Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity have been key elements of Nekole Shapiro’s life for as long as she can remember. Born and raised in Hawaii with parents from Detroit, Michigan, code-switching was a daily practice long before she ever learned the term. Being raised by a single mom barely making ends meet, she was that scholarship kid always feeling like someone “let her in.” Education, Theater Arts and Massage Therapy were anchors she relied on for stability. She was eventually propelled to NYC where she majored in East Asian Studies at Barnard College and completed a Post-baccalaureate program in Premedical Studies at Columbia University, all while learning yet another set of code-switching techniques to fit into her new surroundings.
Nekole came to SANCA in 2013 at the behest of her then 3 year old, who having seen YCo perform promptly said, “I want to do that Mommy.” It didn’t take long for Nekole to fall in love with circus, as well. Today, both of her daughters perform in SANCA’s youth performance troupes and she trains handstands. SANCA has been their family’s most consistent community in Seattle.
Professionally, Nekole has architected several curriculums designed to utilize the healing power of community building and deep body awareness. She is an active parent advocate for language immersion programs within Seattle Public Schools. She serves on the board of Elephant Circle, a Birth Justice organization that works to center those furthest from the birthing conversation. And today, she is thrilled to be a part of IDEA at SANCA.