cultural fabric of Washington State as a whole. Widening gender and racial gap in business development and entrepreneurship remain stagnant. We strive to create safe space, culturally appropriate, and welcoming environment for our demographic who may/may not fit in the main stream resource allocation.