|| - HOLISTIC DESIGN STRATEGIST - ||
Unapologetically prioritizing the wellbeing of Black women
to co-design transformative possibilities for health and HEALING.
MEET Denise Shanté Brown
HOLISTIC DESIGN STRATEGIST.
MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE.
I’m a feminist entrepreneur living in Baltimore whose work focuses on centering the wellbeing and creativity of Black women and communities who hold marginalized identities. Wholeheartedly and with no apologies.
As the Creator + Cultivator of Design for the Wellbeing of Black Women, I’ve dedicated my holistic practice to actualizing recovery and transformation through design. I believe that creative, hands-on healing experiences can shape possibility and embolden communities to develop the tools and strategies they need to heal themselves. My process and practice are grounded in design justice and healing justice principles, emergent strategy, nature, womanism, and the feminine economy.
Integrating the transformative power of design with the audacity to be well is at the heart of my life’s work. I hold a Masters of Arts degree in Social Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art and have designed unique health interventions, community engagement strategies, and listening session models, facilitated creative dialogue on self-compassion and mindful social practice, and conducted design-led research that emphasizes the lived experiences of the people behind the data.
Possibility is my favorite word and I love books, astrology and tea. When pausing from the ever-evolving workflow you can find me making time for quiet reflection in nature throughout the city, writing reflections in my journal, capturing insights on post-it notes, and probably finding reasons to rewatch highly-melanated episodes of Issa Rae’s, Insecure.
SOME EXPERIENCES ALONG THE WAY
MA Social Design, Maryland Institute College of Art 2017
BFA Graphic Design, The Art Institute of Atlanta 2012
TRAININGS + Community experiences
Feminist Business School, Sister 2019
Black Diaspora Jam, Yes! 2018
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership & Social Justice-Informed Mental Health, BEAM 2017
Mental Health First Aid, Mosaic Community Services 2017
Compassionate Activism: Responding to Everyday Oppression with Love and Justice, Everyday Feminism 2016
recognition & Support
Baltimore Corps Elevation Awardee, 2018-2019
The Institute for Integrative Health Nature Sacred Fellow, 2017-2019
Robert W. Deutsch Social Design Fellow 2017-2018
Fred Lazarus Leadership for Social Change Award, 2017
Leslie King-Hammond Graduate Award, 2016
StrengthsFinder Top 5: Strategic, Input, Intellection, Futuristic, Individualization
Imperative Purpose Type: The Advocate
Astrology: Leo Sun, Libra Moon, Scorpio Rising
I have type 1 diabetes (T1D), a medical alert tattoo on my right forearm. I was diagnosed in 2013
I love tiny objects! Things that aren’t typically small but were made into tiny versions light me up.
I collect feathers from every kind of space, especially while walking, and they hold a spiritual meaning that is connected to my father.
One of my favorite Pleasure Dates involves matcha lattes, browsing books, and walking the city for hours.
I started writing poetry and keeping journals in the second grade. Writing continues to be a therapeutic form of expression that keeps me centered.
I spent a significant amount of my 20’s living in Atlanta, my second home, but grew up in a small town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
One of my favorite shows is Issa’s Rae’s, Insecure, and she’s number one on my list of celebrities to hangout with.
The word that best describes my work is Possibility. Shifting from problems to reimagining what’s possible is a mindset I’m cultivating and integrating every day.