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Anna Nyakana Honored with Connecticut Magazine's 2021 "40 Under 40" Class of 2021 + February Issue Cover 

CONNECTICUT MAGAZINE'S "40 UNDER 40" - MEET THE CLASS OF 2021

“My purpose is to save the youth and I’m just getting started!”

 

FEBRUARY 1, 2021 - NEW HAVEN, CT --- 

Anna Nyakana 

34 / Stamford 

Children’s author and entrepreneur annanyakana.com • @Niyah_Zuri on Instagram and Twitter 

Nyakana set out to write multicultural books to help children celebrate their diversity and recognize their worth. Born to a Ugandan father and German-Moldavian mother, she attended a low-funded school that failed to offer positive role models or lesson plans that spotlighted representation. “Every child deserves to know they have the ability to reach their fullest potential regardless of their ZIP code,” says the award-winning, best-selling author of Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne. “Children of color and all cultures should have respect, love and understanding of one another in order to develop a prolific knowledge of self and those they share this world with.” More important to her than sales, Nyakana works with school administrators in Connecticut and nationally to implement the Niyah Zuri series into curriculums. She is creating an educational cartoon series, Adventures with Niyah Zuri, based on her books that will help children build their consciousness and vocabulary through world adventures while showing them they can achieve their wildest dreams. Multifaceted, Nyakana is also a singer-songwriter, producer, content-creator, motivational speaker, and a mom of two who has sparked a movement for unification. “My purpose is to save the youth and I’m just getting started!”

 

SOURCE: Connecticut Magazine

Anna Nyakana, 2020 "100 Women of Color" Award Honoree & Valedictorian LIVE - Simsbury, CT 

My Niyah Zuri journey started five years ago, with constant “No’s”, closed doors, and obstacles in my path. Through it all, I remained consistently persistent, for I vowed to never let that younger version of myself down. The younger version that couldn’t find a character on the cover that looked like them and attended a low-performing school on the “wrong side” of town that no one cared to invest in it’s students. 

It is my DEEPEST honor to receive the 2020 “100 Women of Color Award” as well as being selected as this year’s Valedictorian. I will continue the work of investing in our kids regardless of their zip code, to ignite that flame within them and remind them each day of their worth and value through “The Fundamental Truths of Niyah Zuri”©; to create books and digital content that instills self-love through representation and teaches them of their glorious history and those of rich cultures different than their own. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, WHEN ONE OF US WIN, WE ALL WIN! Thank you all for your support over the years - I promise to not let you down - SHOUTOUT TO THE TRIBE!!! 

Special S/O to my Brother, my DAY 1 since birth Enock Nyakana. To my Soul Sisters, Sophie Lee and Bianca Danielle, thank you for always having my insides and straightening my crown when needed. To my dear friend Julien Guiteau for taking five modes of transportation from PA to record this incredible moment as an exclusive behind the scenes for Chillin With Julien and the countless friends and Tribe members that reached out before, during, and after the awards ceremony to uplift and sincerely pour into me - THANK YOU ALL! 

Deepest gratitude JuneArcher, ELEVEN28 Entertainment, and 100 Women of Color for this incredible honor - time to get back to work!

WATCH THE EXCLUSIVE BEHIND THE SCENES RECAP OF MY JOURNEY TO RECEIVE THE 100 WOMEN OF COLOR AWARD AND VALEDICTORIAN HONOR!

 

 

Anna Nyakana selected as Valedictorian for 2020 "100 Women of Color" Award - Hartford, CT 

AUGUST 27, 2020 - HARTFORD, CT --- ‘Strength is our motto’ for 5th annual 100 Women of Color Gala 

Susan Dunne 

Hartford Courant 

A CNN commentator, a children’s book author and an 8-year-old activist will be among the speakers at the 5th annual 100 Women of Color Gala & Awards, celebrating and inspiring community leaders. The gala, postponed from April by the coronavirus pandemic, will be held on Aug. 28 at Simsbury Meadows. 

“Women are the backbone, the pillars of community. Without them there would be no us. I want to honor them,” said June Archer, UConn lecturer, entrepreneur and author, of how the 100 Women of Color Gala began. “We’ve built a community of women coming together and supporting their own.”

