Afiya Bediako is the Advisory Board Chairwoman. She is an Associate at Goldman Sachs (Goldman) in their Operations division. Afiya went to work at Goldman after graduating from Amherst College (Amherst) cum laude with a degree in Black Studies. At Amherst she spent a semester in Madrid where she received her Certificado Básico de Español de los Negocios. Afiya’s senior thesis, “The Unhealed Wounds of Slavery: How Slavery traumatized African-Americans Long Past Emancipation,” focused on how the residual effects of American Enslavement affect the Black community. During her time at Amherst, Afiya served as Campus Coordinator for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of Hampshire County and mentored a young girl from the town of Amherst. In her spare time she works at her father’s firm assisting with providing accounting and consulting services to non-profit organizations and churches, volunteers with Boys and Girls Harbor as a member of their Young Leadership Council, and enjoys entertaining friends and family.
Afiya is a Harlem native who has had a love for the performing arts since a young age. Growing up she attended LaRocque Bey Dance Theater, Harlem School of the Arts, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy, Dance Theater of Harlem, Ballet Hispanico, and Steps on Broadway where she studied Ballet, Flamenco, Tap Dance, and Spanish Folk Dance.
Porsche Dames is a member of the Advisory Board. She is currently an Assistant Vice President at Citigroup (Citi) in the Community Development group. Prior to Citi, Porsche worked as a Senior Analyst at Goldman Sachs (Goldman) within Internal Audit. Porsche began working at Goldman after graduating from Amherst College cum laude with a degree in Art History and Black Studies. During her junior year at Amherst, she spent a semester abroad in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil where she studied Portuguese language and Brazilian culture, primarily Afro-Brazilian culture and the ramifications of the slave trade on the city and country. While at Amherst, Porsche wrote a senior thesis titled, “Continuity in Rhythm: The Aural Visual Nexus in Kehinde Wiley’s Work and Hip Hop,” which imagined the artist’s work in relation to sonic and visual elements of the African American cultural experience, including traditional African art, jazz, blues, hip-hop, and 20th and 21st century American literature, theory, and portraiture. She was awarded the department prize for her work.
Porsche enjoys travelling, including Cuba most recently, and writing in her free time; she currently contributes monthly to an online blog that discuss global culture and philanthropy.
Porsche grew up in Harlem and looks forward to continuing to grow and build her life in the community.