Gia M. Hamilton

Gia M. Hamilton a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, is the founding director of Gris Gris Lab,Inc., lifestyle design business and International Healing Arts Space that explores issues of community building and sustainability through art and culture, food and wellness, education and urban planning and teahouse of public space across the United States. The Lab and its members generate financial sustainability, create trusting community relationships and support the men and children around what is usually considered the invisible work of women. Issues of childcare, entrepreneurship, alternative educational models, access to clean and healthy food, stable healthy relationships with community members and safe space are all components of this modern long house experience.

Since 2000 Hamilton has applied her training organizing niche community groups and by visually documenting progressive change in urban spears and facilitating healing sessions as a basis for community building. Hamilton later developed the Intentional Living and Community Building Program to train urban farmers, social entrepreneurs and community builders as Holistic Community Organizers.

She also uses a term she coined “social magic” as an expansive tool for creating harmonious work and home spaces around the country. “Social Magic, put simply is the ability of the community to effectively utilize and leverage the resources and assets already present in their community.” Hamilton’s commitment to her vision has afforded her the opportunity to utilize her skills and expertise as a researcher, curator, lecturer, ethnographer, facilitator, writer and as a training curricula designer and project and program developer with nonprofits not only in the U.S. but also Mexico, Costa Rica, Haiti, France and London.

Hamilton’s most recent project as the ethnographer and curator of The Black Boy Experiment, an in depth cross cultural and multidisciplinary study and visual analysis of the childhood differences of black, male youth and her signature exhibit “I Put A Spell On You: Women and Magic (Re)claimed/(Re)defined” a visual exploration of magic defined by women. Hamilton started to teach the city’s first Food Justice 12 week course and run a small medicinal herb farm in New Orleans. She expands her work as a thought leader and change agent by working across industries and sectors to coach, consult and connect her clients while including them in a larger network or web.

Hamilton studied western Herbalism under nationally renowned herbalist Peeka Trenkle and midwifery & eastern herbalism under her grandmother Edna Domio-Hamblin and has studied alternative healthcare modalities including massage, reiki, acupuncture, and sound therapy since 1999.

Hamilton has her bachelors degree in cultural anthropology from New York University and her masters in applied anthropology from CUNY, she is also a certified Life Coach by the Ekaya Institute in California. Hamilton and her team, social magicians use their skills to infuse sustainability theory into organizations as holistic framework for problem solving and more effectively engaging in their missions. Hamilton is currently writing her ethnographic memoir as the basis for her future doctoral work.

Partial Client List: 

Ashé Cultural Arts Center; George and Leah McKenna Museum; Konbit Con Edukayson; Institute for Women & Ethnic Studies; Patois International Film Festival, Jazz & Heritage Foundation; Women and Agriculture Network; Caribbean Cultural Center; Academy of Urban Planning; Brooklyn College; Educational Video Center; The United Nations School; The National Food Security Council; Junebug Productions, Inc., New Orleans Food and Farm Network; Omega Institute; Allied Media Conference; Share Our Strength; New Orleans Fair Housing; Brotherhood Inc.; Joan Mitchell Foundation and Greater New Orleans Fair Housing

Gia M. Hamilton Founding Director of Gris Gris Lab, Inc.

Gia M. Hamilton

Founding Director of Gris Gris Lab, Inc.

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

Civic Engagement
Facilitation & Strategic Planning
Public Health
Career Stage
  • Fellow
  • Next Gen
  • Mid-Career
  • Bridge
  • Encore
  • Emeritus