Anthony “Butterfly” Williams (we/us), MFA, PhD, is a non-binary African-American multimedia performance artist, cultural organizer and transformative educator based in San Francisco, CA. He is an expert on the decolonization of culture through creativity. Dr. Butterfly is Artistic Director of Iruke Institute International, a center for arts-based research on African spiritualities. The Institute produced his solo theater piece on mass incarceration; a variety show on 1970s Blaxploitation films featuring Black trans, queer and straight performers; a night of interactive ritual centered on formerly incarcerated people returning home to their communities; and two music videos with Ancient Egyptian and West African spiritual themes that feature OLOKUN, the art pop band for which he is lead singer.
His work has also been covered by the San Francisco Chronicle and ABC 7 News, as well as KPOO-FM and the Bay Area Reporter, among others. A graduate of Yale College, Dr. Butterfly has a Master of Arts degree in English from the City University of New York, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Performance Arts from John F. Kennedy University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Psychology, with specializations in Creativity Studies and Transformative Social Change, from Saybrook University.