Dr. Universe Konadu  CEO & Chief Creative Visionary

Dr. Universe Konadu

CEO & Chief Creative Visionary

Everyone has a story. We all have a story. We can either allow the experiences of our lives to be the demise of us, or the design of us.
— Universe


and as cliche' as it sounds, I knew I wanted to make a difference in the world. 

I grew up in Dallas, TX, in the inner city, and was the youngest daughter of a working class mother of 2. Because she was the sole provider, my mother often worked 12-hour shifts seven days a week.  This meant my sister and I would spend the majority of our afternoons and evenings alone, which would eventually create plenty of time for mischief.  We were what was then termed 'latch-key' children, meaning we used our own key [which usually hung on a shoestring around my older sister's neck] to let ourselves inside and stayed there until our mother arrived.  Or, at least we were supposed to.  All of that idle time would ultimately result in poor choice making and a derailing [for lack of a better word - I believe every experience has its purpose] of my life affecting my academics, relational dynamics, focus, etc.  But, my introduction to the arts [spoken-word/poetry] would completely change that!  Hence my obsession. 

Fast forward: In 2008, I left Texas and followed my intuition to New York City with $22 in my pocket and a dream in my heart.  I had no idea what I would do once I arrived, I just knew the path I was being directed to.  About a year and a half after moving, I was inspired to take the work I had done in Texas and expand it to the tri-state.  We are now in our 9th year of business!  Has it been an arduous climb? Undoubtedly!  Have I entertained the notion of throwing in the towel?  You better believe I have. Many times over!  Yet, I've learned the only secret to success is to keep going and keep showing up for myself as though there's nothing left but plan A.

As cheesy as it sounds, like I stated before, my deepest desire has always been to make a difference in the world - 'be the change'.  My vision is to continue using creative ways [the arts] to empower girls and women to re-imagine the trajectory of their lives by healing the past and turning their pain into personal power.