Foodie, Wife, Minister, Speaker and Educator
I grew up backstage at the Goodman, Free Street, Black Ensemble and Victory Gardens theaters in Chicago. My parents were actors and directors in those days—and my life was filled with music, cultural adventures, theatrical performances and scenic stage designs.
Years later, I moved to America’s “Music City” to attend Fisk University. There, I became a member of the Grammy Award winning vocal ensemble, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, and I also toured as a background vocalist with Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young, before graduating with a degree in Dramatics and Speech. In 2006, I was back in the Windy City, working as an educational consultant. I began partnering with public and private schools as well as nonprofit organizations to develop public speaking, policy debate and etiquette curriculums for thousands of Metro Chicago students.
In 2009, I answered the call to begin my journey as a leader in the church. As a faithful Episcopalian, and as someone who embraces new adventures and non-linear career paths, I embraced another adventure and achieved a huge milestone in my life’s journey. In 2013, I was ordained into the Diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. I currently serve at The Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Not to be outdone, 2019 would present another adventure, milestone and lifelong goal. 2019 marks the year that I, along with my husband, Jason Henderson, launched Simply Jihan—a YouTube lifestyle web series to share my love of Chicago’s food and cultural adventures with anyone that enjoy life’s beauty as much as I do.