Beneath Your Beautiful Jul Aug 2023

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JUL | AUG 2023 ISSUE 10



MODEL Kitara Johnson



At Beneath Your Beautiful, we are commited to spreading positivity and hope + improving lives through raw and compassionate storytelling. If you, or someone you know, has a story to share, please reach out to BeneathYourBeautiful

All rights reserved. Contents of Beneath Your Beautiful, including articles and artwork/photography. may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the express consent of Beneath Your Beautiful

MODEL Ellis Kleinkauf


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Hara Allison COPY EDITOR Elin Adcock
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Daniel MacQueen is a traumatic brain injury survivor and speaker. He has recently returned to Vancouver, Canada from London, where he suffered a brain hemorrhage. He is currently working to get back to life as usual.

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To learn more about Daniel, listen to Beneath Your Beautiful podcast Episode 120


In 2014 I was having headaches that were getting progressively worse over the course of a few weeks.

I was riding the Tube one afternoon, when all of a sudden my vision went black and I couldn’t see anything for a few minutes. My vision recovered quickly, so I took myself to the Emergency Dept. They looked me over and decided I had vertigo and they sent me home, telling me if the headaches continued, I could get my eyes checked by an optometrist.

In the middle of my optometrist visit the doctor stopped the exam, excused himself from the room, and came back a few minutes later with a sealed envelope. He told me to go directly to Moorfields Hospital, which I did, after first stopping by my house to pick up a few things. The doctors there read the note, examined me, and moved me immediately to Cherry Cross hospital. There, it was revealed that I had a cyst in my brain and would need emergency brain surgery.

Turns out, my life was about to change forever.

In a matter of twelve hours, I went from being a healthy, active guy to heading to the operating table.

During surgery I suddenly suffered a massive brain hemorrhage — they think the cyst burst when they were removing it. I was in a coma for four weeks, and in and out of a consciousness for several months after that. Things were touch and go for quite some time after that.

My recovery was quite arduous, with physical therapy, having to learn everything all over again. I was so frustrated, not being able to do all the things that I used to be able to do. It took me leaning on all my friends and family to get through this. Everything was just so hard. I was sitting there, thinking to myself, wondering, “how am I going to get myself through this?” It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to what happens to you that matters, and it took me getting my mindset right. It’s not what happened, but what you think about it that matters.

I say, when speaking to others with a brain injury, “If it didn’t kill you, and you have the ability to recover, then it’s on you to recover. Nobody else can do it for you.”

At some point in your life, you’re going to get that proverbial punch in the face that Mike Tyson talked about – a job loss, a diagnosis

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transcribed by Elin Adcock

for you or a loved one, a death – you’re going to face that knock, and how do you battle back after adversity like that?

I’ve got a structure in place that’s helped me battle back from two brain surgeries and this traumatic brain injury. I’ve learned how to walk, talk and smile again. I was so low at points on this journey, but I’ve got a mindset that helps me.

As I mentioned, I was in a wheelchair, and it took three months to get out. I spent a lot of time in the rehab center re-learning how to walk, and was finally able to get the chance to walk outside. They took me to an area called Tooting Broadway, which if you’ve never been to London, is in South London. It’s an area they call “up and coming” – which really means, full of people and noise and drugs and crime and bustle. I kept getting bumped into by people, someone got stabbed in front of me, and I kept thinking to myself, “maybe this isn’t the best place to be learning how to walk again – can’t they see I’m trying to walk here? Can’t they see I’m struggling?” But then one day, my perspective shifted. You know, “maybe this isn’t the WORST place for me to learn how to walk, maybe this is the BEST place, because if I can learn to walk here, I can walk ANYWHERE!” It’s all about perspective. It went from the worst place to the best place in my mind at that point, and my mood reflected that.

When you change the way you look at the world, the world you look at changes. Maybe this is the worst thing that could have happened to you, but maybe you can turn down the SUCK, maybe just a little bit. Maybe

you can reframe and find a little bit of hope.

I can’t tell you how many times I was down and out, but I leaned on my friends and family, who encouraged me, and helped me to recover and rebuild. They showed me that I was worthy of their love and praise, and it made me want to work really hard to get better. I wanted to earn it and work hard, show them that I was trying to rebuild my life.

