I was born in the DC area to an American mom and Ugandan dad. They met in Germany. My mom worked in various design, diplomatic, and managerial capacities, and traveled the world all the time. My dad ran (and still runs) his own medical clinic in inner city Baltimore, in a systemically undeserved community. I fell in love with architecture as a kid, and my favorite pastime was going to model home open houses with my mom. I went to undergrad for a bunch of things, eventually graduating in art history and Spanish. I moved to NY three weeks after graduation and worked in architecture firms before returning to grad school for urban planning. I love urban planning, but it didn't address my compulsion to design, so I eventually started xNasozi (xN for short) two years into a social justice philanthropy career. Even though I am technically in a design field, social good underpins my work, so it's convenient now to have this term "social entrepreneurship" to explain what I do. I also recently relocated most of my entire life to the DC/Baltimore area where I grew up. It didn't impact my business operations so much, but it has taken me some time to connect with the likeminded business community here to stimulate my inspiration and business innovation. I am a designer, but I am also very much a businesswoman, so that's actually been a really fun discovery and reason to meet new people!
What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?
Black History and pride is something that imbues pretty much everything I do, so it's hard for me to think of it in terms of a single month. As a whole, I think the month is a platform for to highlight mainly the cultural aspects and contributions that Black people have made on a larger scale. I would also like to continue finding ways that expand Black History month narrative beyond the United States of America. The commonalities and contributions of Black people all over the world are astounding.
Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Design This Year?
I have a few international trips planned this year, and I plan on being inspired by those! I'll be in Cape Town, Accra, and possibly the South of France. It will be my first time to Ghana, and France outside of Paris, so I am very much looking forward to experiencing those landscapes, cityscapes, architectures, and cultures. Until then, I spend a lot of time in Baltimore City, and there is so much unexpected and underrated inspiration here. I mostly enjoy the murals tucked away down unsuspecting alleys, and the layers of mismatch paint as they peel off of old brick buildings. The organic color combos alone are inspiring!
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