top of page



Crossing the Waters Institute for Cultural Exchange is an international organization that offers opportunities for cultural connections between the United States and Africa. 

Our work is to create and develop programs and projects tailored to the specific goals of the participants in social justice education, health, visual and performing arts, and cultural enrichment.

With a commitment of respect for a world enriched with cultural differences and diversity, we work toward building community across borders through communication, dialogue and social engagement.


We envision a world where African people and those of African descent have the opportunity to live to their fullest potential and to thrive as their most authentic selves.



Crossing the Waters Institute for Cultural Exchange (CTW) is a 501(c)3 organization operating primarily in the United States and South Africa. CTW offers educational, arts and culture, and healthy living enrichment programs that provide opportunities for cross-cultural community- and relationship-building between those in Africa and the African diaspora. 


We strive to create safe and sacred spaces for creative exploration where participants can imagine a future of peaceful engagement and spirit-nurturing experiences for all peoples. 

Our Mission

Leadership Circle

RuthIngrid 090.jpg

Ingrid Askew


Founder & Executive Director

Ingrid Askew is a life-long cultural activist, evocative theatre maker, thoughtful educator, powerful speaker, and razor-sharp organizer.

Ms. Askew's work has always been centered on the goal of bringing people from diverse backgrounds together to build transformative communities and lead effective and lasting social change initiatives.

As Executive Director, Ms. Askew leads the important work of developing cultural awareness, sustainable exchange partnerships, and opportunities tailored to the needs of communities at home and abroad  through education, the arts, and healthy living initiatives. 

Untitled design (12)_edited_edited.jpg

Sonji Johnson-Anderson, PhD


Co-Executive Director

Director of Educational Initiatives

Scholar, poet, author, ethnographer, activist and social justice educator, Dr. Sonji Johnson-Anderson is Co- Executive Director responsible for the development of Educational Initiatives in the USA and RSA.


Her interests sit at the intersection of Black Feminist Epistemology, Critical Race Theory and Performance Ethnography.  Her work focuses on the experiences of students and families who are marginalized in public domains, primarily educational institutions.


A gifted educator and public speaker, Dr. Johnson-Anderson brings decades of teaching experience and a deep commitment to critical and culturally relevant pedagogy. 


Fatima Dike


Theatre Arts Director

CTW South Africa

Fatime Dike is a playwright, poet, storyteller, and teacher. She is the first published Black, female playwright in South Africa.

Her decades-long, award-winning writing career started with the poets in the townships of the Western Cape.

Co-Founder of the Siyasanga Cape Town Theatre Company which is part of the Artscape Family of Theatre Companies, she is currently Resident Artist and Langa Champion at the Guga S'thebe Arts and Cultural Centre in Langa Township, Cape Town.

Her first play, The Sacrifice of Kreli, won her the Papillion Rising Star Award in 1979. She most recently won the Living Legend Award at the National Black Theatre Festival and was honored by the Artscape Women's Humanity Festival 2023 for her life in theatre.

Latest news on Fatima Dike

Anchor 1

Lucia Colombaro


Economic Strategy, Affairs, and Collaborations


Tanya Zangaglia, MD


Health & Wellness Initiatives

Intsika! Staff

South Africa

IMG-20230904-WA0032 (1)_edited.jpg

Cebisa Peter


Program Coordinator

Lead Teacher
After School Program
South Africa

Zolani  Balekwa


Lead Teacher
After School Program
South Africa

Advisory Board

Donna Howard


Susan Theberge.jpeg

Dr. Susan Theberge




Dr. Denise Patmon


Andrea Battle


South Africa

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-22 at 20.48.50.jpeg
Screen Shot 2020-11-24 at 10.37.50 AM.png

Sixolile Ngcobo


Lucille Luckhoff


Be part of our community

bottom of page