I was 28 years old when the first surgery happened, and am now 36. There was a small setback in 2015. I had been working hard to get back to work and had been back for about two months, working about 2 half-days a week – it wasn’t too hard, but it was something.

I would head to work on those days myself, and was making the best of it. One day, I didn’t show up for work, so they showed up at my apartment to check on me. I was unconscious on the floor. Turns out, the shunt in my brain clogged, and I had increased pressures on my brain. I had to go in for emergency surgery again, to open up that shunt and relieve the pressures on my brain. After that second surgery, all my progress had just been washed away. Now I had to start all over again. The carpet ripped out from under me again, I was really upset that the last year’s work and progress meant nothing. All the work I had done was GONE. It took me about a week to realize, “You know what, Dan? You’ve done this before. You can do it better this time, more efficiently, get back stronger than before.” It was really difficult to keep my mind pure and focused on what I want to do, but that’s what I did.

A few months ago I had some brain scans to review how my brain was working. I was thinking I would see some areas of deficit, but the scans came back as “totally average”.

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In a matter of twelve hours, I went from being a healthy, active guy to heading to the operating table.

And I thought to myself, “Average? This scan should at least show that I am gifted at SOMETHING here, because I’ve done so well with my recovery. I mean I was able to recover from these injuries, surely that means I’m gifted at SOMETHING.”

It just showed me that my recovery was based on mindset and mindset alone. I’m not gifted, or special, I’m just driven. I’ve stood on my tippy toes to get going in that direction. It just goes to show, you can be average and do exceptionally well, if you lean into what you are doing, and all your energy goes into that one thing. It’s actually a comfort to know I’m not gifted, but I know that if I focus on what I need to do, I can accomplish what I set out to accomplish.

Sometimes I come across people who say, “This is too big.” I’ve been stubborn and pretty motivated all my life. I’ve always been keen to prove people wrong. “You think I can’t do this? Watch me.” But that’s kind of an abrasive way to live your life, and that’s not the way I want to live my life now. Now, I’ve transitioned to a motivation of service. I want to help YOU be better than yesterday. And that’s much more sustaining and life-giving. When I’m trying to prove you wrong, the motivation is over once I’ve proved you wrong. But when I’m helping you up, the motivation doesn’t stop there, I want to continue to help you.

I realized I don’t want to be a bitter old guy with resentments about what other people think about me. I don’t really know how I encourage others to be motivated, but I know that if I go down that road, to bow to this, I’ll spiral downward. But I’ll never know that alternative, because I’ll never allow myself to go that way.

This thing that happened to you may be the worst thing in the world, but no one’s coming to save you – you have to save yourself. You are the only one who can get yourself out of this. If you allow yourself to be “Oh, woe is me; pity me,” where is that going to get you? I’ve

really been cognizant of when I’m starting to get down. Sometimes I get double vision, and I look in the mirror and see that my eyes are getting wonky, I can get a little bummed, too, but I never stay there.

It’s still not fair that this happened, it’s NOT fair. That’s a truth. But when I hear someone complaining about their truth I say, “And now what?” Like, the pity spiral can really get out of control, and if you’re already at the bottom of the pity spiral, rock-bottom is a really good place to start from. Yes, it sucks that this thing happened to you, but wishing something didn’t happen doesn’t correct it.

Acceptance is key. That sounds tough and it sounds mean, I know that. But you can’t build back up until you accept what’s happened to you. It’s tough to hear and it’s tough to say, but acceptance is the first part of the process. You can accept what’s happened to you and actively take steps to resolve it and mitigate what’s happened. By resenting and denying what happened, I don’t know how it’s going to serve you.

I was at ground zero twice – both injuries brought me down to the depths of the human experience. All your dreams are gone, the carpet is ripped out from under you. And now, I’ve got this mindset that “what can’t I overcome?”

I figured this all out by being thrown into the deep end. It’s sink or swim. I just figured it out lying flat on my back, in a foreign country with the odds stacked against me. Up to that point, I’d had a very easy life. Work came easy, girls came easy. Now, after the brain injury everything is arduous. I’m not going to be a failure because it’s hard, I’m going to keep sweating and panting and clawing to get to the top of this hill. This is a good hill to go up.

