Shikiri Hightower-Gaskin (she/her) is a communications associate at Blue Shield of California Foundation. In this role, she leads communications for the Foundation’s work to break the cycle of domestic violence, is a communications grantmaker, and collaborates on strategic communications, digital, and social media. She prides herself in cultivating grantee relationships, centering the lived experience, and community outreach in her work to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence.
Before joining the Foundation, she founded Shikiri, her namesake fashion boutique in one of Los Angeles’ hippest shopping districts. She led all marketing and communications for Shikiri as well as Golden Butterfly, her accessories boutique in Santa Monica. In 2013, she launched China Royal, a high-quality, affordable clothing brand. China Royal was featured in the 2015 article, “50 Gift Ideas From 50 Black-Owned Businesses” for the online publication The Root. Shikiri also worked as a freelance journalist and produced Generation Next with Shikiri, an entertaining and educational show she hosted where through a panel group discussion, teenagers with experts broke down their complex yet daily issues in a safe space. She also cofounded and was the executive director of a family education fund that provided scholarships, grants, and support to enrich the lives of teenage parents and their children, similarly to her own experience.
Shikiri holds a master’s from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, a master’s from the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Southern California, focusing on television journalism and social media. Shikiri brings her education, entrepreneurship, journalism, marketing, and philanthropy experience to this role.
Shikiri currently serves on the board of the Berkeley Symphony. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, indulging in the latest fashion trends, writing, long-distance running, practicing yoga, and traveling the world with her husband and their children.
Email: shikiri [at] blueshieldcafoundation.org