 Anna Nyakana of New Britain, a children’s book author, will speak as the valedictorian of the 100 Women of Color Class of 2020. The rest of the Class of 2020, a wide range of women of color positively impacting their community, will accept awards, Archer said.

“Niyah Zuri & The Pharaoh’s Throne” and the upcoming “Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse,” which she plans to pitch as an animated series. Nyakana has worked with school systems in Hartford, Bloomfield, New London and New Haven to put her books in schools. 

“I grew up in a housing project in Stamford. Not the best school district. No one ever came to speak to us to tell us we were worthy,” Nyakana said. “That never really left me.” 

So she creates books to promote diversity, inclusion and female empowerment. “It’s a seed to implant into the minds of youths,” she said.

READ FULL ARTICLE: The Hartford Courant

Anna Nyakana Inducted into For(bes) the Culture - New York, NY 

It's with great esteem that I announce my selection as a member with the exclusive For(bes)The Culture! For(bes) The Culture was formed in Boston at the Forbes Under 30 Summit in October 2017 to gather the world’s current and future Black and Brown leaders to network, collaborate, share opportunities and discuss issues related to their respective communities and the world at large.

HONORED to continue the work to advance our communities for the youth’s inheritance always FOR THE CULTURE and now with support #FORBESTHECULTURE

ABOUT

The mission of For(bes) The Culture is to create equitable pathways for Black and Brown professionals. We’re a hub for elite leaders of color who are breaking down barriers & impacting culture globally to connect, collaborate and change. For(bes) The Culture provides a platform that fosters professional development, social consciousness, civic engagement, intrapreneurship and entrepreneurship through community service projects, social and cultural outings, personal and professional workshops and seminars, mentoring, tutoring and networking. FOR MORE DETAILS VISIT: For(bes) The Culture

Anna Nyakana Featured in Sheen Magazine July 2020 Issue 

GREENVILLE, SC - JULY 14, 2020 --- Getting to Know Motivational Speaker and Children’s Book Author, Anna Nyakana 

Lesley Logan 

A native of Berlin, Germany, Anna Nyakana, and her family immigrated to the U.S. in the ’90s in search of the American dream; and that’s exactly what she found. The award-winning author is also an inspiring youth motivational speaker, as well as a talented entrepreneur! 

With a diverse background that ranges from being a songwriter and live performer to writing children’s books and working with schools to spread the message of diversity across the country, this inspirational mother of two is enlightening the world one word at a time. 

We sat down with the multi-talented Anna Nyakana to see what has been keeping her busy, what motivates her, and what her plans are for the future. Here’s what she had to say. 

It’s been a crazy few months – how are you holding up during this pandemic? 

I’m thriving! I’ve been connecting with my young readers through social media and I even created two new businesses, Niyah Zuri Books and Niyah Zuri Studios, which allowed me to launch a second edition of “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne” on my own book imprint! It was released on June 13thand I’m proud to say that it hit #1 in seven children’s book categories! 

What inspired you to write children’s books and become a motivational speaker? 

I remember getting library books to practice my English and none of the people on the cover ever looked like me. That stigma never left me, and I grew a passion and desire to have our own stories represented. This grew into the Niyah Zuri children’s book series. When I was a kid, no one of significance ever came to our school to motivate us and tell us that we could attain our life goals. What a difference that would have made to many of us?! I live to be a difference now. That’s what inspires me. 

Let’s talk about your success in writing children’s books! What is the most rewarding part about being the author of “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne”? 

Connecting with the kids! I love seeing a child’s face light up because my characters look and sound like them! “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne” has inspired children who used to hate reading to now have a love of literacy and I am honored to be making that impact! 

At what moment did you know the book was going to be such a success. What was the turning point in your career? 

The first time I processed a bulk order of 1,000 books for a school district; I knew my book would be a success. A big turning point for me was in July 2019 when I was invited to be a guest on the legendary Karen Hunter Show on SiriusXM. She believed in my mission. This made a huge difference in my career because it allowed me to connect with millions of listeners and spread the Niyah Zuri message. 

What exciting new projects are you working on now? 

