Jasmine L. Blanks Jones

Founder, B4 Youth Theatre

Edgewood, Maryland

Jasmine L. Blanks Jones is the Founder of B4 Youth Theatre, a nonprofit that provides arts education programming for young people in Liberia, West Africa and cultural exchange programs in the United States. Burning Barriers Building Bridges (B4) Youth Theatre empowers young people to become educated citizens through the arts. Having received her Masters degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Jasmine is currently pursuing a dual PhD in Education, Culture and Society and in Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

She has been awarded as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholar, Dr. William Fontaine Fellow in Africana Studies, and a George and Alice S. Hill Fellow in education.  More recently, she has been awarded a grant through the Health Policy Research Scholars program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She earned a BS in Music Education from Florida A&M University and taught public school music for nearly seven years in Maryland, with a focus on world music, American music history and performance.  She is driven by her passion for performance ethnography and the aspirations of her students in Liberia and the United States.