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"The Science of Skin Color"--Workshop Invitation

Jan 31, 2023
hands, diversity, friendship - Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

Photo: “We’re better when we’re united” by Clay Banks on Unsplash.

You are invited to attend an interactive workshop, the fourth gathering since the Wilmette Institue’s “Most Vital and Challenging Issue” gatherings began in February 2022. This workshop will also be of particular interest to students (high school and college) and young adults. Registration is free and open to all, so feel free to share with friends and family.

Date: Saturday, February 11
Time: 4 pm Eastern Time (1 pm Pacific Time)

Zoom Registration Link (registration required)

The Science of Skin Color 

In this workshop, you will learn why our ancient human ancestors first evolved dark skin in Africa, and then later depigmented as they moved to other corners of the globe. What led to these skin color changes? Are these forces still in play in the modern world? What are the implications of this knowledge for our lives today? The science you’ll learn is only recently discovered, and the answers are surprising and delightful. 

You may also be interested in the following report, from our gathering in September 2022, and video playlist. Fruits of “deliberate, persistent, and prayerful effort”

Project Center Gatherings Playlist (click to watch on YouTube)



Khela Baskett

Khela Baskett studied chemistry and computer science at UC Berkeley. She has worked in biotech at the Joint Genome Institute and held software engineering and project management roles for academic, government, and industry projects. She is interested in anti-racism education, especially what genetics and evolutionary biology can teach us about the unity of the human family. Khela is a regular participants in Wilmette Institute programs, and has presented "The Science of Skin Color" workshop in high schools, and at a Youth Seminar at Green Acre in 2022.


Jeanais Brodie, MA


I am a native New Yorker, raised in Bedford–Stuyvesant, (a.k.a. Bed–Stuy) Brooklyn and the South Bronx. I have lived a significant number of years in New England and various parts of California. My undergraduate degree focused on Ed Philosophy & Theory, and Multicultural Education. Graduate studies were in Public Administration and Leadership; and Adult Education with focuses on Program Planning & Development. My professional career as an administrator and instructor was primarily spent in colleges and universities, both public and private, on both the east and west coast, ending in Arizona, where I am currently retired. I continue to use my professional skills as a consultant providing coaching and mentoring. My community activities have been geared towards programming in Race Unity and Racism Awareness, youth leadership and empowerment, affordable housing, and early childhood education. I am active in my Bahá’í community serving on my Local Spiritual Assembly. Pre-COVID-19, I enjoyed traveling and sharing home-cooked meals with extended family and friends. Favorite places, anywhere with large bodies of water, New England autumn foliage, and awe-inspiring scenery!See Faculty Bio


Nicola Daniels, MSc

WI Registrar & Student Services Specialist

I was born in Kingston, Jamaica. My interest in music, theatre, and the literary arts led me to abandon my academic degrees and a career in the Forensic Sciences, to take up a position with the British Council Caribbean as Arts & Education Officer. I worked for several years as the British Council Manager in my homeland, performing at various times with the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company, the National Chorale, and the Carifolk Singers. A small book of my poetry—Weights and Measures—was published by the Calabash Foundation in 2005, and my poems have garnered awards and been honored by publication in several anthologies. I served (and learned) alongside Jamaica’s first national poet laureate, Professor Mervyn Morris, as a judge for the Cultural Development Commission’s annual poetry competition. In 2008 I migrated to the US to live with my husband, Julian, whom I met on Bahá’í pilgrimage in Israel. My first teaching experience was as a poetry tutor at the Phillip Sherlock Center for the Creative Arts. Later, I participated in one of the first Wilmette Institute Science & Religion courses, and have since served as faculty on that course, and several others. In March 2012, I gave a presentation on World Peace at a Peace Conference hosted by Lander University. This experience inspired me to create a board game called Heart to Heart, featuring short quotations on unifying spiritual themes from 10 of the world’s religions and cultures. The game led to a website, a video channel, firmer friendships, a lot of learning, and a good deal of fun! I have served as a member of the Wilmette Institute Board, and also worked part-time for the Institute as Marketing Coordinator and Course Creation Assistant. I get a thrill from using my creative and (mostly self-taught) computer skills to create instructional materials. In March (2019) I took up a position as the Institute’s first Registrar. I enjoy handbell ringing with the Emerald Bells (finally back together after Covid), and since 2021, making music in my home studio and blogging.See Faculty Bio


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