I am completing the second book in the series, “Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse.” I’m also launching official Niyah Zuri apparel with interpretations of my main character Niyah Zuri and Prince Tut. And, last but not least, and this is an exclusive, I am finally bringing a huge dream to life by creating a cartoon series based on my books! It will be visually striking and educational, so kids can enjoy both at home and in the classroom all while building their vocabulary and knowledge through world adventures. I am in production now, so keep an eye out! 

Stay tuned for great things from motivational speaker and children’s book author Anna Nyakana! 

 

Anna Nyakana Official Parnter with Big Sister Boston (Big Brother Big Sister of America) - Boston, MA 

JULY 3, 2020 - BOSTON, MA --- Today we are excited to feature award-winning and bestselling author of “Niyah Zuri and the Pharaoh's Throne”, Anna Nyakana. Big Sister is proud to announce that we are partnering with Anna to host two virtual activities in July for our Big and Little Sisters. These workshops will focus on what it is like to be an author and how to brainstorm characters, storylines, and message in order to create their very own short stories! ⠀ 

About Anna: Through her first book, her speaking engagements, workshops, and more Anna works to spotlight representation and girl-empowerment in children's books and bring diversity to the classroom. She states, "Children should see a reflection of themselves in the books they read, my mission is to inspire them one adventure at a time." ⠀ 

Anna hasn’t let quarantine stop her from moving her mission forward. She recently was as a featured speaker at the G.E.M.S. Teen Summit, was featured in Indigo Blue's “Women’s Empowerment” podcast, and became a best seller with the second edition of “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne” Follow along with Anna for the latest updates about her work like her upcoming feature on PopFusion TV. Keep an eye out for book #2 “Niyah Zuri and The Mayan Eclipse” and the official Niyah Zuri cartoon series to be pitched to networks in the coming months!

ABOUT BIG SISTER BOSTON:

100% INVESTED IN GIRLS. Our mission is to ignite girls’ passion and power to succeed through positive mentoring relationships with women and enrichment programs that support girls’ healthy development. Ultimately, our vision is to create a mentor-rich community in which every girl has access to the individual nurturing, guidance, and support she needs to become a confident, competent and caring adult. We are a national model for gender-sensitive mentoring for girls which can be replicated in other mentoring programs. For more details visit www.bigsister.org

"Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh's Throne" Hits #1 Bestseller List! 

I am OVERWHELMINGLY PROUD to announce the second edition of “Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh’s Throne” hit #1 in 7 Children’s Book categories! THANK YOU all for showing up and showing out yesterday! BIG S/O to my #NiyahZuriTribe As a thank you I’m GIVING 3 COPIES OF MY EBOOK to any IG follower who TAGS 3 FRIENDS on my announcement post! Winners to be announced tonight! Let’s continue to USE OUR VOICES and BE THE CHANGE the world needs! I am honored to officially be a Bestselling Author, THANK YOU!

"Niyah Zuri and The Pharaoh's Throne" SECOND EDITION + eBook Promo Release June 13, 2020 

NIYAH ZURI BOOKS is excited to announce that the SECOND EDITION of “Niyah Zuri & The Pharaoh’s Throne” drops SATURDAY, JUNE 13!!! Including an EBOOK SPECIAL PROMO for $3 @ 3 PM!!! 

 

Thank you ALL for the continuous support over the years - I vow to continue to USE MY VOICE & create representation in kids books to inspire our youth & fight the influence of ignorance! I urge everyone to RAISE THEIR VOICES & UNIFY for POSITIVE CHANGE! The world is depending on us!

 

Niyah Zuri Studios Presents: Anna Nyakana "Black Lives Matter - The Revolution Will Be Televised" 

As of June 7, 2020 all 50 States in the US and 18 countries participated in Black Lives Matter protests. Making it the Largest Civil Rights Movement in World History. This is my Journey...The Revolution Will Be Televised.

 

 

Anna Nyakana Launches Online Summer Camp - June 1-5, 2020 

The world has been turned upside down in recent months and many families and loved ones have been torn apart with devastation. For those of us survivors, we are adjusting to a new way of life, including homeschooling our children. Parents have become full-time teachers, if not already, on top of their existing roles and jobs. As the months continue on, many are questioning learning plans for summer months once the school year officially wraps.

