Urban News From Across The Web

    Chance the Rapper Bought a Media Outlet to Combat Racism

    19 Jul 2018, 9:20 pm

    While many hip hop artists brag about buying luxury items, Chance the Rapper dropped a new single on Wednesday boasting about his recent purchase of a news website in order to run “racists b—–s out of business.”

    The 25-year-old Chicago native announced in a song titled “I Might Need Security” that he now owns the Chicagoist.com, a local news, food, and culture outlet, rapping:

    “I got a hit-list so long I don’t know how to finish, I bought the Chicagoist just to run you racist b—-s out of business.”

    In the politically charged song, Chance raps over a vocal loop of Jamie Foxx repeatedly singing “f–k you” and calls for the resignation of Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel. The entertainer also accuses Emanuel of granting paid suspensions to police officers who’ve fatally shot unarmed black people.

    According to the Chicagoist’s sister site the Gothamist, Chance’s newly formed company, Social Media LLC, purchased the site from New York Public Radio’s WNYC station, which acquired both the Chicagoist and the Gothmaist as well as the other -ist network of sites in February. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

    “I’m extremely excited to be continuing the work of the Chicagoist, an integral local platform for Chicago news, events and entertainment,” said Chance in a statement. “WNYC’s commitment to finding homes for the -ist brands, including Chicagoist, was an essential part of continuing the legacy and integrity of the site. I look forward to relaunching it and bringing the people of Chicago an independent media outlet focused on amplifying diverse voices and content.”

    Laura Walker, the president and CEO of New York Public Radio, also released a statement, saying:

    “We are delighted that the Chicagoist assets are finding a new home in the hands of a proud Chicagoan. WNYC has a strong commitment to local journalism and building community, and we are pleased that these assets will be used to support local coverage in the great city of Chicago.”

    In addition to combatting racism, Chance’s nonprofit SocialWorks has helped the homeless, empowered Chicago public school students learning how to code, and funded college-bound high school students. Now, with Social Media LLC, Chance promises to promote local investigative journalism, diversity, and representation for people of color in the media.

     

     

    The post Chance the Rapper Bought a Media Outlet to Combat Racism appeared first on Black Enterprise.

    AME Church and Black Banks Launch New Partnership for Black Wealth

    19 Jul 2018, 8:00 pm

    The black church, among the most prosperous institutions in America, has long led movements for the spiritual, social and civic uplift of black people. When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, he had just launched the Poor People’s Movement, which quickly fizzled after his death.

    With this historic backdrop, the African Methodist Episcopal Church – with a legacy of leadership in its own right – has announced an innovative economic partnership with black-owned banks across the country. The partnership aims to be a catalyst to spur business development, homeownership and wealth in the black community.

    “We are now pleased to announce a partnership with the presidents of the 19 black banks in the United States, with the goal of increasing black wealth,” said Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, president of the Council of AME Bishops. “This initiative will strengthen black banks across the United States and increase their capacity to lend to small businesses, to secure mortgages, to provide personal lines of credit, and to offer other forms of credit to AME churches and our members. This, of course, includes enabling members and their families to become homeowners.”

    AME Church

    Bishop Reginald Jackson, president, Council of AME Bishops (Photo: Klarque Garrison/Trice Edney News Wire)

    Bishop Jackson made the announcement during a press conference held during the 2018 Council of Bishops and General Board Meeting in Atlanta June 26. The specific details of a memorandum of understanding are being formulated and will be announced this summer. But the goals are as follows:

    · Increase deposits and loans with black banks;

    · Increase black homeownership to over 50 percent nationwide. This means 2,000,000 more black homeowners than now exist; and

    · Grow the number of black businesses from 2.6 million to 4 million and total gross receipts from an average of $72,500 to $150,000.

    “The spirit in which you all have shared the commitment to the community, to the banks and to what we can do together is outstanding,” responded Preston Pinkett, III, chairman and CEO of the City National Bank of New Jersey and chairman of the National Bankers Association. “Thank you for your willingness to step outside of the norm to do something that I would say is extraordinary here in America and extraordinary in the world.”

