ANANA HARRIS PARRIS
Anana Harris Parris is the Director of Operations and Community Affairs for the Davis Bozeman Law Firm, founder of the AfriSalsa Cultural Organization, the AfriSalsa fights HIV/AIDS Campaign, the SisterCARE Alliance, the Self Care Day Campaign and the Self Care Agency. As the Director of Operations and Community Affairs, Ms. Parris overseas all internal operations, the legal internship program and the Community Affairs Division. Ms. Parris is responsible for organizing collaborative community projects such as: “Respect Black Life: I am Trayvon Martin March” of over 5000 marchers from Atlanta University Center to the CNN Center, “Remembrance March for Charleston Victims”, the Self Care Matters Tour and the New Beginnings Re-entry Mentoring Program in partnership with the Urban League, Morehouse School of Medicine and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office of Northern District of Georgia.
In 2004, Ms. Parris launched the AfriSalsa Cultural Organization and the AfriSalsa™ fights HIV/AIDS Campaign which used cultural dance as a creative public health educational medium through interactive workshops and presentations. This unique approach to public health education through the cultural arts was highlighted in the internationally acclaimed documentary “The AIDS Chronicles”. Through AfriSalsa, Ms. Parris has worked to raise awareness and funds for those in need with organizations such as AID Atlanta, Taller Portobelo Norte, A Lotus Legacy Foundation, the ALAFIA Project at Emory School of Medicine and Atlanta Salsa Community Haitian Earthquake Relief Efforts among others. Ms. Parris has also spread her love of cultural education through dance. As a dancer, instructor and choreographer for dance companies such as Balafon West African Dance Ensemble, Giwayen Mata, Proyecto Barrio, Injabulo Leta and The Alaje Group, Ms. Parris has performed in many traditional dance styles including Guinean, South African, AfroCuban and AfriSalsa Fusion.
In 2011, Ms. Parris authored the first official Self Care Day Proclamation on behalf of the AfriSalsa Cultural Organization which is recognized on December 4th to promote self-care through community activism and the arts. The purpose of establishing Self Care Days is make self-care a topic of political discussions and direct funding to those experiencing depression, bullying, domestic abuse, injustices, recovery from trauma and other social ills. Currently Self Care Day is recognized in the cities of Atlanta, Savannah and Lithonia, Georgia as well as DeKalb County and Charlotte, North Carolina. An increasing interest in the Self Care Day Campaign, led to the development of the SisterCARE Alliance initiative founded by Ms Parris in 2014. The SisterCARE Alliance is a women’s empowerment network that promotes self-care and social activism to its members and educates women and girls of color on critical self-care strategies. Ms. Parris also hosts workshops including the Self Care Matters Intensive Program, Self Care for Work-Life Balance, interactive “AfriSalsa’s Salsa for Self Care” workshops and many more.
Speaking regularly to youth groups and professional organizations, Ms. Parris has had the pleasure of partnering with institutions and businesses such as 100 Black Women of DeKalb County/Decatur, Carol's Daughter, M.A.D.E., the Jimmy Carter Center, New Rock Legal Society, Sistuhs, Inc., The Confident Woman and more. In addition to providing self-care based products and services, Ms. Parris also oversees the implementation of support services, presentations and self-care program training to battered women’s shelters, human trafficking survivor programs, youth detention centers, teen pregnancy programs and the often forgotten everyday working professional.
As a result of her many years of volunteering and community service, Ms. Parris was selected as a delegate to represent the city of Atlanta at the Global Peace Foundation’s Annual Conference in addition to receiving several awards. Ms. Parris was awarded the Unsung Heroine Award by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Community Service Award, The Soul Dance & Artist Grief Advocate Award from Project Karma, Inc. and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office Community Outreach Award. In March of 2016, Ms. Parris was honored at the Georgia State Capitol and awarded to the title of Goodwill Ambassador for the State of Georgia for her work around community affairs, self-care and cross cultural education.