Amna AkhtarColumbia University Scholars 2022-2023
Co-Founder and Creative Director, GirlDreamer
Amna Akhtar is the co-founder and creative director of GirlDreamer, an award-winning non-proﬁt organization dedicated to dismantling social inequality and supporting young women of color in the United Kingdom. After she was unable to pursue an opportunity to compete in the Olympics due to societal and cultural barriers that prevent women of color from pursuing and achieving their dreams, Amna sought to ensure others wouldn’t face the same obstacles. Initially founded as a community-building and networking platform, GirlDreamer has since supported over 2,500 women in the UK through capacity-building initiatives and training opportunities in sports, technology, arts, media, business and finance. In 2020, Girl Dreamer distributed nearly £30,000 in microgrants to 26 minority-owned organizations. The organization has delivered 300 school enrichment programs and 300 skills-sharing workshops, and provided 400 people with financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic. When gathering in person was no longer possible due to the global pandemic, Amna’s organization launched DreamState, an online social platform designed specifically for women of color that allowed participants around the world to develop action plans for professional or personal development. GirlDreamer’s award-winning blog reaches 10,000 followers globally with online resources and programs.
Amna’s work has been recognized by the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. She is also a TEDx speaker and a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient.