Manuela Arciniegas is a Public Humanities Fellow at the National Council of the Humanities and a Magnet Presidential Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center pursuing a PhD in Ethnomusicology. Her research interests lie in the intersection between African diaspora, Afro-Caribbean Religion, Music, and Empowerment. Manuela has taught Caribbean music at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and for various arts education and social justice groups throughout NYC.

She is one of the founders and co-organizers of We Are All Dominican, a student/artist/activist group fighting human rights abuses and denationalization of communities of haitian descent in Dominican Republic and the founder and director of Legacy Women, an all-women’s traditional Afro-Caribbean music ensemble that seeks to empower women and girls throughout NYC by developing their musicianship, self-esteem and cultural awareness. Manuela is also the Senior Program Associate at the Andrus Family Fund, where she supports community organizing, advocacy, and policy work of Non-profit national groups working on juvenile justice and foster care systems. She has been working in education, cultural arts, and community organizing for the past twelve years at groups like Sustainable South Bronx, Caribbean Cultural Center, Citylore, The Sadie Nash Leadership Project, Mothers on the Move, BronxWorks, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Dominican Women's Development Center, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Manuela graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 2001 and has won awards for her combination of community education, arts and social justice, including the 2008 Urban Artist Initiative and the Wagner School of Public Leadership’s Social Justice Fellowship. She has performed at venues such as Symphony Space, and was trained by the Center for a third World Organizing's Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program.