Khia Onyá White

Chair (President)

Khia Onyá White is a self-taught artist and fashion designer embracing all forms of creative expressions through clothing, sculpture, portrait drawing to digital storytelling.   Her passion is sustainable development and circular fashion. 

Khia serves as a Social Enterprise Mentor with the Global Action Impact Accelerator. GAIA is World Merit’s three-month intensive program that drives local efforts with resources, grants, skills training, coaching and mentorship. Mentors provide support for youth-led organizations in over thirty countries working on United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) Working with World Merit Nigeria Council President,  Bukola Olalere and her team, Khia initiated an agreement with World Merit headquarters for students around the world to take Cisco Net Academy courses and training with the support of the New Jersey based Camden Dream Center Technology  School. The Dream Center is a  Black led career school where students experience culturally relevant training and comprehensive skills that increase employment opportunities in local, global and gig economies. Khia co-hosted with Bukola Olalere, and World Merit Nigeria Ambassadors an international Vision Casting. Khia presented the Economic Commission for Africa call for The Decade of Action Short Stories which invites young African creatives to broaden the conversation and re-imagine the Sustainable Development Goals through fiction. During the session Khia led the artistic creation of Emojis for the SDG’s representing the eradication of poverty, reduction of inequalities, climate action for a healthy planet, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. The artistic emojis helped define how participants see and think about the sustainable development goals in their communities. After her friend and colleague, Bukola Olalere died tragically during childbirth, Khia began to write songs and poems. Khia’s songs speak to the SDG’s experienced by marginalized communities. World Merit established the Bukola STEM Scholarship for Women from Africa to honor the amazing work of Bukola. 

Khia works with Natal Cares, a Nigerian based social enterprise leveraging the power of mobile technology to combat maternal and infant mortality.  Natal Cares won the UNLEASH Rwanda top prize in 2023 for their amazing lifesaving work. UNLEASH is an Innovation Lab for the Sustainable Development Goals where hundreds of young changemakers from around the world co-create solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges.

Khia works with Executive Director, Amede Achingale off She Serves Africa which equips rural and urban communities with access to products, business & digital skills and Agri-entrepreneurship to eliminate poverty and improve health.

Khia supports the Farm Project in Kajiado County-Kenya where 42 acres were acquired and 15 acres of tomatoes have been cultivated on land being used for Agribusiness. The SDGs are being advanced including: Employment of 24 people who are providing food and education for their families 2) Water has been brought in through irrigation 3) fighting poverty and hunger is a key focus and 4) Life on the land drives the preservation of giraffe, elephants and other wild animals that occupy the land.

Khia champions South African based Abelusi, a global network of experienced elders operating locally and globally by sharing their knowledge and skills, coaching and mentoring individuals around the world seeking to make a difference. Abelusi upholds the values of Love, Truth, Freedom, Service above Self, Professional Cooperation, Respect for the Environment, Self and Others.

Khia is also focused on the application of the SDG’s in the US. The report, In the Red: The U.S. Failure to Deliver on a Promise of Racial Equality measured the achievement of the SDG’s based on how well they were delivered to least served ethnic and racial groups in the U.S. The findings reveal that white communities are receiving SDG related resources and opportunities at three times the rate of minoritized communities (Lynch, et al., 2020). These results suggest that SDG delivery in the U.S. is highly unequal and unjust, and that the SDGs will not be fully realized without significant progress to end systemic inequality in the U.S.

Khia spends most of her time working with the Canadian company, 4EL Energy which has introduced the Stingray Wind Energy and Clean Water System, a new category in renewable energy using the first ever land sail capable of producing AC/DC electricity and clean water. The company is led by James Moore, a systems design engineer and first person in history to determine equations that define the prime number sequence. James Moore is recognized as one of Canada’s foremost experts in energy production, conservation, and climate change. He has been nominated by the United Nations for the Katerva Award for his work in sustainability. Khia works directly with James and the team to bring the Stingray Wind Power system to production and market.  

Khia also works closely with African Link Initiative, a nonprofit that empowers youth in the diaspora, creates positive identity development, builds skills, and promotes anti-racist methods by inoculating youth from hate and bias. ALI operationalizes proven and promising links between social and emotional learning (SEL) to improve life outcomes for youth. ALI develops young entrepreneurs in agriculture, creating a pipeline of next generation leaders to help solve global problems and address social determinants of health. 

Khia assists the Children’s Financial Network, Inc., founded by Neal Godfrey which educates children and their parents about money. Ms. Godfrey is a world-renowned speaker and a New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author. She began her journey as one of the first female executives at Chase Manhattan Bank. Khia serves as a financial literacy team member helping to motivate, train, and educate young audiences about financial literacy.

Khia is currently working on 17 Galleries and Libraries, a curated collection of artworks and books from various artists that speak to the African American experience and the SDG’s. She is also developing a storyboard for her first children's book.