    AME Church

    Preston Pinkett, chairman,National Bankers Association (Photo: Klarque Garrison/Trice Edney News Wire)

     

    Pinkett says the church-bank partnerships are already beginning around the nation. “It is safe to say that this kind of commitment; this kind of demonstration will go a long way in supporting our banks and the banks to be able to support the community…With God’s blessings, we will accomplish great things.”

    Amidst an atmosphere of excitement, the bankers, bishops and supporters of the movement packed into a meeting room in a Downtown Atlanta hotel. Jackson was surrounded by all 20 Bishops of the 231-year-old denomination as well as supporters of the movement. They included principals of the growing economic movement, Black Wealth 2020, which Jackson credited as inspiration for the idea.

    “This partnership grows out of an initiative formed in Washington, DC in 2015, called Black Wealth 2020 which is providing an economic blueprint for black America,” Jackson said.

    Michael Grant, one of the founders of Black Wealth 2020, presided at the press conference. He connected the new partnership directly with the movement begun by Dr. King.

    “The great civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others has now morphed into a full-fledged movement for economic empowerment,” Grant said. “The offspring of African slaves and their unrewarded labor have catapulted a small Colonial outpost into the greatest industrial giant the world has ever known. Now, as a people, we are turning our efforts toward our own enrichment. We must now create those economic opportunities for ourselves.”

    Opening the press conference, Grant underscored the historicity of the moment. “For those of you who are students of history, you would not be surprised that the Church of Richard Allen would be leading an effort to close the wealth gap across the United States of America.” Allen, among America’s most influential black leaders, founded the AME church in 1794. It was the first independent Black denomination in the U. S. “And we do this with malice towards none,” stressed Grant.

    Bishop James L. Davis, of the Second Episcopal District, likened the partnership to a marriage – a marriage between a church and its community. “It is a marriage that says a church that is concerned about its people, concerned about the good and the bad, all of the things our people have had to go through.”

    The prophetic voices of black church leaders not only articulate ideas, but strategies.

    “In the next decade in the global church and in the AME church and in black banking, we will see both evolution and revolution. Banks must reinvent themselves, not just to respond to the pressures of the day, but to be flexible enough to adapt to the world of tomorrow. The ecclesia, the church, must also evolve its business knowledge, educational platform, and its missional thrust without losing its stance in the Word of God,” said General Board Chair Bishop Vashti Murphy Mckenzie. “Both of our institutions are dealing with increasing assertive governmental intrusion, higher membership and customer demands along with increasing change in the wider world.”

    AME Church

    Bishop Vashti Murphy Mckenzie, General Board Chair, AME Church (Photo: Klarque Garrison/Trice Edney News Wire)

    The announcement of the new partnership was met with applause from national civil rights leaders.

    “Thank you and your fellow bishops for making economic development a priority of your denomination,” wrote civil rights icon Georgia Congressman John Lewis in a letter to Bishop Jackson. “Hopefully, your visionary leadership will inspire other denominations to replicate your efforts nationwide.”

    National Urban League President/CEO Marc Morial also weighed in with a letter: “I want to express the support of the National Urban League for your leadership and initiative in addressing the challenges of black homeownership and the need to increase the support, viability and profitability of our African-American businesses,” he wrote.

    Morial is among economic leaders who have determined that among the reasons homeownership among African-Americans is disparately low is, in part, because of discriminatory lending practices.

    Mortgage Banker Lois Johnson, president/CEO of Salt Lake City-based United Security Financial, said she takes “great pride in our HUD designation as a fair practice lender. We provide loans to all who meet the minimum criteria, especially people of color who have been denied the opportunity to have their own homes.”

    Johnson, who is licensed to operate in 49 states, says she intends to travel to each of the AME church’s episcopal districts to “create hope and opportunities.”

    The principals agreed that the key to the success of the partnership must be mutual respect for black spending power and mutual support of black businesses.

    “We hear about black folks have a trillion dollars in spending power,” said Ron Busby, president/CEO of the U. S. Black Chamber, Inc. and co-founder of Black Wealth 2020. “But that’s usually White folk talking about our dollar sand how can they get their share of it. We came together to say how can we deal with the black wealth, the gap of it and really to move our agenda forward inside our own community.”

