Deborah Santana headshot - Women's Spirituality program graduate. Deborah Santana

Arts, Writing, & Media
Author, CEO Founder of Do A Little Foundation

Deborah Santana, MA
The Women's Spirituality Program, MA Alum

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 (, 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 Deborah Santana's website for more information.

"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."

A photo of a Women's Spirituality program class circle at CIIS in San Francisco, California. Women's Spirituality in Higher Education Play Video
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A screenshot of Deborah Santana speaking from the Daraja Academy for Girls. Deborah Santana, Executive Director Play Video
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"Girls of Daraja" stitched in red with red and white buttons. Girls of Daraja Academy Play Video
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Screenshot of Archbishop Desmond Tutu quote on Daraja Girls School - school of my dreams trailer. School of My Dreams Play Video
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Screenshot of Road to Ingwavuma Trailer on YouTube. Road To Ingwavuma Trailer Play Video
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