Marlee and Kevin’s collaboration represents the true nature of ancestry and the Black community. This collaboration is rooted in the desire to capture history, celebrate life and Black joy, bring visual representation to the oral histories of marginalized voices, and honor the maternal presence and mentorship present in this study and our own lives


Marlee Bunch is an educator with over 16 years teaching experience. She holds two graduate degrees and is currently a doctoral candidate from the University of Illinois. She holds a teaching certificate, gifted education certification, and ESL certification. Her experiences teaching at the secondary and post-secondary level, have allowed her to write curriculum, supervise teachers, tutor, create workshops, and most importantly mentor and advocate for students. Her research focuses on the oral histories of Black female educators and communities.

Kevin Hopkins [b. 2000, Beaufort, South Carolina] is a painter based in Kansas City, Missouri. Hopkins’ work explores the celebration of life and the awareness of his mortality following the passing of an elder. Currently, he has focused his work on highlighting familial relationships through self-portraiture--or personas extracted from self-portraiture. Kevin now attends the Kansas City Art Institute majoring in Painting and Art History. He was recognized internationally as a 2021 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grantee and nationally as a 2021 AXA Art Prize finalist.

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