Karen Streets Anderson was born in 1960, on a US Army base in Dugway, UT, though her family moved to the Midwest when she was still a child. Karen is a third-generation Baha'i. Her paternal grandparents were African-Americans, but could have "passed" as white; their choice to identify as African-Americans shaped Karen's own life as an African-American woman. Karen's mother grew up in Flint, MI, and was the first to attend college in her family. Today she lives in Nashville, TN, where she is active in race unity work and the Baha'i community.