I’m not going to tell you what you should do, because I hate it when people tell me that. But here’s what I did, and maybe it works for you as well. «

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This concept was inspired by the book BLACK by Skyler Van Kirk

Synopsis: Four hundred plus years of slavery, and yet they don’t want to admit that without us there would be no United States of America. A multibilliondollar business made from the backs and lives of our ancestors. In the past we were forced here, forced into manual labor, not allowed to become educated, and yet we still survived. In the past our accomplishments propelled this country into what it is today, yet we’re here in 2042 and the past has come back to haunt us. If the ones in power want this country, then this time around you’ll have to fight us for it. The face of the country is white, but it’s the blackest of shadows that built it. How hard are you willing to fight for what was never yours?

Edification - The Collective (E.T.C.) believes in telling stories and building conversations with their audience, no matter how controversial the topic. This is a subject that gets taught as if it isn’t still very prevalent. «

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KKK versus
conspiracies versus black and white people, Black people versus America! Racial discrimination and hate is what America was built on. In today’s society we are working on building a balance with true equality in so many different areas. The question is what will it really take to do that. How can we as individual people fight for equality and ultimately end racial disparities as we know it?
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NAIL ARTIST Osshan Chapman

MAKEUP ARTIST Monika Bostick

CREATIVE DIRECTOR E.T.C. Edification - The Collective


MODEL Jordan Robinson

MODEL Teddy Mantis

MODEL Dailin Richie

MODEL Andrea Blassingame

MODEL Jeanice Burrell

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I have been a photographer and a “crafter,” my whole life. When I was a child, my art teacher told me to find another outlet because art was not my talent and of course I’d believed her so had never attempted drawing or painting other than sick figures.

All that changed eight years ago, when a friend suggested I try an online art class. At the time, I was only interested in learning how to draw or paint something that looked human. I had no idea that these classes would change my life.

The course was called, “Life Book,” and each week featured a different teacher. This perfectly fit my personality as I’m not a linear learner and prefer to try lots of different approaches. After the first couple of lessons, I was so excited by what I was producing that art took over my life. For months I couldn’t eat or sleep, I was so filled with ideas and fervor. Every day I leapt to my art table and turned out piece after piece until, by about the sixth or eighth month, I accumulated a 6 inch pile.

I was almost 70 years old at the time and did not want to accumulate more “stuff.” I’d given away all I could to friends and family and even abandoned some paintings for people to find (and hopefully enjoy). One day I had an idea. I would give away paintings on my Facebook page offering each to the first person who wanted it and agreed to make a donation of $10 or more to any non-profit or person in need. (The base was raised to $ 25 within a year.)

I am extremely prolific so over the last eight years, I have offered thousands of paintings (most days I turn out three) and as of last November, raised over $120,000. And while raising the money and contributing to those in need is of course, wonderful, what means so much to me is the impact I have made on those who have taken my paintings. The gratitude and excitement they share with me uplifts me every day. It’s truly an extraordinary privilege.

I was a freelance writer for years and have always loved quotes so early on I decided (against the

advice of established artists), to add words to my paintings. At first I used quotes from those who had passed (to avoid copyright issues), but one day I realized, “Hey, I’m a writer, I’m going to put my own thoughts on the paintings.”

I love experimentation and have no desire to build a body of work in the traditional sense. The one thing that unites my paintings is the words.

I’m an intuitive painter. For me, the process is absolutely everything. Because I’m not a perfectionist and only seek to be “in the moment” as I create, I don’t worry about the outcome. I honestly have no interest in it. It’s when I am in the process that I am happiest and most fulfilled in terms of each piece.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have discovered this passion at this point in my life when I have enough. I don’t need more money. We have enough. I don’t crave fame or adulation. I only want to create and, as much as possible, to put good into the world. «

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ARTIST + WRITER Lynn Colwell
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The Old Farmers

Arpit Sharma , a monochrome storyteller, shares captivating images that transcend time and space, touching the hearts and awakening the senses of viewers. He uncovers raw emotions and profound stories hidden within the eyes of the subjects. Each photograph offers a glimpse into the joys, sorrows, triumphs, and struggles that shape the human experience.

Arpit’s storytelling is a language of emotions, inviting viewers to see the world through new eyes. His photographs forge a connection that transcends barriers and speaks directly to the heart.

