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Inaugural Astronaut Scholar

Meet Our Scholars

Nailah Barnes, 2021 Truman Finalist

Nailah Barnes class of 2022Nailah Reine Barnes is an international studies and French double major at Spelman College with cultural studies and education concentrations. Her teaching and mentoring background in the United States, France and Tanzania introduced her to staggering inequities in access to education and economic opportunities for girls and young women in particular. She is working to dismantle gendered forms of oppression and inclusion woven into socio-cultural norms.

Barnes plans to pursue a dual master’s program in human rights and humanitarian policy with a gender and public policy specialization to help her better understand the relationships between race, class, gender, and access to education. She will conduct exploratory research to measure long-term economic output loss when economically poor community members are excluded from high-quality educational programs.

When she returns to Atlanta, Barnes will launch United for Change, a coalition of student-led organizations aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals working in tandem to achieve the SDGs in our local community. She also founded The Brains with Beauty Project to give Black girls and young women tools to excel academically and nurture their holistic wellness. She enjoys reading, running, playing the bass guitar, and spending quality time with friends and family. 



Graphic of Spelman + Kaplan Partnership

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Office of Undergraduate Studies
350 Spelman Lane SW, Box 1349
Atlanta, GA 30314
404-270-5698 (fax)

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