Vanessa Young – Co-Founder and Program Director of ANEW BAM. Vanessa is a graduate of Harding High School, and graduated from Metropolitan State University with a degree in Youth and Family Services. Vanessa is passionate about addressing inequities in education for students of color, which led her to co-found ANEW BAM with Kevin Robinson. Vanessa also volunteers for Freedom School Express, and Ujima faith-based pregnancy prevention program. Vanessa is a professional artist in theatre and poetry, and brings her experience as an artist, and her connections with the artist community to ANEW BAM. Vanessa is currently on the boards of Arts-Us Inc and Truth Preparatory Academies.
Kevin co-founded ANEW BAM with Vanessa Young in 2013. Kevin Robinson is a native of South Minneapolis,MN. Kevin has previously worked as a family liaison in juvenile court system, also being apart of the Bradley County Juvenile Department of Children Services Board, from 2010-3013. Kevin has a Sociology degree from Cleveland State University, with a minor in youth development. Kevin closed his fitness business in 2012 because he believed that he was not making a difference with youth who are disenfranchised in the African American community. Kevin also works with Freedom School Express which an African American based literacy program. Kevin is honored to be the executive director of ANEW BAM and to help young scholars reach their full potential.
Annareese brazil sawyer
My name is Annareese Brazil Sawyer. I currently attend Humboldt Senior High School, and I am constantly on the honor roll. I’ve been involved in African American centred youth programs since I was in first grade (Project Spirit and Freedom School) . I have participated in numerous debate teams at my school, and also musical production. I am also currently involved in Breakthrough Twin Cities. My favorite subject in school is english because I love reading and literature. My hobbies are reading and playing Xbox. I have been apart of ANEW BAM since 8th grade, and I am excited for the opportunity to be a academic coach with ANEW BAM.
Lead Site Coordinator
I have always been intrigued by the idea of helping our youth become active role models in society. When I moved to Minnesota from Illinois about a year ago, I wanted to find a way to help our youth become more engaged in their education. I was introduced to ANEW BAM through my daughter’s elementary school and I immediately enrolled her into their after-school program. Some time after that, I became employed as a Lead Site Coordinator and I humbly accepted the position and I look forward to empowering, educating and enlightening our young scholars!
Director of Marketing & Communication
Anastasia Hill has worked with marginalized families for the past 5+ years that have experienced traumas that affect their confidence and socio economic status. She is excited to continue her work at ANEW BAM by joining a team that combats all the negative narratives and stereotypes surrounding our youth, families, and communities. She holds a Bachelor of Individualized Studies degree with a focus in Sociology, Political Science, and Religious Studies from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She is excited for the continued opportunity to Empower, Educate, and Enlighten families and communities!
Susannah Fujimoto Harris
Director of Curriculum & Professional Development
Susannah Harris is the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development for ANEW Black Arts Movement (ANEW BAM). She previously worked for Minneapolis Public Schools’ Elementary Literacy team where she coordinated district-wide community literacy projects and wrote cross-disciplinary thematic curriculum for the Focused Instruction teaching strategy. Most recently, Ms. Harris finished the four-year U.S. Department of Education funded grant program, DigitalWorks, at Saint Paul Public Schools as the Lead Elementary Arts Specialist. Ms. Harris received her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto.
Susannah likes her dog, cat, sushi, traveling, and audiobooks.