Cultivating Creative Space to Release the Society-Building Powers of the Faith

Traditional academic and community spaces meant to support artists and scholars can trigger a sense of otherness harmful to POC and women. A prescriptive gaze and suggestions to minimize traumatic realities perpetuate “soft violence,” objectifying scholarship and art. How can we disrupt this cycle intentionally? How can we heed the Universal House of Justice's call to harness the power of the arts in community-building, apply Bahá’í Teachings in social spaces, and reflect on growth? The presenters will facilitate discussion and share what they have learned about creating a deeply satisfying and encouraging space to excel in their craft.

  • Kim Douglas

    Kim Douglas is a writer, educator, speaker, social justice activist, and founder of Write2Unite, an online writing community. She has supported more than 2,000 college students, change-makers, and aspiring writers to free their voices and value their lived experiences by writing about their stories of transformation and empowerment. She is the author of High Desert: A Journey of Survival and Hope, and Arising by Kevin Locke, as told to Kim Douglas and Aleah Douglas Khavari.

  • Masud Olufani

    Masud Ashley Olufani (MAO) is an Atlanta-based actor, mixed media artist, and writer whose studio practice is rooted in the discipline of sculpture. He is a graduate of Morehouse College, and The Savannah College of Art and Design where he earned an MFA in sculpture in 2013. Masud has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. As a writer, Masud has published articles for Burnaway; Bahá’í Teachings; and Jacob Lawrence's The American Struggle series. His memoir is presently in production.

  • Hyacinth Wallance

    If you had asked Hyacinth Wallance what her future would have looked like, never would she have guessed Creative Director of her own business and an aspiring author. Four years ago, she was a physical therapist frustrated by the medical industry. She was raised in the Bahá’í Faith; however, now in her thirties, she is just beginning to fully appreciate Faith’s three main principles: Oneness of God, Oneness of Religion, and Oneness of Humanity – principles the world sorely needs.

  • Sharon Davis

    Sharon Nesbit-Davis is an author, artist, and storyteller. She began her art career as a solo mime artist performing for festivals, theaters, and schools. She served the Rockford Area Arts Council as a community arts coordinator and retired as the Executive Director. Her memoir, Intended: A Marriage in Black and White, was published in 2021 by 10/16 Press. Sharon conducts memoir writing classes and creative recharge retreats, which include storytelling, writing, and painting.


48th Annual Conference

The views expressed in this recording are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association for Bahá’í Studies, nor the authoritative explications of Bahá’í writings.