I’m Kami Jones, the Master of My Milieu.
I’m currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago, researching teacher-student relationships in urban public schools. Prior to attending Uchicago, I received my Master’s in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University in New York, where my research focused on the commodification of “black” hair. I also received a non-terminal Master’s from Uchicago, which focused on the influence of hair texture on racial classification in the U.S. and Brazil. I studied Portuguese in Rio for both the summers of 2010, and 2011 to complete this research. While I love researching hair texture and psychological development, I also have a passion for learning about young people. Currently, my research interests are on urban youth development and critical thinking, and I’m an Adjunct Lecturer at John Jay College. You can find out more by clicking here.
In addition to being an academic, I’m also an artiste. I graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film/Television production and a focus on screenwriting, and I danced and choreographed professionally throughout college and for many years after, prior to attending grad school. As a dancer and choreographer, I performed on tours and in videos with artists such as Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, Will Smith, and Jennifer Lopez to name a few. As an actor, I’ve done commercials for Ebay, American Express, 7 UP, Campbell’s, and many others, and hosted a show on NBC called Operation Junkyard, and as a writer, I’ve written songs for several solo artists, and well… for myself. Speaking of which, I also was a rapper of sorts. I’ve been poet/lyricist all my life – or at least since the 3rd grade, according to a school publication I recently found. I love writing. Poetry. Stories. Blogs. And lyrics. You can check out some of that stuff here.
While I still continue to act and choreograph, I also enjoy doing artistic direction for live shows, in addition to teaching yoga. I began practicing Bikram yoga in 2003 as a way to develop more strength and flexibility, and after several years of practicing off and on, finally did my teacher training in 2010. I trained in Hot Fusion/Vinyasa, and have been teaching ever since. Check out my schedule for classes here.
The things I love most are learning, traveling, and engaging in new cultures with new people (well… new to me). I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world both as an academic, and as a performer, and sometimes have the opportunity to merge the two. Well for me, they always merge, but you get the picture. I currently reside in Brooklyn where I’m finishing my dissertation, doing a lot of commercials and short films, and teaching yoga. I’m also probably doing things I forgot to mention. Thanks for stopping by.