Nikki DuBose is a model, author and advocate. She is the Co-Founder of The Artists League for Change, a national nonprofit dedicated to preventing mental health issues and abuse through the creative arts, and is an Ambassador for the Shaw Mind Foundation. Her debut memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, was released September 30, 2016 in the U.S. and will be released in French in 2018 with Editions du Rocher.
Tara Nicole DuBose was born in 1985 in Charleston, South Carolina to Sandra Pierce and Wayne DuBose. Her mother was an artist and her father was a delivery salesman for local food companies. Sandra named her “Tara” after the fictional plantation in the film, Gone with the Wind, directed by Victor Fleming. Despite Sandra’s love for the name, she and Wayne often referred to Tara as “Nikki,” short for Nicole, and so the name stuck. After her parents divorced when Nikki was two, she and her younger brother were raised by their mother and stepfather. Her upbringing was filled with problems; Nikki suffered abuse of all kinds and was a witness to domestic violence. Her mother, Sandra, was afflicted with severe mental health conditions and drank heavily. As a result, Nikki suffered for over seventeen years from a wide range of mental health conditions.
Nikki wrote her first short story in the third grade and was a staff writer for the Odyssey in her senior year of high school. Her mental health conditions, however, hindered her from writing for many periods of her life. Although the ability to write was taken from Nikki for many years, through the gift of recovery, writing is what helped Nikki to heal and gave her her voice back. Washed Away: From Darkness to Light explores her life from the ages of two to twenty-seven, and her recovery from the mental torments that threatened to kill her.
Nikki currently lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys reading anything by Stephen King in her spare time. She is working on an inspirational recovery book and a poetry book about the Gullah culture, which heavily influenced her growing up.
She has been featured on television shows and networks such as The Doctors, TD Jakes, CBS Los Angeles, and the Oprah Winfrey Network, and profiled in publications such as People, LA Times, and Vogue UK. She worked alongside Assemblymember Marc Levine on California Assembly Bill 2539, which addressed the need for workplace protections and health standards in the modeling industry. She gives talks regularly on her recovery at universities and treatment centers, and writes extensively on mental health, political issues, and the modeling industry on the NY Daily News, The Huffington Post, PsychCentral, and more. Nikki contributed as an expert reviewer for Harvard University’s STRIPED program (Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders), helping craft their student and teaching lesson for the fall 2016 semester, which focused on modeling and eating disorders.
She is a proud member of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology.
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