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his aged hands


a story of tireless work and unwavering determination. His gaze speaks volumes, filled with resilience and the weight of generations. In his eyes, we see a plea for recognition and support, a silent call to honor the land and those who tend to it.

This image transcends borders, reminding us of our shared responsibility to uplift and protect those who sustain us. It stirs emotions, urging us to amplify their voices and work towards a future where every farmer can thrive.

to the hardships of their lives.

In his eyes, sorrow and anguish mingle with determination. Each skull represents a life lost, a dream shattered, and a story silenced. They bear witness to the unspoken struggles and immense pressures that plague those who toil on the land.

This image serves as a stark reminder of the harsh realities faced by many, who often struggle with endless challenges, economic uncertainties, and a relentless cycle of despair.

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Facing page: In a haunting photograph, the weight of a profound tragedy is captured. A farmer holding the skulls of his fellow farmers who succumbed page: Sitting on weathered chair, and tell

STUDIO H creative is an award-winning design firm. After 32 years in business, we’ve done it all. Annual reports, event collateral, magazines, logos, packaging, social media graphics, photography, brochures, flyers, posters, menus, web and editorial design – including Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine!

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Time is running inexorably. Grandmother Vera Porfirievna was a young and energetic girl until recently, but now several decades have passed. In the mirror she sees a very old woman. The life of the elderly is complicated, often there is not enough strength for everyday affairs. All the main joy of a person in old age is their loved ones, children and, especially, grandchildren. They are looking forward to meeting them, they see in them both the continuation and the meaning of life. With this work together with Vera Porfirievna, we wanted to show the inexorability of time, the importance of caring and attention for the elderly and that each of us is waiting for it. Vera Porfirievna is already in a better world, has left earthly existence. Life is a moment, inhale and exhale. «

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MODEL: Astashkina Vera Porfirievna

PHOTOGRAPHER: Evgeniy Terehin

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Duane Kirby Jensen is a painter and a poet. He has exhibited and performed since 1989 throughout the Pacific Northwest at numerous venues.

In the early 2000’s, he felt his art had stagnated. Its existence created a wall that inhibited him to pursue other artistic ideas. He wanted to recapture his passion for painting. This sense of suffocation led him to burn the majority of his work. The few pieces that escaped the flames was due to oversight. This extremism rekindled his love and dedication to paint, allowing him to follow a wider variety of ideas.

In 2014 he had an exhibition entitled, Eight Years After the Flames: A Retrospective of Works from 2006-2014. Three weeks after the opening, he was asked to remove a large portion of the show because the subject matter (facial expressions) made people uncomfortable for being “TOO EDGY FOR BELLINGHAM.”

His work centers on isolation and its gravitational effect on emotion. He also explores the fragility of identity and the ease in which it can disappear. He often takes his subjects to the edge of madness. His work evokes emotions that linger beneath the surface. This stems from his interest in Film Noir and German Expressionism.

As he explores the darker sides of life and the despair that his subjects experience, he also instills within them a spark, a drive to survive, to persevere and not simply give up.

In his 2023 painting, “Surviving the fire in the sky” poet Doreen Deutsch Spungin commented, “Relief, gratitude and sorrow in one face!”

“The fading of faces in uncertain times” a painting from 2020, inspired these words from Lauri Langston, “Duane you have captured the controlled frenzy that’s amongst us. Perfect depiction. Terror.”

As a child he watched his grandmother and grandaunt paint scenes of their Stanwood, WA community. He comes from a long line of painters, photographers, woodcarvers, art installationists, inventors and storytellers.

In 2013 he received the Mayor’s Art’s Award: Artist in the Community for his Artistic Excellence & His Contributions to Everett Cultural Vitality. «

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When I paint, I want to capture the image the way a filmmaker would—one frame at a time. I attempt to document the inner dialog of a person or place. I want to touch their emotional core, feel their turmoil, understand their agony, and swim within the isolation of each subject.
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Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 37 ARTIST + POET Duane Kirby Jensen

For a long time now Sri-Lanka has been constrained by these endless lines of chains, both physically and metaphorically, more recently chaining their gas bottles to one another’s in elaborate and endless queues that last for days.

Witnessing this for me from a humanistic level was very unsettling and hard to digest. But from a documentary perspective perked my interest.

