Extending Black Excellence Beyond Black History Month – Interview with Danisha Brown

Young female student listen to music in class.
Photo by Allison Shelley for EDUimages

Next up in the Keep Indiana Learning: Black Excellence Series is a conversation with Danisha Brown. Danisha holds a special place in my heart because I met her when she was in high school. At the time, I was completing my studies at Purdue University in English Education. My husband, whom I met at Purdue, and I decided to join Second Baptist Church in Lafayette, IN. I became the ministry leader of the Drama Ministry, and she signed up to be in a play.

As a young high school student, she drew sketches, and she even started making lingerie that her mother would sell. She had big dreams of becoming a fashion designer. Her dreams came true. It is a wonderful experience to see a young person’s dreams come to life even if everyone can’t see the vision.

Danisha went on to earn a B.S. in Fashion Design through the Art Institute of Indianapolis. She currently resides in Indiana but teaches in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the University of Cincinnati twice a week. She teaches courses such as design communication, apparel analysis, and fashion studio. She is also the owner of Swim with Poppies.

Through her perseverance and hard work, she has become a rising star in swim suit design. Her designs have been seen on the runway during Miami Fashion Week and in  USA Today. She was also featured in Essence magazine.

To learn more about Danisha Brown, check out our interview.

“Math! It’s not going anywhere. It’s always there!” — Danisha Brown
Extension Activities

Go to the website below to learn more about the Fashion Design program at the University of Cincinnati. Explore the program requirements and the courses fashion design students take.

Read the articles below about Danisha Brown. Imagine you’re going to interview Danisha.  What 5-7 questions would you ask that were not answered in either of the other articles?

Pretend you are a writer for tv commercials.  Looking at Danisha’s fashion designs, write 5-7 sentences convincing people to buy her products.


  • Educator Barnes is a married mother of identical twin boys. She is currently a middle school academic dean and CEO and co-founder of Barnes Brothers Books, LLC, a publishing company with a focus on producing diverse books for all readers. Previously, she has served as an English teacher, English learners teacher, literacy coach, college instructor, and librarian. She is also an education writer and editor-in-chief for Indy K12, hosts the podcast Brazen Education, and moderates Indianapolis Recorder’s EdGems. In her spare time, she is an urban gardener and writes about her harvest to table journey at www.gardenershicole.com. Go to www.educatorbarnes.com to learn more.

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