Hawatu is a first-generation American who understands that protecting and empowering the most marginalised of our communities is the foundation for liberation. A nomad at heart, they have called Maryland, Virginia, California and Sierra Leone home. Hawatu decided to combine their collegiate studies in International Studies with responsible storytelling and became a contributor for the Mississippi-based organisation The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects, highlighting the multidimensional experiences of Black women and femmes across the African diaspora. Their recent research focuses on the reintegration process of former child soldiers of Sierra Leone. Hawatu’s desire is to use their experience as a peer mentor and project coordinator to center, uplift and advocate for marginalised communities. Hawatu is currently a member of the Reese | Brooks | Gilbert cohort, a leadership development program for college women, with The Lighthouse | Black Girl Projects.