EMPOWERING ARTISTS OF COLOR THROUGH EDUCATION & THE ARTS
Founder and Director
Summer Dawn (she/ella) is the founder/director of In Full Color, an arts organization which empowers artists of color with an emphasis on serving women and TGNC folx. IFC has received two commendations from the NJ State Assembly and the Jersey City Arts Council's Performing Arts Award. IFC has a roster of 250+ artists from the United States, Canada and Mexico and has created more than $17,000 in paid work for artists in 2021 in multiple art forms including theater, literary arts, visual arts, music, dance, comedy and more.
Summer has almost as many hats as she does shoes -- writer, director, actor, teaching artist, arts administrator and more! As a teaching artist, Summer teaches students of all ages in the Tri-State area for Young Audiences, Lincoln Center Theatre and Storytelling Arts, focusing on theater, writing, anti-racism and anti-oppression. She regularly writes and executes curricula that helps young artists connect to their home cultures, practice respect, foster their social-emotional skills, learn through inquiry and nurture their inner artist.
At New Jersey Theatre Alliance, the Jersey City artist serves as an Administrative Coordinator. She loves creating opportunities for NJ creators. She is only an artist today because of Writers Theatre of New Jersey and their NJ Young Playwrights Contest, which convinced 15-year-old Summer that theater was the place to be!
In her personal creation, Summer's work is textually grounded, often highly comedic and sometimes fanciful. She values collaboration, playfulness and efficiency -- an odd mix, but one the astrologically inclined would expect from a Gemini Sun, Taurus Rising.
In recent past lives, she's been a winner of the NJ Governor's Award in Arts Education, a theater grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, an events coordinator, an arts journalist, a bartender, a shoe salesperson and karaoke diva. In her secret life, she's pop-R&B singer Vero Verano. INFULLCOLOR.ORG @infullcolorus_
Founding Board Member, IFC Alumna
VENIDA C. RODMAN JENKINS
Venida C. Rodman Jenkins is committed to providing visibility, encouragement, love, and brave spaces to those who have been oppressed. She has carried out this work for many years as a minister, educator and advocate. Venida is the Director of the Speicher-Rubin Women’s Center for Equity and Diversity at New Jersey City University. She is the founder and pastor of EMBRACE Church, and she is as an Adjunct Professor at New York Theological Seminary where she teaches Pastoral Care and Counseling.
Venida’s campus involvements have included establishing the Gothic Knight Ally Safe Zone Program and the Afro-Latinx Collective, chairing a subcommittee for the President’s Diversity Council, as well as serving on the Undoing Racism Committee and the Executive Committee of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 1839. Venida’s professional affiliations include the National Women’s Studies Association, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Her community involvements include membership in the Harlem Writers’ Guild, and board member of Leaders of the Free World and In Full Color.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Syracuse University, and the Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary.
Venida is a singer and writer, and has enjoyed participating in triathlons and half marathons.
She made her IFC debut in 2017.
MARY J. SANSAIT
Mary is a Jersey City born and raised creative entrepreneur and mother of two. Growing up in a single mother household along with her love for music, inspired her to pursue a professional journey that would combine community upliftment and the arts. Mary worked with a local 501c3 Jersey City non-profit that assists entrepreneurs and small businesses. She is an accomplished singer and recording artist, who continues to use her talents to engage fellow creatives in the community. She has produced showcases and performed as M. Josephine alongside various underground heavy weights such as M1 of Dead Prez, Silent Knight, Rugged N Raw, John Robinson and The Band Called FUSE. She is the founder & president of Inspired Artist Movement, a platform for artists and creatives to move their career forward while empowering them to use their voice for positive social impact. She is also the founder of Goddess Ntwrk, a space and resource for womxn to heal their trauma and celebrate their inner goddess.
Board Member, IFC Alumna
Susan -- also known as RescuePoetix™ -- is the Poet Laureate of Jersey City. She is a New Jersey native with deep family roots in Puerto Rico. Writing since she could remember, she found her performance voice and fell in love with Jersey City’s underground Arts diversity. She has over fifty original works recorded and developed collaborations from all corners of the world. Releases are available at a variety of online portals. RescuePoetix™ poetry is motivational, uplifting and empowering; designed to connect on a level far deeper than what the eye can perceive. Spinning verses in Spanish and English, her words weave stories of strength, growth, experience and love in its many evolving forms. @rescuepoetix
Susan made her In Full Color debut in IFC19.
Board Member, IFC Alumna
Amel is an Arab American writer/producer and actor. She advocates for the empowerment of marginalized communities everyday through her career and personal life.
As an actor, Amel earned her official SAG membership in 2020 with tv credits that include crowd favorites, such as Madam Secretary, New Amsterdam, FBI and more. As a theater actor, Amel has played the lead in many AEA productions including originating the role of Nardeen Asleh in There is a Field (TIAF) in 2016, which still tours college campuses today. As a part of TIAF, Amel traveled the US with the cast and producers to educate students and community members about oppression. She made her IFC debut in 2017.
As an advocate Amel has created programming around Financial Literacy, and Stress Management for the underserved Middle Eastern community in NJ. She is responsible for conducting Bias Trainings for over 500 child protective services employees, law enforcement and more. As a grant writer Amel has garnered over $740,000 dollars in grants to assist resettling refugees find their place in America, struggling parents to feed their families, and empower women with financial services and workshops after escaping abuse.
Amel has over 11 years of leadership experience. After spending 4 years as an executive of a non-profit domestic violence resource agency, Amel founded a non-profit called Helping Other People Evolve, H.O.P.E., which focuses on business development programs to empower the leaders of underserved and marginalized communities with strategy. Today Amel lives a holistic lifestyle, seeing, breathing and loving all that is possible.
Producer, That One Night; IFC Alumna
Courtney works in social media and publicity for HBO by day and is a writer and co-producer of the comedy showcase That One Comedy Night, at night. In her monologues and blog posts, she uses humor to discuss topics such as race, gender, feminism and mental health. She also loathes describing herself in the third person. Follow her on Twitter @wheelerright and Instagram @wilthebean
She made her IFC debut in 2016
Founding Board Member (Retired), Scenic Designer
Alicia is a visual artist, science enthusiast, and passionate animal, environmental and human rights advocate. She is a the founder and executive director of TEDxJerseyCity, She Leads World, In Theory, and The Foundation for Wonderment and Awe. She is a believer in compassion, curiosity and a total capsaicin junkie.
She is also the chief scenic designer for In Full Color. Her set designs on In Full Color 2017 and 2019 were nominated for Broadway World awards.
Meet just some of the talented women performing with In Full Color!