    Busby pointed to the USBC’s new AP called the USBC Mobile Directory with 109,000 black-owned businesses in order to help consumers make targeted purchases inside the black business community.

    Robert James, CEO of the Carver State Bank in Savannah discussed how the movement will be sustained. “There was a time that no church got financed in Savannah Georgia unless we financed them at Carver State Bank,” James said to applause. “This program will get us back on the path.”

    James says he knows the relationship can be sustained because the bishops have authority to oversee and encourage AME church leaders to do business with black-owned banks. “We can talk to the Bishops about those local churches. And you can talk to your elders and your preachers,” he said.

    Bishop Jackson underscored the fact that the U. S. partnership is only the beginning. He indicated that the movement will also expand abroad. “The possibilities extend throughout the Diaspora. The African Methodist Episcopal Church has over 4,000 churches in Africa, the Caribbean, West Indies and Europe. These churches and members can also benefit from this partnership,” he said.

    To augment this expansion, Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, ambassador for the African Union, spoke to the Bishops the day before the press conference, promising to encourage Africans in America to also put their deposits in black banks. She stressed the need for black-owned institutions to unify, cooperate and not turn on one another.

    AME Church

    Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, ambassador for the African Union, addressed the Council of AME Bishops the day before the press conference. (Photo: Klarque Garrison/Trice Edney News Wire)

    “I hope we will all come together and support the idea of putting all of our money in black banks. I have already taken the initiative and listed all of the black banks in the country on our website,” Chihombori-Quao said. “I’m already encouraging all black people when I do presentations to say we’ve been stupid for too long. We drive past black banks to give our money to people who don’t give a hoot about us. And they take our money so they can get rich; not only here, but in Africa. We’ve got to change this.

    -Report courtesy of TriceEdneyWire.com

     

    The post AME Church and Black Banks Launch New Partnership for Black Wealth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

    The First Black Woman to be Crowned Miss Universe Great Britain Speaks Out

    19 Jul 2018, 5:50 pm

    Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers, a dark-skinned beauty with dreadlocks, became the first black woman to be crowned Miss Universe Great Britain in the pageant’s 66-year history on Saturday. As a result, the 25-year-old will go on to represent the United Kingdom at the international 2018 Miss Universe competition later this year.

    Originally from Anguilla, a British territory in the Caribbean, Rogers never aspired to be a beauty queen. Instead, she played competitive sports, dreamed of becoming an Olympic heptathlete, and competed in the Commonwealth Games twice. However, a knee injury deterred her from the Olympics. That’s when she decided to pursue pageantry while simultaneously studying for the bar exam—which she recently passed—in order to become a barrister.

    “My dream kind of reinvented itself and it shifted into pageantry because in pageantry you have the same reach,” she told BBC News. “Miss Universe Great Britain was the pageant equivalent of becoming an Olympic athlete for Great Britain.”

    Ironically, Rogers says preparing for the Miss Universe Great Britain competition was more challenging than training for a sports match. “They’re very similar, but being in a pageant you have to undergo a kind of surgical examination of yourself, your ambitions, things that people don’t do until they’re very, very old.” She added, “most of the preparation for the Commonwealth Games is done on the track…but in pageantry, the mind is the focal point, and the mind is, I think, the hardest muscle to master.”

    Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers

    (Twitter.com/AsToldBy_Dee)

    Following her historic win, she received an outpouring of support from around the world via social media, which she admitted “kind of startled” her. “Although I’ve been preparing for this pageant for a long time, I’ve just been preparing as Dee-Ann,” she said. “Now that I’ve won the pageant, I’ve come to the realization that I’ve not only won the pageant as Dee-Ann, but as a black woman.” Nevertheless, she described the win as “a great achievement.”

    Prior to her win, the University of Birmingham graduate told Pageants News that she believes she is the first woman to compete in Miss Universe Great Britain with dreadlocks. “To my knowledge, I am the first dreadlocked woman to walk across a Miss Universe Great Britain stage and that is absolutely most exciting to me,” she said. However, she also admitted that she was questioned on whether or not she’d consider straightening her hair for the competition. She refused. “I felt that it was very important for me to represent my cultural identity and to represent myself truly on this platform. This is a part of who I am. If you’re going to take one part of me, you’re going to take all of me.”

