Gillian Maris Jones is a diasporic African scholar, creator, and traveler native to New Orleans, Louisiana and The Bahamas. She inherited her passion for photography from her father and tries to capture the world as she sees it. Maris loves exploring new places through music, and she jumps at the chance to learn a new dance.
After twelve years at an arts public school studying dance and creative writing, Maris finished high school at the United World College of the Adriatic in Italy. In 2015, she graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a BA in Anthropology and Portuguese & Brazilian Studies. Affectionately known by her friends as "The Future Dr. Jones," Maris is constantly engaged in the process of decolonizing her mind and working with those around her to help them do the same. Most days you can find her contemplating how to dismantle the global racial hierarchy and speaking out against structural inequality–nothing infuriates her more than institutionalized racism. Her ethnographic research in Brazil resulted in an honors thesis entitled: "'They Don't Care About Us': An Examination of Cultural Citizenship and Political Activism Among Afro-Brazilian Youth in Salvador, Bahia."
Maris envisions a world where theory and action come together to make a positive impact. In the long term, she aspires to be a Carefree Black Girl with a Ph.D. in environmental anthropology, fighting for climate justice alongside vulnerable, marginalized populations around the globe. With the support of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Maris will begin pursuing a joint Ph.D. in Anthropology and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in Fall 2018.