Ayesha Harrison

Ayesha Harrison was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City to a Jamaican immigrant family. In May 2013, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University where she studied Literature, Writing and Film with a minor in Media Analysis. Her passion for cultural storytelling and ethnology drove her to study Italian Film at the American University of Rome and American Sign Language during her years at Arizona State. While living in Tempe, Arizona, she was not only a well known university writing tutor among non-traditional students and English Language Learners, but also worked with Phoenix youth under the organization America Reads. With her heart and mind set on exploring distant lands, she accepted a United States Fulbright Grant for Malaysia in January 2014. Ayesha served for two years as an English Teaching Assistant in two low-performing public high schools. She enjoyed creating moments in English with her 15 classes, incredible local teachers and colorful neighbors. They all became family. She will never forget the student-made storytelling documentary she directed and wrote, which celebrated and retold Sarawakian stories of childhood, history, passion, identity and culture. Ayesha is commonly characterized as all-accepting, a magnet who attracts people from all walks of life, finding home in each living character she meets. She is beyond excited to engage, grow and learn with the amazing people and cultures who await her in Honduras.

Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 11:34 am EDT

Santa Monica presented us with a great opportunity this year. It came in the form of a large cement wall covered in paint chips, lining the front entrance to our school. The wall begged us to turn it into something beautiful and after an evening brainstorming, we knew exactly what to do.
We invited our students to Santa Monica’s first ever Ethnic Studies themed Art Camp. Over the course of two days, roughly 50 students, ranging from 3rd to 6th grade would make history in their community.
On day one, organized into four small groups the students started the day with team building activities to get them warmed up. After they presented their group names and their group chant, it was time to get to work! Each group rotated through four different studios throughout the day. The studios included: “Remember Us” focused on Honduran indigenous art and culture, “Explore Now” focused on contemporary mural style art found all around Honduras, “Speak Up” focused on the words of Honduran writers’ and activists, and “Hear Me” focused on protest art also found in and around Honduras. In each studio session, the students were given information and tools. They used these materials to create their own versions of the presented art. We reviewed the submissions and selected four outstanding pieces to represent the focus areas.
Together we painted the wall on the second day. Just a few finishing touches are left, but it was truly remarkable to sit back and watch just a fraction of our SMBS community create a statement.