Coleman-Tobias' research interests consider Caribbean and North American iterations of African Atlantic religious migrations. She brings to her research a background in community theater, and interrogations of performance, place-making and knowledge reproduction significantly inform her understanding of religious communities.
Her current research project focuses on Sobonfu Somé, a recently-deceased Burkinabé spiritual teacher and leader based in Sacramento, California. Investigating Somé’s ritual work and ‘mission’ in Western countries over the last two decades, she examines African and non-African descendants’ intentional practice of Dagara spirituality in North America as a lens through which to understand historical and contemporary Africana religious formations. She is writing a comprehensive, spirituo-biographic manuscript documenting Somé’s life and work.