DuniaForé logo


Nzinga Metzger

Nzinga Metzger, M.A., Ph.D.
Founder and Director

The work of the DuniaForé Foundation is a manifestation of a decades-long vision and a five year labor of love of Dr. Nzinga Metzger who is an anthropologist, historian and folkloric artist. The organization’s scope of work is a direct outgrowth of Dr. Metzger’s lifework and research interests which address themes related to Africa, its diaspora and its myriad cultures. Dr. Metzger’s research interests include Africana arts, aesthetics, ritual, religion, and identity. As a folkloric dancer who has studied West African and Caribbean dance beginning in 1991, she has performed professionally with Barefoot Ballet of Atlanta 1994-1996, Kulu Mele, 1997-2006 and the Prophecy Music Project 2006-2014. Dr. Metzger established the DuniaForé Foundation so that she could make tangible contributions to addressing challenges in communities in Africa, its diaspora, and the world, to provide others with the opportunity to participate in that work, and to create valuable person-to-person connections between members of global communities. DuniaForé’s initiatives all represent areas of need and areas that are deeply important to Ms. Metzger-ensuring and improving education for future generations, maintaining connections within the Diaspora, and preserving Africana cultures.  With creativity, support from our friends, perseverance, and her dynamic leadership, DuniaForé is destined to be a force for positive change wherever it engages the work of affirming people and building community.
Lela Jones

Lela Jones, MFA, Ph.D.
Diasporan Dance Consultant

Lela Aisha Jones is a choreographer and performance artist whose work is based in movement and interdisciplinary collaboration. A proud Tallahassee, Florida native, her work intimately and artistically archives lived experiences of diasporic blackness. Her most recent artistic engagements and projects include Revival Walks in The Olney Embrace Project (2020/2021), we all gon’ die into revivals for Red Clay Dance in Chicago, IL (2021), Modupue | Ibaye: The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance Project (2019), and the bottom…Catching Souls in Grounds that Shout…and others merely shaking (2019). Her accolades include a 2015 Leeway Transformation Award, a 2016 Pew Fellowship in the Arts, and a 2017 New York Dance and Performance/Bessie Award Nomination.  Additionally, Lela proudly serves as the Associate Artistic Director of Brownbody, a St. Paul Minnesota-based ice and stage dance company. Her most influential experiences have been in movement practice with Christal Brown | Inspirit, Barak Ade Sole, Moustapha Bangoura, Edileusa Santos, Anssumane Silla, Sulley Imoro, Omi Osun Joni L. Jones, Urban Bush Women | Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and Nia Love. Further contributions are as a teaching artist, professor, community grounded organizer/curator, and researcher. Lela earned a B.S. at University of Florida, an M.F.A. at Florida State University, a Ph.D. at Texas Woman’s University, and is currently a member of the Bryn Mawr College Dance Program faculty.

Alex Shaw

Alex Shaw, MFA
Diasporan Music Consultant

Alex Shaw is a Philadelphia-based percussionist, sound artist/composer, cultural producer, and arts educator working in the field for twenty years. Alex is currently a faculty member at University of the Arts and the former Artistic Director for Intercultural Journeys (2014-2020) for which he curated performance platforms for BIPOC artists, designed community dialogues, and led arts education initiatives to promote intercultural understanding and social consciousness through creative practice. He is also a founding board member and lead teaching artist for music education nonprofit LiveConnections/World Cafe Live since 2008. As an independent curator and event producer, Alex has organized drum & dance workshops, film screenings, and performances featuring renowned ensembles from Brazil such as Ilê Aiyê and Balê Folclôrico da Bahia. In 2016, Alex organized Consciência Negra: The Legacy of Black Consciousness in Brazil, a multi-day symposium focused on themes of race, identity, and black consciousness in Brazil and the African Diaspora, culminating with his original interdisciplinary production, The Mandinga Experiment, in homage to Capoeira Angola and its legacy of cultural resistance. From 2017-2019 he served as co-Director for Modupúe | Ibaye: The Philadelphia Yoruba Performance Project, a community-based research and archival project on local Yoruba-rooted performance traditions, funded by Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Alex is the Director of Brazilian ensemble, Alô Brasil, and was a section leader in the award-winning Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra for over a decade, collaborating with tabla master Zakir Hussain, hip hop dance legend Rennie Harris, and kora virtuoso Yacouba Sissoko among others. Intercultural, interdisciplinary collaborations and compositions merging diverse percussion traditions, vocal textures, field recordings, and digital imagination encompass his current artistic focus. Alex holds a BA from Swarthmore College, and an MFA from the World Percussion program at California Institute of the Arts under the guidance of mentor Randy Gloss.

Christin Haynes

Christin Haynes M.A., Ph.D.
Media Coordinator, Researcher and Program Development Assistant

Christin Haynes, is a 4th generation Florida A&M University graduate from Tallahassee, FL with a B.S in Psychology and Masters in Social Work. Currently, she is completing her Ph.D. in Family Science and Human Development from Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ. Her current research focuses on the Black mother/daughter relationship and Major Depressive Disorder. She has worked in a myriad of positions within the social work field to include child welfare, mental health, hospital case management, and workforce development. Grounded in an Africana Womanist perspective, Christin focuses on working with the Black family as a collective unit, in efforts, toward holistic functioning. Garnering the power of the internet, she uses various social media platforms to engage critical dialogue and disseminate Black family education resources for all age demographics. In her podcast, Black Family Scholar, Christin speaks with various community members, researchers, and practitioners about salient issues impaling the holistic wellness of the Black family while celebrating the rich cultural traditions of Southern Blacks. Her latest project, the Delicious Legacy Recipe Binder: A Black American Family Heirloom, provides Black American families the tools to archive family history through food. As an advocate for intergenerational conversations, Christin promotes food as the perfect vehicle to discuss family history.