founder & EXECUTIVE Director
Lauren Ash is a multifaceted creative entrepreneur and visionary most-recognized for her leadership prioritizing black women in the wellness and editorial fields. As the Founder and Creative Director of Black Girl In Om, she promotes holistic wellness for women of color through BGIO’s online publication, wellness sessions, podcast, creative agency, and award-winning social media platforms. As co-founder of Lifestyle with Ivory + Ash, Lauren creates inspiring and educational affirmations on lifestyle goods for women of color. And as co-founder of award-winning Party Noire, she celebrates black womanhood through Black Joy centered parties and community gatherings.
Lauren currently sits as an artist-in-residence with Arts and Public Life and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago. She is also a consultant for women of color led startups and guides group and private yoga and meditation. Her dedication and sustained attention to representing and unapologetically centering black women across all of her projects has garnered the attention of NYLON, Saint Heron, Vice’s i-D, Thoughtfully Magazine, ESSENCE, and many other platforms where she is recognized as a trailblazer and creative to watch. Lauren earned an MA in American Studies from Purdue University and a BA in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas.
Originally born in Washington DC, Chante’ Dyson is now a graduating senior from Rutgers University in New Jersey majoring in Communication and Digital Media. She has followed BGIO for a while now, and was recently drawn to the opportunity to bring her editorial skills that she’s developed in the fashion industry to the wellness space, particularly for women of color. Chante’ is passionate about women’s empowerment and believes that the work of BGIO will positively uplift, inspire, and raise the consciousness of her sisters globally. Her self-care go to is reading nonfiction and self help books. (She also loves exercise and the Headspace app). Something interesting about her is that she got her start in fashion by modeling, and figured out that she could combine this experience with her love for writing, thus leading her to the publishing field.
SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR
Dronile Hiraldo is a New York city born and bred writer with a love for donuts, Michael Jackson and the stories women of color tell. She credits her alma mater, Vassar, for empowering her to explore her identity and take deeper interest in the experiences of women of color and their representation in pop culture. As a senior in college, she accidently fell in love with running, cooking, and horseback riding. Dronile founded the little dominican, her digital culture and lifestyle diario, to share her challenges as a woman of color learning to love her body, eat healthy and become a full-time creative: writer, filmmaker, photographer. As Social Media Intern for Black Girl In Om she hopes to help other women of color discover themselves, re-connect with their passions and love themselves fiercely. Her self-care go-tos include bullet journaling, meditation and hip hop dance classes at Alvin Ailey.
Deun Ivory is a Chicago-based creative entrepreneur most-recognized for her minimalist aesthetic as a photographer + illustrator. As the Art Director for Black Girl in Om + Co-founder of Lifestyle with Ivory + Ash, she cultivates communities and experiences that promote self-care, women empowerment + affirmation for women of color. She is also a visual consultant for small businesses in need of creative direction and branding. Her eye for compelling imagery, authentic story-telling + elegant use of minimalism has garnered the attention of Essence Magazine, Instagram, Vsco + other major brands who've declared her an influencer + an artist to watch.
Chelcee Johns is a digital nomad, Detroit native, editor/content strategist and word & world-loving soul. She is based between Harlem and Detroit, and recently called Bali home for a year. Her passion for the power of the written word & highlighting often policed narratives has led her to work in publishing for the past 7 years with organizations such as Moguldom Media Group, Serendipity Literary Agency, the New York Times and writing for the likes of Ebony. In a rupturing political climate and blooming social change, BGIO is the place Chelcee is able to create a community of safe space in our collective stories as Editor. She is empowered by the (inner)work! With that said, her self-care go to is journaling, prayer and meditation. And something a tad interesting... she's often a performance poet by night & tech nerd.
Akudo Mez is a Chicago-based human working in tech by day and helping to create spaces for women of color to breathe easy by life. While studying Economics at DePaul University she developed a passion for holistic health, mindful living, and yoga. As the universe would have it she attended the first BGIO series in November 2014 and immediately wanted to get involved. As Executive Assistant for Black Girl In Om she wants to continue making wellness accessible for Black women and women of color. Her self-care practices include reading poetry, learning life lessons from Naruto, and getting deeper into her asanas.
Graphic Design Intern
Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ashley Bozeman is a multifaceted creative who combines her talents to create impactful and well crafted work. She is an art director and designer by trade yet she still continues to have a strong passion for fine art and illustration.
Relatively new to the creative industry, Ashley is a fresh graduate from a two year art direction and design program at a portfolio school in Atlanta, Georgia called The Creative Circus. Before that she received her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from The Scripps Howard School of Journalism along with a minor in Leadership Studies from the William R. Harvey Leadership Institute at the illustrious Hampton University. Ashley has had experience working with brands such as Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s and Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery.
In her free time she loves to make art, watch lifetime movies, listen to music and spend time with family and friends. She is currently thrilled to be working with the empowering ladies behind Black Girl In Om as their graphic design intern while she begins to take her first steps in the creative world.