Desirée Venn Frederic is an agent of alternatives. The Sierra Leonean born writer, social entrepreneur, public speaker, educator and installation artist is inspired by her transnational experiences. Through her work, the thought leader explores spatial politics, the commons and commoning discourse, socio-cultural matters, identity in common space and its impact and relationship on thought, expression and behavior. She is a champion for independent retail and community minded-human centric development. The themes of space, ownership, social dislocation and identity run concurrent in her personal and professional life. She is the founding director of Combing Cotton Co., a think tank and social equity firm and chairwoman of Local Merchant Independent Retail Association. Passionate about the role of arts in society and promoting economic equity, Venn Frederic is a member of National Black MBA Association, the National Industrial Areas Foundation, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, and serves as an ambassador for the USAID 1000 Woman Project and Define American - the nation’s leading non-profit media advocacy organization that uses storytelling to humanize the conversation around immigration, citizenship, and identity in a changing America. She holds an MBA and certificates in Urban Planning, Corporate Finance, Community Organizing and Organizational Development. Her social practice and research is currently focused on forms of emancipating spatial practices and urban commoning through advocacy, policy and community activation through THE FIRST FLOOR, a learning lab for responsive community development. She has lectured at TED, National Endowment for the Arts, The Maker Faire,  The Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Hometown Summit, George Washington University and The Institute for Peace. She serves as a board member at Empower DC. Her work has been recognized by The Huffington Post, Suitcase Magazine, Le Monde Francais, Amtrak and The Washington Post. She lives in Trinidad, Northeast and is mentor to 3 high school aged social entrepreneurs.

TEDx / General Assembly / The National Endowment for the Arts / The National Maker Faire / Creative Times Summit / American University / University of Maryland Smith School of Business / Tom Tom Founders Festival / Shakespeare Theater / Sustainable Fashion Summit

The First Floor / Combing Cotton Co. / Agents of Alternatives / Local Merchant Independent Retail Association

PAST PROJECTS Nomad Yard / FEW Foundation

INSTALLATION ART White%, Smithsonian Arts & Industries, June 2016 / A Gentrified DC, September 2016 / l a n d t r u s t, January 2018 

Fashion Institute of Technology, BA / Columbia University, Corporate Finance Certificate / Northwestern University, MBA / The New School, Social Good Strategies Certificate / Industrial Areas Foundation, Community Organizer / Harvard University, Sustainable Urban Development Certificate

BRAND COLLABORATIONS + CAMPAIGNS Aesop / Amtrak / Anna Sui / Busboys & Poets / Caudalie / Glossier / Google / Global Healing Center / Human Rights Campaign / Macy’s / Maryam Nassir Zedah / Modcloth / The Line Hotel / Full Service Radio / Urban Outfitters / &OtherStories


It Can’t Always Be About You / With Out Meaning Podcast / Digital Influencer / Content Producer

The Artist Union / Black Immigrant Network DC / Define American Ambassador / Empower DC Board of Directors

Elle /  Essence / Huffington Post / Le Monde Francais / MTV /Suitcase Magazine / Vogue / The Women’s March on Washington / Washington Post / Washington Life / Washingtonian Magazine /

CONTACT Email / Instagram / Linkedin
internship & studio opportunities available

All Rights Reserved.
©Desirée Venn Frederic 2019