Is there hope for Sri-Lanka?

How much longer will they suffer?

What is Sri-Lanka’s future?

Every day people have been refining their resilience under the merciless circumstances. Together as one fighting desperation with an unlimited amount of hope in their hearts. It is this hope that has given birth to a new generation.

A generation of hope.

A generation I would call Generation Q[ueue]. «

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Sandwiched between hope and desperation, while the country plummeted into the biggest economical depression of its history, basic amenities have become scares and its people have been left no choice but to queue for lives necessities.
Generation Q [ueue]
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PHOTOGRAPHER Evgeniia Zorina

An aspiring photographer, Evgeniia Zorina dreams to change the world through her art – unleashing the deepest issues buried under the mass-media, passionately looking for a way to be heard. Currently living in Sri-Lanka.

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the livin ’ is easy


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MODEL Ellis Kleinkauf

MODEL Ann Guernsey


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by the sea

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Marina is a contemporary artist who works with sea wood. These photos were taken during a difficult period of her life, when only creativity and the desire to move forward no matter what saved her from despondency. «

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MODEL Marina Belovolova PHOTOGRAPHER Natali Safronova

The story of one family

PHOTOGRAPHER Olga Afanasenko

MODEL Aelita Volikova

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PHOTOGRAPHER Olga Afanasenko

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PHOTOGRAPHER Olga Afanasenko

PHOTOGRAPHER Marina Afanasenko

Olga Afanasenko is an art portrait photographer with 14+ years experience. She’s a dreamer and traveller. She wants to turn her models into a magical creatures.

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PHOTOGRAPHER Olga Afanasenko

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These works were all made as Devanshu Damle walked through the streets of his home in India. Being from the land, there is an instant connection he feels with his subjects that enable him to hold beautiful conversations that turn into polished portraits. «

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Devanshu Damle (b.2001, Mumbai, India) is a 21 year old photographer from Bangalore, India. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia pursuing a creative arts photography degree from Deakin University. His process revolves around making pictures rather than taking them.

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A lightbulb turned on! I thought how cool it would be to recreate the supportive environment I’ve seen with adult models and give young girls the same opportunity. I wanted to show them that each of their unique personalities contributes to and even manifests their outer beauty and I want them to see they are strong, capable and beautiful as early as possible so they never question their value in this world.




PHOTOGRAPHER Tess Farnsworth


MODEL Bailey Bowerman

MODEL Naughtia Stanko

MODEL Cassandra Carpenter

LITTLES MODEL Lennon (page 71)

LITTLES MODEL Sophia (page 72)

LITTLES MODEL Paisley (page 73)

VENUE Electric Photoland




My daughter was sitting with me as I edited footage and she kept saying how strong and beautiful the models looked.
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Kitara Johnson

Kitara Johnson: Turning Trials into Triumphs

In the realm of changemakers, there are some individuals whose personal narratives resonate deeply, shedding light on lessexplored aspects of human resilience. They embody the transformative power of adversity and challenge us to redefine our notions of what is possible. Kitara Johnson is one such indomitable spirit who, despite formidable obstacles, has become a force for change in the arena of diversity, equity, and inclusion and belonging (DEIB).

From Survivor to Advocate

Kitara's early life in Chicago’s inner city exposed her to the harsh realities of socioeconomic disparities and injustice. At a tender age, she survived a brutal assault, during which she was stabbed, and her hand was broken with a bat. In her teens Kitara became a mother – an experience that introduced new challenges, but also deepened her resilience.

These formidable obstacles could have been reasons to succumb to despair, but for Kitara, they became catalysts for change. Embracing her role as a survivor, she turned her trauma into a clarion call for justice and advocacy.

Military Service and Beyond

Kitara’s spirit of resilience and service led her to the U.S. Army, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become a sergeant. Unfortunately, her military career was marred by an encounter with military sexual trauma (MST), a form of PTSD not often spoken about. Despite the emotional toll, Kitara turned yet another harrowing experience into a springboard for action.

After her honorable discharge, she refused to let her MST experience be swept under the rug. Instead, she has become a tireless advocate for equity for female veterans, raising awareness about MST and the unique challenges faced by servicewomen, and was appointed by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs Deputy Secretary to the VA Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention Program. Additionally, she has been featured in the Spokane VA Medical Center’s I'm Not Invisible campaign, highlighting female veterans who are survivors and continue serving the community after their military retirement.

