Biography

Having grown up in a community of artists, activists, and academics, Teju approaches all her work in an interdisciplinary way. As an urbanist and scholar, her focus is on global perspectives, postcolonial communities, artists/activists, racial geographies, exclusion and–what she calls–Black Urbanism. Black Urbanism includes her work on cultural geographies of Blackness and transnational Blackness in Euro-North American contexts. She uses IMG_1185culturally relevant mediums (such as art) in tandem with theory, research, and fieldwork to deconstruct the city for those labelled “other.” Teju aims to create integrative and truly progressive urbanism that acknowledges the realities of marginalized communities, helping to increase cultural awareness and multiplicity.

For several years Teju worked in the realm of social advocacy with issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness, youth empowerment, arts, education, and sustainable lifestyles. She also worked with four technology start-ups before beginning her graduate degree. Currently, she uses World Unwrapped as a platform to continue her intersectional social change and urbanism work with a focus on progressive mindsets.

teju4
Photo by Hanna Mikosch

Teju believes strongly in the power of the arts and creativity as resistance and catharsis. While in college she performed dance and poetry extensively. She toured China twice with her former dance company, African Queens, whom she danced with for 8 years. A former fashion blogger, Teju enjoys the endless possibilities for expression. Teju’s love for culture has been consistent throughout her life and, in many ways, informs her approach to research on the city. As an interdisciplinary artist, Teju continues to perform poetry regularly and work on collaborative projects with other artists.

Education

UNICA (the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe)
4Cities Erasmus Mundus Masters of Science: Urban Studies, 2017

National University of Ireland, Galway
Erasmus/Study Abroad: Political Science/Sociology and Research,
2010-2011

Wesleyan University
Bachelors of Arts: Sociology and Social-Critical Theory Program, 2013

Origin and Mission

Photo by Kathy Sloane

Teju was born to a Jamaican mother and a father from Boston, Massachusetts–both professors in The San Francisco Bay Area at the time. She was raised in Oakland, California and growing up spent ample time in Spanish Town, Jamaica where her grandmother lived. She is very proud to be Jamerican and believes her Jamaican roots are equally as important as being Black-American. She also has a special place in her heart for Saint Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands) where her mother currently lives. Teju travels extensively and as a result thinks of herself as a citizen of the world: a globalist. She believes using culture and communities, via futuristic frameworks, is a way to create urban, social, and political change as well as necessary paradigm shifts.