Faculty Member

“There were a lot of people rooting for Detroit, and we became something they could root for.”

Nia Batts

Rebel With a Cause

Co-Founder and CEO at Detroit Blows

Entrepreneur, producer, and activist, Nia Batts is a native Detroiter, who after spending a decade in entertainment and media returned home to Detroit to find ways in which she could build organizations that would have a positive impact in the community.

Nia, along with Katy Cockrel and Sophia Bush, is also a co-founder of Detroit Blows, a one-stop, non-toxic finishing salon featuring express blowouts and beauty services. The salon also includes an impact-driven retail shop that houses a rotating line-up of socially conscious brands, from home goods to hair care products.

She is also the chair of its affiliated philanthropic arm, Detroit Grows, which makes micro-grants to Detroit-based female entrepreneurs, and to programs helping women enter or reenter the workforce.

Prior to returning to Detroit, Nia was the Head of Strategic Partnerships and Social Innovation at Viacom, Inc. splitting time between New York and Los Angeles. In her position, she worked with all of the Viacom brands on division priorities and cross-promotional, marketing, programming and pro-social campaigns for key corporate, non-profit and talent partners including: General Motors, AT&T, Capital One, Taco Bell, The White House, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The United Way, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Mariska Hargitay, LeBron James, Kelly Clarkson, and Sophia Bush.

As a producer, her projects have been nominated for Emmy, Peabody, NAACP, and Banff World Television awards.

Nia earned a B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University, an Executive Education Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from Harvard Business School, and a professional certificate in Film Producing from New York University.

She has been recognized by People Magazine’s 25 Women Changing the World, Black Enterprise’s 40 Rising Stars Under 40, Dell’s #Inspire 100, and Create & Cultivate 100, and featured in Forbes, Vanity Fair, Elle, Women’s Health, Essence, Refinery29 and Hour Detroit Magazines.

Nia resides in Detroit and Los Angeles, where she volunteers as a birth doula, oversees the philanthropic work of modern artist McArthur Binion, and continues to produce content at the intersection of entertainment and impact.