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MODEL Kitara Johnson


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Academic Achievements and Advocacy

Armed with a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership and Management, a Bachelor of Applied Science in Workforce Education and Development, and a certification in Diversity and Inclusion for Human Resources from Cornell University, Kitara was well-equipped to continue her fight for DEIB in the civilian world. As founder of the Community Education and Empowerment Center, Kiara has realized her mission of creating safe and inclusive environments through education and empowerment. Focusing on fostering DEIB through education and empowerment, the organization provides comprehensive DEIB training and consultancy, always striving to turn difficult conversations into catalysts for change.

From Victim to National Voice

Kitara's resilience and determination to champion DEIB led her to share her narrative on global platforms, including a feature on CNN and a Netflix documentary. In these platforms, she was instrumental in addressing a national scandal involving a white woman who posed as black, thus sparking a vital conversation on cultural appropriation.

A Beacon for Youth

Aside from her work in DEIB, Kitara has displayed a remarkable commitment to youth empowerment over the years. In 2005, she established a Youth Center within the Northtown Mall in Spokane, WA and Spokane Transit Authority Plaza that served

hundreds of disadvantaged young individuals, providing them a safe and nurturing environment after school. For her dedicated efforts, Kitara received the Champion of Youth award from the Chase Youth Commission in the City of Spokane and numerous state-wide awards. She was also featured in the top 20 under 40 in Catalyst magazine.

Continuous Commitment to Change

Kitara's efforts to inspire change have been ongoing. She served on the Washington State Supreme Court’s Minority and Justice Commission, participates in the United States Air Force’s Air Mobility Command Civic Leader Program, and holds a special appointment on the National Sexual Assault and Harassment Prevention Advisory Council.

Balancing Act: A Mother, A Wife, A Career Woman

In addition to her substantial professional achievements and advocacy work, Kitara Johnson's personal life is a testament to her remarkable ability to juggle multiple roles. As a mother to five children - four boys and one girl, each with their unique dreams and aspirations, she has not just balanced but thrived in her responsibilities.

Her eldest son, a professional UFC athlete, exudes strength and resilience. Her second son, a Warrant Officer Pilot, displays the courage and commitment reminiscent of Kitara's own military service. Another son is a fervent champion for recovery, embodying survival, much like his mother. Her youngest

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son, an aspiring nurse, showcases a commitment to service and empathy. Last, but not least, the little princess of the family, Leilani, brightens their lives with the brilliance of her presence, bold singing voice and academic achievements in all subjects.

Simultaneously, Kitara nurtures a fulfilling marital relationship, being a supportive and caring wife. This balancing act is not devoid of challenges, but Kitara’s relentless determination and unyielding spirit keep her standing tall.

On the professional front, she holds a full-time career as a Chief Human Resources Officer. Before this role, Kitara served as Chief Diversity Officer, a role for which she was recognized by the National Diversity Council as one of the top 100 Diversity Officers

Kitara Johnson is a highly respected national speaker and trainer in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a former Chief Diversity Officer in a large, complex organization, Kitara was recognized as one of the Top 100 Chief Diversity Officers in the United States by the National Diversity Council in April 2021.

She is also a member of the United States Air Force, Air Mobility Command Civic Leader Program.

in the United States. This recognition affirms her commitment and significant contribution to fostering DEIB in the workplace.

The many and various hats that Kitara dons – mother, wife, career woman, survivor and advocate - are all integral facets of her identity. Each role feeds into the other, and together they exemplify the incredible strength and adaptability of this remarkable changemaker.

The story of Kitara Johnson is a testament to the remarkable power of resilience and an unwavering commitment to change. Despite significant adversities, she continues to inspire and effect change in the arena of DEIB, reminding us that we all have the potential to rise above our circumstances and champion change. «

Overall, Kitara Johnson is a trailblazer in the field of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Her personal story and achievements serve as an inspiration to those looking to make a positive impact in their communities and organizations.

