Lolade Siyonbola has used curated films to bring the Diaspora together since her second year of undergraduate studies. She completed her BA in Computer Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia and her MA in African Studies at Yale, where she researched race, migration and identity among second-generation Nigerian immigrants in New York, Tokyo and Mumbai. A Gates Cambridge Scholar, Lolade is pursuing a PhD in Sociology at Cambridge University where her research focuses on cultural capital creation and assimilation trajectories of Nigerian second-generation immigrants in creative industries.
Lolade formerly served as Editor in Chief of Applause Africa magazine; led design and development teams to deliver web and mobile apps for clients like Verizon, FedEx and Laugh.ly; and published a multilingual poetry collection, Market of Dreams. She is the founder of the Yoruba Cultural Institute, the Nollywood Diaspora Film Series, the Yale Africa Film Festival and now NOIR FEST. Her highly publicized encounter with Yale PD in May of 2018, popularly known as “Sleeping While Black”, evidenced to the world the urgency of shattering stereotypes and negative perceptions of people of African descent. SWB continues to be a reference point for the study of racial profiling in America.