Written by: Special Interview Exclusives

K.I.S.H. Magazine Exclusive Interview featuring Mia Dunlap!

KISH: Tell us about you..

I am a vibrant being who loves learning and feels so grateful for my current travels through the US. Born and raised in the housing projects of Chicago to parents who were functioning crack addicts (resulting from the crack epidemic), I had not made goals beyond age 18 because I didn’t think I’d be able to survive my childhood circumstance. When I did live, my main goal was to never be poor again (problematic, but that’s where I was on my journey).  I became the first in my family to graduate high school with a traditional degree, the first to graduate college, and the first to earn a yearly salary. Struggling with survivor’s guilt and processing my experiences in therapy, my relationships with my family became distant. I moved to NYC to begin my career in teaching, to earn a Masters Degree, and to learn who I was when survival was not at the center of my life. 


After five years of working, I quit my job to solo travel through Europe for three months and have since visited four other continents (Africa, Asia, and South America.) When I returned, I led a middle school as a principal and later an education consultant. I am currently working in consulting, life coaching, and creating healing art experiences while traveling through the U.S; one city a month for an undetermined amount of time. 

KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?

Mia: My dream is to design a life that I love, moment by moment, year by year. What I want and dream about changes– but what remains consistent is creating love and goodness in the world and living well. This benefits others because it’s a reminder to break the traditional patterns that don’t support us and to live a life that is honest and true to who we are. We are worthy of that. 

KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream? 

Mia: I’m inspired by people who live against the status quo and people who overcome poverty and trauma. 

KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream? 

Mia: I often hear my inner critic and imposter’s syndrome reminding me of how and where I grew up and saying, “don’t dream bigger, what if you lose what you already have?” I also encounter survivor’s guilt– for “making it out.” Lastly and most significantly is the challenge of staying consistent. 

KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered? 

Mia: I have stronger connections with my family and my relationships that I’ve nurtured over the years. 

KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.

Mia: Dream wildly. Dream boldly and when life feels like a nightmare– Day Dream. 

Last modified: September 15, 2021