To learn more about Kitara, listen to Beneath Your Beautiful podcast Episode 127

To nominate someone who has made a difference in your life or your community, please send an email to: hara @

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Accomplished so far with so many conquests simultaneously, my greatest desire is to take my art of photography to the world, telling life stories in their essence and simplicity. With each photograph my desire increases in the search for new challenges.

A wonderful experience to closely follow the worker’s day to day, in the coffee harvest and in other activities in the field.

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PHOTOGRAPHER: Alsu Gimadieva

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real life

Miriam Leibowitz specializes in expressive, intuitive art. She creates with chalk, oil pastels and mixed media. Miriam uses a technique from the art therapy world called scribble drawing, where one finds an image in a scribble and follows it to completion, letting the image that emerges speak from the subconscious. Miriam uses image work and creative writing to further her healing journey, She shares her art in the hope that it resonates with others. Miriam’s art has been featured in multiple publications, joint shows, and her first solo exhibition opened in May, 2023. Miriam is originally from Palo Alto, California and now lives in Jerusalem Israel with her husband and children.

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Seeking spirit

Time stretching out in all directions time standing still In that stillness, I will find her perhaps in the forest or the meadow she is waiting somewhere out of sight she is beckoning will I answer her call?

a heartbeat

the rhythm of time

a pulse of the divine a cosmic dance

something beyond a shadow

a glimpse

a reunion

a prayer on the wind

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ARTIST + WRITER Miriam Leibowitz
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Actor and model of over four years. Credits range from television, feature films, print modeling, parts modeling and runway. Years before having a career in acting and modeling I pursued a career in the criminal justice world. Unfortunately it never came to be but on the bright side, now I get to live out my other dream as an actor and model.

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PHOTOGRAPHER Philippe Lesuisse

MODEL Joe Rosing


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I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to pursue my passion by doing what I love. From a young age I’ve always been attracted to everything that involves art. I am someone who is focused and goal driven. When I had a vision for my professional future, I decided to make it happen.

I’m thrilled to say that I’ve learned from so many peers who helped me and supported me throughout my journey as a photographer.

I want my photos to carry a message, let people’s imagination take over. I am always looking for my subjects to stand out and shine.

Viewers need to be transported, feel a brand new experience.

This photo series was a collaboration of three driven people coming from different backgrounds but who have the desire to succeed in common. I had the opportunity to work with Hector, the makeup artist a few times before this photos series. We both are not afraid to challenge ourselves and get outside of our comfort zone. It was my first time working with Joe, the model. We connected through Facebook and met for the first time the day of the photoshoot. We got to know each other during the 20 minutes the makeup session was taking place, after that everything fell into place and an amazing complicity made this photoshoot a great experience resulting in some amazing captures.

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MODEL Olga Strelnikova
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PHOTOGRAPHER Vladislava Igoshina

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MODEL Tatyana Kravchenko

Inga N. Laurent is a legal educator and a Fulbright scholar. She is deeply curious about the world and its constructs and delights in uncovering common points of connection that unite our shared but unique human experiences. Her main area of focus centers on analyzing, re-imagining, and improving structures for justice that better address the shifting needs present in our evolving societies. In the classroom, Inga’s goal is to prepare students for the same challenges and opportunities, equipping them with tools for honest – systems and self –assessment and critique.

This article was previously published in the Inlander, 2018


When I was 13, I met a boy.

We connected during rehearsals for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He was Pigpen. I was Veronica. Over the next decades, I came to know and love this man, though I wouldn’t ever say I fully understood him. He was fiercely loyal to family yet never at home, incessantly restless. He viewed the world uniquely, walking it aberrantly. An old soul meandering hours away while listening to classics from bygone days — artists like Cash, Creedence, Dylan, the Dead, the Band, Elton and Aretha. He possessed a distinct tenderness but often kept it locked away. A man at odds with our present-day isolation, the darkness of modernity contrasting with his desire to believe in the light of the world. He often complained about how my cell phone disconnected us. He refused to own one.

Society’s discomfort with nonconformity led to an early diagnosis, labeling and prescription pills — like Adderall and Ritalin — disquieting drugs lacking methods for curing, only quelling. We watched, feeling helpless, as frightening new addictions morphed into destructive old habits. As he grew, so did his propensity for trouble, but around 30, a weariness seemed to settle in.