    Should she win the Miss Universe pageant in December, Kentish-Rogers would join this list of women of color who earned the crown.

    The post The First Black Woman to be Crowned Miss Universe Great Britain Speaks Out appeared first on Black Enterprise.

    Chicago Entrepreneurs of Color Fund Gets $6.5 Million Cash Infusion From JPMorgan Chase, Fifth Third Bank

    19 Jul 2018, 3:51 pm

    The Chicago Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, a tool that helps black small businesses grow, is getting a $6.5 million cash infusion. JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced an expansion of the fund’s model to support minority entrepreneurs in Chicago’s South and West Sides on Thursday.

    The investment will include $4 million from JPMorgan Chase to provide minority entrepreneurs with access to capital, education, and other resources. Fifth Third Bank will invest $2.5 million in the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund, pending regulatory approval, to assist minority entrepreneurs in the Chicago neighborhoods.

    JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will host a roundtable discussion in Chicago today on the new investment.

    The new fund is part of a larger $40 million commitment JPMorgan Chase announced in September 2017 to create economic opportunity over three years in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods on the South and West Sides. The fresh investment will focus on key drivers of economic growth that include jobs and skills development, small business expansion, neighborhood revitalization, and financial health.

    The Chicago Entrepreneurs of Color Fund is modeled after the Entrepreneurs Color Fund in Detroit. That fund was created in 2015 by JPMorgan Chase with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Detroit Development Fund. Fifth Third is also an investor in the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund in Detroit.

    JPMorgan Chase’s $4 million investment will go to two major initiatives to help local minority-owned small businesses share in Chicago’s growth:

    -Entrepreneurs of Color Fund – JPMorgan Chase will invest $3 million to launch the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund with community partners Accion Chicago and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

    -Ascend 2020: JPMorgan Chase will invest $1 million to continue business mentoring programs at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, part of Ascend 2020, a national network university-led program for minority entrepreneurs.

    Small businesses are key drivers of growth, and that growth is fastest among minority and women entrepreneurs But only 18% of Chicago businesses are owned by people of color, including 6% of Hispanics and 2% of African Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    A 2016 study by the Institute for a Competitive Inner City reveals that small businesses in Chicago’s neighborhoods provide nearly 70%  of jobs. The report also found that an increase of just over one job per existing small business could create enough employment opportunities to erase unemployment in these neighborhoods.

    “South and West Side neighborhoods hold tremendous economic opportunity, but we can do more to ensure that everyone has a chance to participate in Chicago’s continued growth,” Dimon of JPMorgan Chase stated in a press release. “The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund has unlocked capital and created hundreds of jobs in Detroit, and now we’re excited that Chicago small businesses will have the same chance to grow and succeed.”

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated, “Supporting and empowering entrepreneurs and small businesses on the South and West Sides of Chicago creates jobs and strengthens communities for generations.”

    “This investment complements our work with the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund and Retail Thrive Zones efforts, and we are grateful to JPMorgan Chase and Fifth Third for contributing their resources, energy, and expertise to drive economic growth in all of Chicago’s communities,” said Emanuel.

    Greg Carmichael, Fifth Third’s chairman, president, and CEO, added, “As Fifth Third Bank’s Community Commitment demonstrates, building and maintaining strong communities is at the heart of what we do. “After our earlier Entrepreneurs of Color Fund commitment in Detroit, we are pleased to contribute $2.5 million to Chicago’s Entrepreneurs of Color Fund to help minority small businesses thrive.”

    The post Chicago Entrepreneurs of Color Fund Gets $6.5 Million Cash Infusion From JPMorgan Chase, Fifth Third Bank appeared first on Black Enterprise.

    45 GREAT MOMENTS IN BLACK BUSINESS – NO. 10: BLACK RECORD LABELS

    19 Jul 2018, 2:14 pm

    BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 45th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s most successful black businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestone moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

    The Dawn of the Black Record Labels 

    In their heyday, black music recording and publishing businesses/black record labels were among the most imperious companies on the BE 100 lists. Dominant players largely in the 1970s, they included Motown, the Stax Organization, Sussex Records, and the Great Philadelphia Trading Co. Ltd.

