Deborah Santana is an author, business manager, and activist for peace and social justice. Her non-profit, Do A Little, serves women and girls in the areas of health, education, and happiness. With a passion to provide educational opportunities for girls and women, Ms. Santana collaborates with organizations that work to prevent and heal relationship and sexual violence, improve the lives of America’s abused and neglected children, and a worldwide community of artists and allies who work for empowerment, opportunity, and visibility for women artists.
In 2005, she published her memoir: Space Between the Stars that told of her experiences growing up as a bi-racial child, and her coming of age.
Ms. Santana has produced five short documentary films, four with Emmy-award winning director Barbara Rick: Road to Ingwavuma, Girls of Daraja, School of My Dreams, and Powerful Beyond Measure. These films highlight the work of non-profit partners in South Africa, and the Daraja Academy, a free secondary boarding school for girls in Kenya.
She has served as a trustee for ANSA (Artists for a New South Africa), the Smithsonian Institution, and is a supporter of Marian Wright Edelman’s Children’s Defense Fund. She is a mother to three beloved adult children: Salvador, a songwriter and instrumental artist, Stella, a singer/songwriter, and Angelica, an archivist and film producer.
Ms. Santana holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy and Religion with a Concentration in Women’s Spirituality.
A leadership donor of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, she works for the rights and advancement of people of color.