Community

Overview

Nyansa designs classical Christian curricula that are accessible, practical, and liberating for students of all backgrounds. We accomplish our mission by:

  • Collecting and creating diverse depictions of Biblical and Greco-Roman literature, history, and art — a cultural feast that has stood the test of time for its excellence and educational value
  • Cultivating moral imagination — that is, the exploration of ethical issues through discussion of literature — so students can more nimbly assess and navigate real-world problems
  • Encouraging students in the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty

Nyansa is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit registered in Louisiana. Our curricula and
programming work well for after-school programs, homeschoolers, vacation Bible schools, summer camps, and parents seeking supplemental material to deepen their children’s education. These materials are available at no cost to those who cannot afford them. We develop new lessons and modules through paid licensing, donations, and grants.

About “nyansa”

Nyansa is an Akan word for wisdom. Among the Akan people, Nyansa is understood to be a virtue that is acquired through careful attention to learning and experience. When knowledge stands alone, it may be compartmentalized and fail to lead its possessor down good and life-giving paths. The cultivation of “nyansa”, however, leads to a deeper transformation of the person. For this reason, knowledge and wisdom must work together.

History

Nyansa was founded in 2015 as an after-school program for students in Central City, one of the poorest neighborhoods in New Orleans. During those early days, we developed our curriculum and refined our approach to meet the needs of this under-served African-American population.

In 2019, Nyansa Classical Community began reorganizing in order to reach students from a wider range of backgrounds. We revised our Bible lessons to include both faith-based and “Bible as literature” options, commissioned diverse representations of the Greek gods and goddesses to make that content more accessible to students from many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and bolstered our Latin for English literacy materials.

Beginning in Fall 2020, Nyansa’s revised curriculum will be made available to individual families and piloted at schools across the US. If you are interested in using our materials in your school, church, family, or after-care program, please reach out through our contact form.

Board of Directors

Angel Adams Parham

Co-founder, Executive Director, and Board Member

Angel Adams Parham is an educator with extensive community service experience in the New Orleans community.  In addition to working with Nyansa, she is an associate professor of sociology at Loyola University-New Orleans where her  work focuses on issues of race and inequality. She is an active member of Castle Rock Community church which is dedicated to working for spiritual and social change in the Central City New Orleans community. Her role is to oversee the general operation of Nyansa Classical Community.

Terry Andrus

Board Member and Treasurer

Terry moved to New Orleans from Washington State in May of 2006. He and his wife, Sarah, joined a work team dedicated to cleaning out houses after Hurricane Katrina in January of 2006. After their short visit in Louisiana they both felt called to move to the area, specifically to contribute to the floundering economy. Terry is a CPA and earned his Accounting Degree from Washington State University.  He originally began his career with a CPA firm in Metairie, LA but quickly moved into the Controller/Business Administrator position at Urban Impact Ministries (UIM). Terry worked for UIM, a Central City based Ministry, for just shy of 6 years.  After living in New Orleans for 7 years Terry and his family moved back to the Pacific Northwest.

Christopher L. Caterine

Board Member

Chris spent the first part of his career in higher education, earning his PhD in Classics from the University of Virginia in 2014 and teaching at Tulane until 2017. He now works as a communications strategist and proposal writer for a global consulting firm — and coaches academics who are seeking work in new industries. As a board member since 2017, Chris has worked to connect Nyansa to the community of professional classicists and to help shape its organizational strategy.

Dion Dukes

Board Member and Educational Partnership Coordinator

Dion works at the University of New Orleans, where he is in charge of making connections with local high schools and encouraging young people to successfully make the transition to college. He has helped Nyansa students navigate the complex charter school admissions system that developed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and works to connect Nyansa with community partners who are good candidates for our curriculum.

Aaron Green

Board Member

Aaron earned a BA in Classics from Duke University before attending NYU Law. He currently works as in-house counsel for the City of New Orleans. Aaron has been a member of Nyansa’s board since 2018, providing guidance on contractual and strategic matters.

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