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The Mask Project is a national initiative to provide a platform for successful professionals to share their journey of "wearing the mask" in their personal and professional lives. Inspired by the poem

"We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar and the research of Dr. Atira Charles (Dr. C), this initiative creates an opportunity to document the experiences and journey of successful professionals that have had to balance and manage a variety of identities, such as race and gender. Dr. C truly believes that "Every mask has a story to tell".

Dr. Atira Charles, Founder/Executive Director of The Mask Project

This project will utilize a variety of ways to express the narratives of the people involved. Through photography, videos, interviews, and featured articles, Dr. Charles will collect all of the rich and intriguing words and images contributed by this special community. This project will be powered by people sharing their emotional, psychological, and physical experience of wearing the mask and climbing the ladder of success. 


  • Have you ever struggled with presenting your authentic self at work? 

  • Have you ever felt like you have to wear a set of masks in order to navigate your personal and professional lives? 

  • Has the performance of different selves weighed on you emotionally, psychologically, and/or physically? 

  • Are you interested in sharing your experiences with other successful individuals? 

  • Would you like to participate in a national initiative to highlight the identity narratives of diverse professionals?