Deborah Santana is an author, filmmaker, philanthropist, advocate for peace and social justice, and mother of three. She has produced five documentary films, including Women's Spirituality in Higher Education (with Academy-award nominated director Robin Friday), Road to Ingwavuma, Girls of Daraja, School of My Dreams, and Powerful Beyond Measure (with Emmy-award winning director Barbara Rick). She is a founding donor of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and she is founder of Do A Little Foundation (www.doalittle.org), a donor-advised fund at the San Francisco Foundation that supports women and girls in the areas of health, education, and happiness, and that contributes to a number of non-profit organizations. Her memoir, Space between the Stars: My Journey to an Open Heart, was published in March 2005. Visit her website here.
"Earning my Master of Arts in philosophy and religion with a concentration in women's spirituality gave me a foundation of scholarly discourse about feminism, gender, race, class, and how to be a more effective spiritual activist. The mission of my nonprofit work is to serve women and girls in the areas of health, education, and happiness. I wanted to understand the opportunities and oppression of women around the world to better address my work and align myself with organizations making an impact in the forward movement of women's rights.
"With the program, I have access to the academic analysis and critiques that inform my work, and the framework through which to understand patriarchy and Eurocentric values to advocate for change."