founder & EXECUTIVE Director
Lauren Ash is a wellness visionary, yoga and meditation teacher, creative writer, and founder of the culture-shifting lifestyle brand synonymous with black women’s wellness—Black Girl In Om. Through BGIO, Lauren creates and cultivates meaningful experiences and content for a hugely marginalized community. From the BGIO podcast—which has reached more than half a million listeners—to holistic self-care retreats, Lauren considers her work an act of compassion, belonging, and ultimately a space she once needed and didn’t see. Lauren was recently named at the top of ESSENCE’s list of “33 Self-Care Sistahs That Helped Redefine Wellness in 2017” and declared “one of the most important voices in the wellness industry” by Shape.
Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, Lauren grew up in predominantly white settings and didn’t see herself reflected in most of her surroundings. After a series of racially-motivated hate crimes ensued on her college community, she began to take leadership roles and creating and cultivating safe spaces for people of color. After college, the stresses of graduate school nudged her to take up yoga. She fell in love with it and when she moved to Chicago in 2013 she took up yoga teacher training where the seeds for Black Girl In Om were planted within her.
Lauren is a two-time 200-hour yoga certified teacher, with yoga trainings from Corepower Yoga as well as from Get Loved Up with internationally renowned yoga teacher Koya Webb. She has toured the nation sharing her self-care and yoga for women of color workshops reaching thousands of women since 2014 with her good vibes and inclusivity.
Valerie Titus-Glover, DIGITAL Strategist
Valerie Titus-Glover is a Jersey-raised, Brooklyn-based digital enthusiast with a love for all things wellness. What began as a fascination with blogs on holistic living and YouTube videos has since morphed into a desire to put wellness at the forefront of her everyday life. Her exploration of yoga led her to the affirming community of Black women that is Black Girl In Om and it’s been an incredible journey of growth since. Supporting BGIO is an ideal combination of Valerie’s long-standing interest in media and lifelong goal to always uplift, elevate, celebrate, and center every facet of Black womanhood. When she isn’t mulling over creative copy or unrolling her yoga mat, she can be found blasting her latest music obsession, getting lost in a riveting book, or trying to cook (and, quite honestly, consume) an ideal meal.
Karlene Graham is a Baltimore-based project management consultant. She uses her intentional spirit and love of efficient collaboration to help organizations like Black Girl in Om grow with order and ease.
She launched her career coordinating wellness interventions at Johns Hopkins and everything clicked. She found that applying the principles of project management to life made an intention practice of manifestation even more tangible for her. She hosts immersive retreats and virtual events for women to feel and visualize F.I.E.R.C.E. freedom and develop scheduled plans to take aligned action within their calling through her brand, nuevolve.
Angela R. Brizant
Special Events Coordinator
Angela R. Brizant is a New York-raised, Chicago-based Educator committed to student development and transformation. She is acutely aware of the limitations that can be placed on a student's life if they do not successfully complete high school and persist through college. Angela helps students understand systems of oppression and empowers Scholars to find their own voice and use it to affect positive change in their communities. Brizant also understands how trauma affects communities of color, and seeks to incorporate wellness strategies when counseling students. As Special Events Coordinator for Black Girl in Om, Angela is looking forward to creating amazing experiences where Black women feel safe, celebrated, and free to be themselves.
Graphic design intern
Amina Maya is a designer, photographer and curator whose work centers around documenting the beauty of the African Diaspora. With roots in both Sierra Leone and the United States, Amina draws upon the imagery, color, and patterns that define West African art as well as the rich, evolving culture of Black America. Her practice is focused on healing from multi-generational trauma, connecting with spirituality and unearthing ancestral wisdom. Using her design background, she creates physical and digital healing spaces where Blackness is celebrated. As a Design Intern at Black Girl in Om, Amina visually manifests messages of self-love, healing and liberation.
When she is not working as a designer, she enjoys mixing oils and herbs for Naturaliste Apothecary, making music and updating her Pinterest.
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.
Social Media Coordinator
Alexandra Ofori-Atta is a Ghanaian-American, Minnesota native living in Chicago, IL.
She is a photographer and aspiring creative director exploring the intersections of tech, design, fashion, advertising, entrepreneurship, and the African Diaspora.
In her free time you can find her getting her money’s worth on HBO and Netflix, freelancing, and exploring a variety of other creative outlets. As the Social Media Coordinator for Black Girl in Om, Alexandra is excited to help other women of color foster wellness in themselves and their communities.
Director of Strategic Alliances and Business Development
Tiffany Hardin is the Head of Strategic Alliances and Business Development for Lauren Ash and Black Girl In Om. Together, they develop strategies to elevate and expand the mission aligning with brands and organizations that share our values. Hardin is an award winning executive with over 15 years of experience in partnerships, events and integrated marketing. Tiffany is the founder of her own consultancy and startup focused on influencer & celebrity research, valuation and access called SOCIAL ARMM (asset research and media management.) In addition to her role with Black Girl in Om, she currently sits as the Director of Programming and Partnerships at WeWork supporting the innovative initiative Creator Awards.
Chantè Dyson is a DMV girl currently residing in LA. After graduating from Rutgers University, she moved cross country to continue pursuing her fashion dreams. A writer at heart, Chantè is passionate about telling women's stories and using words to empower and raise our collective consciousness globally. Her fashion magazine background exposed her to the biases in mainstream media as it pertains to relatable stories that center women of color. Serving as Editorial Coordinator at Black Girl In Om is a dream come true for Chantè, as she has always hoped to highlight the stories and identities of amazing women of color around the world. Personally, embracing a more holistic and wellness-centered lifestyle has been transformative to Chante's experience of growing more into her womanhood, and it is her honor to contribute to Black Girl In Om's magic through inspirational and impactful storytelling.
Paige is a St. Louis-raised, Chicago-based PR professional and lover of storytelling, curating playlists and playing violin.
Through BGIO, Paige has been able to commune with and be empowered by other women of color. Her goal as events coordinator is to maintain the rhythm of connection for the Self Care Sunday series and other BGIO-hosted events in Chicago.
With a degree in journalism and 200 hours as a certified yoga instructor, her intention as both a professional and teacher is to cultivate connection and celebration for others.