Emmanuel College is one of 140 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through the Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program.
Leanna Griffith ‘21 has been putting her graphic design skills and unique style to great use at Boston running apparel brand, Janji.
Janji, the Indonesian word for a promise or declaration, is a mission-driven athletics brand that seeks to expand access to clean water around the world. Collection designs are inspired by local artists based in places like Chennai, India and the American Southwest. The brand donates a percentage of sales from each collection to each area’s clean water projects.
In her role as a graphic designer for Janji, Griffith reworks the regional artists’ pieces to function on wearable mediums. In Janji’s most recent collection, inspired by Chile, one will see some of her creative flair in the patterns and colors of the pieces.
“I always take inspiration from my island,” says Griffith, who grew up in Curaçao, a small island in the Caribbean, before moving to the United States to study graphic design at Emmanuel. “Curaçao is really a melting pot of so many different cultures. It’s extremely multicultural—partly because of colonialism—we just had so many different cultures bringing different elements to the island.”
While back home on Curaçao during the pandemic, Griffith worked on her senior thesis, creating beach scarves out of recycled plastics to address the island’s need for sustainability and to raise awareness in the local community for climate issues.
In a profile with Runners World, Griffith shares, “After I graduated, I really realized how my creative ability can be used to make change and I wanted to do something similar to what I did for my thesis. This was kind of me dreaming about what the ideal way to use my design skills would be. And then I stumbled upon Janji, which is exactly what I wanted to be doing.”