Inspired by this need, I am excited to announce that I will be launching my very own Online Summer Camp for kids ages 8-12 (younger interested campers are welcome!). In addition to introducing kids to the Niyah Zuri series and it's mission of embracing diversity, girl-empowerment, leadership development, and world history through adventure - each daily 30 minute session will be held as a writer's workshop. I will walk virtual campers through the creative writing process, illustration and character development! By the end of this week-long camp, campers will be equipped to write their very own short stories, implement  fundamental leadership traits, and be inspired to grow their love of reading! See you all in June! 

 

*JUNE 1-5 ONLINE SUMMER CAMP IS OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT! PLEASE STAY TUNED FOR NEW CAMP DATES AND THANK YOU FOR THE SUPPORT!

Anna Nyakana - 2020 "100 Women of Color" Award Honoree 

 

It is my esteemed honor to announce that I will be honored with the "100 Women of Color" award! I am humbled by this recognition and will continue to spread the Niyah Zuri message one child at a time! Thank you to June Archer and Eleven28 Entertainment Group for this prestigious distinction! Check back for live coverage from the red carpet and behind the scenes footage from the "100 Women of Color" Black Tie Gala on June 19, 2020. Interested in joining me for this momentous and inspiring evening? Tickets now on sale at The Bushnell box office!

Presented by June Archer & Eleven28 Entertainment. The 100 Women of Color Gala & Awards will celebrate the power of family, friends, and the community as we honor the past, present, and future. This gala will recognize the contributions that women in business, education, entrepreneurship, entertainment, sports and public service have made to impact the lives of those throughout their communities from Stamford, CT to Springfield, MA.

 

 

 

 

Anna Nyakana selected as Microsoft Education Community Guest Speaker 

Very excited to announce that I have been selected as a Microsoft Education Community Guest Speaker! Schools and organizations can utilize Microsoft's Skype in the Classroom to book virtual guest speaking engagements with me. Skype in the Classroom bookings can be made by clicking here or via email contact@annanyakana.com

I am eager to spread the Niyah Zuri message of diversity while promoting literacy across the country and around the Globe!

 

 

"Niyah Zuri & The Pharaoh's Throne" Featured on Summer Reading Challenge - Carmen Arace Intermediate - Bloomfield, CT 

 

 

BLOOMFIELD, Connecticut - JUNE 26, 2017 ---

 

CARMEN ARACE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL PRESENTS:

 

THE PRINCIPAL’S SUMMER READING/MATH CHALLENGE

 

2017 – GRADE FIVE

June, 2017

 

 

Dear Carmen Arace Intermediate School Families,

 

 

Happy Summer!!!!

 

The purpose of Carmen Arace Intermediate School's summer assignment is to encourage our students to practice and improve their literacy and numeracy skills. If children continue using their acquired skills during the summer, it helps prevent a serious loss of learning gained over the course of the school year.

 

This year the students that will be entering grades five and six are receiving a novel as our gift to add to your home library. Our incoming grade five students are to read, Niyah Zuri and the Pharaoh's Throne, by Anna Nyakana and our incoming grade six students are to read, Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Each student is to read their novel, answer a few questions, and complete activities over the summer. There is a suggested pacing schedule included in this packet. Students are to also complete the included reading log. Your children should be choosing books that are at his/her correct independent reading level. What a wonderful opportunity to read the novel and other books with your child during the summer months.

 

 

 

Students are to arrive on the first day of school (Wednesday, August 30, 2017) with their novel and completed assignments to receive credit. Students are also required to complete a math assignment.

 

 

This is also due on the first day of the 2016-2017 school year.

 

 

 

 

Our students will be recognized for their efforts at the beginning of the school year with literacy and numeracy celebrations. Our reading celebration will be for those students who complete the assignments for their grade's chosen novel and the reading log. This log need% to have at least 10 books recorded to qualify.

 

Students that complete their math assignment will be invited to a celebration as well.

 

 

We hope your family will enjoy these opportunities to continue your child's literacy and numeracy learning.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Sarah L. Williams

 

Principal