When I told him my momma was dying, he slowed enough to come alongside. One evening, after devouring a delicious meal he made for us, he surprised me with an apology. The sorrow that welled beneath his words was so thick it still lingers. He grieved about failing his family, his community, me. He mourned for the man he wanted to be. He lamented over barriers — both ahead and behind — the loss of a job when companies learned of his convictions, his lack of access to voting, housing or loans for education. Though he had done his time, he felt forever shackled to past mistakes, burdened and a burden. Sadly, a few months later, he choose the only path he envisioned existed, exiting our world.

I tell Judd’s story because by virtue of his passing, his burden has been passed. I tell it because collectively we

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Judd and his daughter

tell his story because if as Dostoevsky writes “the degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons,” then we ought consider how we measure.

Currently, our nation leads the world in incarceration. We make up only 5 percent of the planet’s population but hold 22 percent of all imprisoned. Most are unaware but a multiweek nationwide prison strike, with a list of demands, requesting basic human rights, just wrapped up.

This story also hits close to home. Our jail is overcapacity, brimming with people suffering from mental health and substance abuse issues (80 percent). We have laws that criminalize those experiencing homelessness. Despite a $1.75 million grant and intensive strategic planning to reduce incarceration, our jail population has increased by 10 percent. During the last 20 years, 18 deaths occurred in our jail — eight within the last 15 months.

We pay for this. Seventy percent of our county budget and over $43 billion nationwide

fund our antiquated, retributive system. Instead of focusing on reducing recidivism through prevention (addressing root causes of crime, holistically with evidence-based practices), we perpetuate the hegemonic “tough-on-crime” myth. We enable a punitive, dehumanizing approach that strips people’s agency and dignity, yet we expect better. We conflate punishment with meaningful accountability. We neglect to provide worthwhile re-entry opportunities, necessary for 95 percent of formerly incarcerated who rejoin us.

I tell Judd’s story because it’s our system, not the people within it, that’s broken. I tell it because we desperately need a new one. But mostly, I tell his story because I miss him. ♦

Inga N. Laurent is a local legal educator and a Fulbright scholar. She is deeply curious about the world and its constructs, and delights in uncovering common points of connection that unite our shared but unique human experiences. «

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born to Shine

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MODEL Darine Anane

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“Favorite Flowers” was presented at an exhibition during the 59th Biennale in Venice in support of Ukraine and against Russian aggression. The picture was specially prepared for the exhibition and made in the style of Primitivism. Usually, the artist does not work in this direction, but for greater artistic expressiveness and the formation of a message about Ukrainian Freedom, this style was chosen under the inspiration of the Ukrainian artist Kateryna Bilokur.

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project unknown

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MODEL: Kapralov Matvey


PHOTOGRAPHER: Vladislav Kholodkov

These are the works of artist Vladislav Kholodkov from the city of Kursk. Model Matvey Kapralov, studying at the TWIGGY model school in Perm, plays basketball and learns English, loves fashion and the catwalk!

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PHOTOGRAPHER Alvina Kirichek

Alvina Kirichek is an aspiring photographer. Her passion is to observe the world and people around her: catch emotions and interesting moments.

Alvina’s daughters are the models in these images. They went to the mountain river and the water was actually very icy, but when the girls were allowed to bathe their dolls in the river, the cold water did not stop them!

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I was born in Ural, in a land of magnificent lakes and enchanting forests. For many years now, together with my big family I live in a picturesque little village in KöRle, Germany, surrounded by hills and forests. Nature around my home gives me infinite inspiration, but my main passion lays in the field of portrait photography.

I love capturing emotions and precious moments. I believe in beauty in every person and I love using right angles and beautiful lighting to capture it.

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PHOTOGRAPHER Elena Papadopoulou
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MODEL Ivan Alenovskii PHOTOGRAPHER Polina Alenovskaya
114 Beneath Your Beautif ul Magazine Strengthening Relationships, One Coffee at a Time Create sensory-rich nature play for ALL kids JESSICA BONAR INSPIRATIONAL SPEAKER Book Jessica for your corporate conference , leadership training , team building or motivational event ! Beneath Your Beautiful magazine thanks Elin ADCOCK for her selfless dedication to this project. We see and appreciate you!
Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine 115 Podcast: Print-on-demand: Online: Beneath Your Beautiful Magazine

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