    A huge reason for their success is that they had a Dream Team of founders and CEOs, including Berry Gordy, Al Bell, Clarence Avant, and Kenny Gamble. These men were masterminds of companies that made soul music a critical part of America’s pop culture.

    Take Gordy, an entrepreneur who built Motown Records into one of the nation’s most successful black-owned music companies ever. Its

    black record labels

    (Black Enterprise Magazine, October 1970)

    portfolio of artists included Diana Ross, the Supremes, the Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and many more.

    For over 10 years, Motown Industries was No.1 on every BE 100s list, with a sales increase from $40 million to $91.7 million.

    But Gordy was not the only black icon in the music industry. Another was Al Bell, the former owner and chairman of Stax Records. After arriving at Stax in 1965, he transformed the company from being $90,000 in debt to racking up revenues of more than $1.5 million within nine months.

    Known for his marketing and promotional savvy, Bell helped Stax become a major record label that produced gold and platinum hits with artists that included Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, and Johnnie Taylor.

    After his Stax career, Bell was recruited in the 1980s by Berry Gordy to become head of Motown Records Group. Bell and Gordy led the sale of Motown to the MCA Inc. and Boston Ventures Group for $61 million. Bell later launched Bellmark, his own label, whose releases included the Tag Team single “Whoomp! (There It Is ),” a song that was No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1993.

    Often called the “Godfather of Black Music,” Clarence Avant helped Bell sell Stax Records to Gulf & Western for $4.3 million in 1968. A year later, he launched Sussex Records. One of the label’s best-selling artists was Bill Withers, whose top hits included “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me” and “Use Me.”  Sussex Records was No. 46 on the BE Top 100 in 1975 with over $5 million in revenue.

    black record labels

    Clarence Avant (Image: Black Enterprise)

    In the ’70s, Avant also founded Tabu Records, which signed Kool & the Gang. Further, Avant launched the careers of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, the incredibly successful pop and R&B producers, as well as Alexander O’Neal and the S.O.S. Band. Avant helped promote Michael Jackson’s first solo tour, “Bad,” which became one of the largest tours of all time. Avant also served as board chairman of Motown Records during his career.

     

    Other black trailblazers in the nation’s music industry were Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, creators of the Philly (Philadelphia) Sound. Assisted by Thom Bell and others, their company produced some of the most popular soul music hits of the 1970s. They included “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes; “Back Stabbers,” “For the Love of Money,” and “Love Train” by The O’Jays; and “Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul.

    Gamble and Huff wrote and produced 175 gold and platinum records, gaining them entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the non-performer category in 2008.

    The Great Philadelphia Trading Co., led by Gamble, Huff and Bell, was No. 6 on the BE Top 100 in 1975 with over $17 million in revenue.

    The post 45 GREAT MOMENTS IN BLACK BUSINESS – NO. 10: BLACK RECORD LABELS appeared first on Black Enterprise.

    New Inspirational Online Series Unpacks the Journey of Creatives of Color

    19 Jul 2018, 12:00 am

    Creatives looking for some inspiration? This show may be for you. Corey Emanuel Omnimedia recently launched its first online docu-portrait series, Lend Me Your Lens, a show that unpacks the journey of successful creatives of color, highlighting artists, authors, designers, influencers, and musicians. During each episode, these creatives dive into their journeys by sharing inspirations and the tangible steps they’ve taken to transform their passions into a purpose-driven lifestyle.

    “This project was really a labor of love that derived from my dissertation research,” said creator and producer, Corey Emanuel. “I set out to assess the positive and negative effects of black entertainment and entertainers on black culture. Eventually, I had this ‘aha moment.’ I could create an online platform for shared stories of self-efficacy, therefore, contributing to the discourse surrounding black mental health. I wanted to ignite positive emotions, behaviors, and attitudes toward one’s creative endeavors. I wanted to create what I felt was missing from the unscripted genre of entertainment and make it accessible across the globe.”

