Administrative Staff


A-lan Holt, Director

Phone: 650-723-4402

A-lan Holt is Director at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. There she trains undergraduates in the areas of diversity and culture; arts leadership and social justice. She is a mother and practicing artist whose work includes theater, poetry and film. She is a 2018 Sundance Fellow, a 2018 SF Film Screenwriting Fellow, and a frequent contributor on-air at KQED Arts. In 2016 A-lan's artist book Moonwork was published by Candor Arts Chicago and was shortlisted for the Cornish Family Prize at the Melbourne Art Book Fair. Since its release, Moonwork resides in several private and public institutions around the country. A-lan has over ten years of experience considering questions of identity, diversity, culture and aesthetics and holds a degree with honors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University.

Professor Adam Banks Smiling in front of the Stanford Arches

Professor Adam Banks, Faculty Director


Adam Banks is a professor of education in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education as well as a professor and faculty director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, an affiliate faculty member of the African and African American Studies Program, the Science, Technology and Society Studies Program and the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Program, all in the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. He earned his PhD at Penn State University and has taught writing, rhetoric and digital media at Syracuse University, and the University of Kentucky as well as serving as the 2010 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas. Banks is the author Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age and of the award-winning Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground. His most recent book is a collaboration with Keith Gilyard: On African American Rhetoric was released in 2018.

Amara Tabor Smith (Jean Melesaine, KQED)

Amara Tabor-Smith, Artist-in-Residence


Amara Tabor Smith is the Artist in Residence at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts and Artistic Director of the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford. Amara is  an Oakland based choreographer/performance maker who describes her work as Afro Futurist Conjure Art. Her dance making practice utilizes Yoruba spiritual ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity and belonging. A San Francisco native and Oakland resident, she is the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater (DWDT) and was the co-artistic director of Headmistress, an ongoing performing collaboration with movement artist Sherwood Chen.


Grace Toléqué, Program Officer


Grace Toléqué is the Program officer at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. She is an artist and an entrepreneur. As an established jewelry designer, Grace has over 20 years of experience in design, creating one-of-a kind pieces for a private clientele as well as for her storefront. Her design philosophy aims to incorporate values of African body ornamentation as a means to communicate information between the world of the seen and the unseen. Her jewelry is meant to be both conduits of beauty and healing. Grace has also worked in the non-profit sector feminist space in the areas of capacity and movement building for gender justice and women’s rights. She is currently co-writing “Accra Chic: A Locational History of Fashion in Accra” with Ato Quayson for Intellect Books and Chicago University Press.  “Accra Chic” is part of their Urban book series which covers Vienna, Berlin, Los Angeles and Montreal. She has a degree in Politics and Economics from Catholic University of America.


Evelyn María Anderson, Student Program Coordinator


Evelyn María Anderson is a muralist and poet. Her artwork explores the visual language of Latin American history and Mesoamerican mythology. She centers the histories and traditions that were actively exterminated—histories that change the way we see our food, our land, our bodies, and one another. Her chapbook Sweetfires is forthcoming at Palooka Press, and is the winner of the Palooka Press Chapbook Award. By following inter-generational stories of familial love, abuse, and intimacy, Sweetfires seeks to elucidate the broader geopolitical relationship between Central America and the United States.