Anacapa Scholar: Amikaeyla Gaston

This fall we had the pleasure and honor of welcoming Anacapa Scholar Amikaeyla Gaston to Thacher for a week-long visit with the community.
All year long, the campus welcomes visiting scholars, artists in residence, and other guests who share their special expertise. Some become members of the campus community for extended periods of time, others are here only briefly to deliver lectures or meet with students.

In the fall of 2021, Amikaeyla Gaston visited Thacher as our first Anacapa Scholar of the year. During her week on campus, Amikaeyla visited with student groups in the School’s new Multicultural Center, spoke during Community Dinner, conducted a workshop with faculty, hosted a screening of the World Trust film Healing Justice and facilitated a dialogue session following the film, led the community through prose and song during our Indigenous Peoples’ Day assembly at the outdoor chapel, and so much more. It was an impactful and inspirational week with Amikaeyla Gaston.  

About Amikaeyla:
Amikaeyla Gaston is a force for change. A Cultural Arts Ambassador for the State Department, as well as a highly sought-after performer and public speaker, she travels worldwide doing expansive work with political refugees, war survivors, and jeopardized populations. Founder and Executive Director for The International Cultural Arts and Healing Sciences Institute (ICAHSI) and President of the Board of Directors for World Trust Educational Services,  Amikaeyla found her spiritual path and healing in an intensive care burn unit while recovering from a near-fatal hate crime.

Amikaeyla is often called by the United Nations and embassies worldwide into difficult scenarios to offer inter-cultural literacy and deep restorative justice work in support of transformative healing and peaceful solutions. Her Music As Medicine and work with at-risk children, youth and families has been utilized by the Department of Health & Human Services, American Psychological Association and United Nations High Commission on Refugees.

She is the recipient of the United Nations Global Woman Award, the Voss Foundation Emerging Leaders Women Helping Women Award, the Pioneer Award for Exemplary Leadership and Outstanding Service in Social Justice and Advocacy Award, the Washington, D.C. Mayoral Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts, and the International Hero for Peace and Forgiveness award.

As a performing artist, Amikaeyla is the winner of eight WAMMIES (Washington Area Music Association Awards) for Best Jazz, World and Urban Contemporary Vocalist, Amikaeyla was named DC’s best female composer in 2006 & 2008, won the 2005 DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts, and was honored with first prize for Best World Music Composition from the 2010-2011 Maryland State Arts Council. She has been proclaimed as one of the “purest contemporary voices” by NPR, and MTV states “...her sultry sound is “like listening to velvet waterfalls."

For more about Amikaeyla, you can visit the World Trust website at

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