Breai Mason-Campbell is a Baltimore native, community activist, teacher, dancer, and cultural counselor. A Harvard graduate, Breai’s Master’s Thesis explored the role of Hip-Hop as a religious and moral touchstone for African American youth. In 2001, she was selected as a contributor to the Boston Healing Landscapes project with Boston University School of Medicine where she conducted research into the connection between mental health in young women and exposure to the norms espoused by popular culture. She presented the findings of this work, in conjunction with the outcomes of her Master’s inquiry, at Spellman College, and developed a curriculum based on her conclusions for the Leadership Center at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Using her burgeoning methodology for the restoration of cultural health, Breai developed an educational program called Youth Truth for Boston’s American Friends Service Committee which was a precursor to her work here in Baltimore in its focus on youth as the locus of social change.
Since 2002, Breai has worked with New Song Urban Ministries in Sandtown, Baltimore. She has been a leader of the non-profit since 2007. To forward New Song’s mission to raise indigenous leaders and holistically eradicate poverty through spiritual, educational and economic ends, Breai has written numerous Arts-Integration curricula including The Beloved Community, which facilitated youth leadership of a community forum discussing the cycles of drug and gun violence, and The Corner and The Colony, which used an installation of photo essays to draw correlations between the European colonization of North America and the occupation of street corners by drug dealers. Her current project, Roots and Remixes, invites youth to explore the Diaspora of which they are a part and act as cultural envoys to the world, through video; speaking for themselves about what it means to be African American, as a counter-narrative to popular media. Her work has been supported by grants from Teaching Tolerance and the Frankie Manning Foundation, which named her a Cultural Ambassador in 2014.
An exemplar in the embodiment of the African American vernacular tradition, she has directed and performed at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Mechanic Theater and the Hippodrome, amongst other prestigious venues. From 1998-2003, Breai danced with three professional African Dance companies between Boston and Baltimore until the founding of her own company, Guardian, in 2003. During the 2013-2014 season, Guardian toured middle and high schools in Baltimore performing Time Machine, which taught the history of African Americans through sound and movement. Guardian is committed to practicing, performing and passing on culture. In the confirmation of its’ vision, Guardian trained students who won 2nd place in the International Lindy Hop Juniors Division in 2013. Breai has developed and recorded curriculum for the Kinderman Show, and acted as moderator for a forum on hip hop and international conflict resolution at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. She is a wife, and the mother of two.