Dana P. Saxon is the Founder of Ancestors unKnown, an education social enterprise which won a Fair Education Innovation Award in the UK in September 2020. She is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA. I met Dana when I was coordinating the education programme The World in Your Classroom in The Hague, the Netherlands. High school teachers would send me exceptional praises about her guest lectures, not only about the quality of their content but also about how Dana could engage their pupils. Finally, I was able to attend one myself and was really impressed about how powerful her message was and how captivated these teens of all cultural backgrounds were.
Her concept is suitable for all levels of education and even for adults in the workforce. Most of us know little about our family history past our grand-parents. After 8 years living in the Netherlands, Dana moved to Bristol in the UK last year. Ancestors unKnown is ready to expand both online and in the classroom, so please help Dana enrich people’s lives and strengthen their self identity by connecting her to potential clients.
Ancestors unKnown is still a small organization, and the coronavirus had an obvious impact on my ability to reach a wide audience this year. However, I’m currently adjusting the model to provide more services online, increase fundraising efforts, and collaborate with more schools in the upcoming school year. In total, I want to impact at least 1,000 students/families in the US and Europe. Once I reach that target, I’m confident we can expand exponentially and reach audiences in even more countries
What is the story behind Ancestors unKnown? Why did you set it up?
Once I realized this type of family history research was possible, I wanted to give young people an opportunity to have similar revelations about their family histories. And I felt it was most important to reach them in schools, while they’re still young and forming their personal identities. This was the catalyst for me to begin disrupting history education with curriculum and workshops, bringing young people’s ancestors into classrooms to diversify and personalize lessons.
Connection, Presence and Collaboration. I highly value the connections I form and intentionally create deep relationships with people. I am also mindful of the energy I bring in the room. I know that each one of us is a gift and I hold the sanctity of my presence (and others too) highly. I love working with others on meaningful projects and have a knack on making ideas fly mainly because of the collaborations I am part of.
For more information: https://onlinecourses.ancestors-unknown.org/