    Emanuel became inspired by the content that would eventually become this project while studying Media Psychology in graduate school. The new school form of psychology helped to provide an understanding of what happens when people interact with media as producers, distributors, and consumers. According to Emanuel, black millennials watch almost 33 hours per week of television and 48% of them are watching it on PCs and smartphones.

    Emanuel sought to understand more about how black millennials perceived the content they were consuming and through that journey, Lend Me Your Lens was born. Inspired by his own creative journey, he designed a series to target a Black audience seeking to take their own creative endeavors to the next level.

    The first episode highlights Jennia Fredrique, a multihyphenate, a term currently used to describe career-oriented individuals who excel at multiple endeavors. During this episode, Emanuel chats with Fredrique, who discusses transcending from being an actress to a working writer and director, while maintaining her work-life balance as a wife and mother.

    creatives

    Lend Me Your Lens (Image: Corey Emanuel Omnimedia)

    Tune in to Lend Me Your Lens every Thursday and catch the new episode here.

    The post New Inspirational Online Series Unpacks the Journey of Creatives of Color appeared first on Black Enterprise.

    Cultivating a Community for Creative Millennials of Color

    18 Jul 2018, 10:00 pm

    Leaving no stone unturned in the realm of content creation, conversation facilitation, and event curation, Driven Society has become part of the creative professional scene in New York City by its focus on live events targeted to millennials of color.

    The organization has partnered with major brands including WeWork, JBL, Hennessy, Belaire Rose, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, New York Latino Film Festival, and more, The platform’s CEO and co-founder Travis Weekes sits at the helm of the ship with co-founders Natalia Saavedra, Zuhaib Kokab, and Darren Bowen. I spoke with Weeks about the mission behind Driven Society, its various arms of business and the importance of amplifying up-and-coming talent.

    “The goal of Driven Society is to cultivate a community of creatives that push the culture forward and build success for millennials and post-millennials. We envision a world where business, philosophy, and art converge to provide equal opportunity for success regardless of background or privilege. We want to lead, nurture, and support the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs and leaders in creating cultural change and professional success.”

    Driven Society’s goal aligns with the outlook of millennial Americans. According to Forbes, millennials start their first business around the age of 27. Surveys suggest over 62% of millennials have considered starting their own business. Seventy-two percent feel that startups and entrepreneurs are necessary for economic improvement through job creation and innovation (yet 77% are holding back because they view business startups as too risky).

    Millennials

    (Photo Courtesy of Driven Society)

    “We enjoy always keeping our eyes and ears open to whoever isn’t afraid to voice their opinions and those looking to implement change and/or impact their communities. Whenever we see that, we make it a point keep track of those individuals and look for ways to build relationships. Once you spot one and surround yourself with a rising cultural leader, it becomes easier to keep track and come across them.”

    The group uses a multi-pillar approach to foster the game changers of the culture. Live events, interactive marketplace, and strategic partnerships. The live events serve as platforms for the sharing of knowledge and best practices. The interactive marketplace is where products can be showcased and sold as a result of the knowledge and best practices learned through the live event series. The strategic partnerships help amplify both the live events and the marketplace by putting up-and-coming creatives in the same room with representatives from major brands.

    Millennials

    (Photo Courtesy of Driven Society)

    “Our community of creative entrepreneurs exists to inspire, energize, and nurture ideas in support of a thriving generation of young people. We envision a world where business, philosophy, and art converge to provide equal opportunity for success regardless of background or privilege. Working with brands that value the multicultural perspective is a big part of it and brands that want to expose our community to something of substance. Since we’re a part of this community, it’s easy for us to identify our peers who are also pushing culture in their own way and giving them the platform to grow.”

    Driven Society’s latest event, titled SoundByte, is the organization’s effort to stay on top of innovative life programming. The bi-monthly series addresses the growing convergence of tech, music, and culture as millennials of color seek to obtain the information needed to take ownership of their billion-dollar influence on pop cultural industries.

    The post Cultivating a Community for Creative Millennials of Color appeared first on Black Enterprise.

    BE MODERN MAN: MEET ‘THE DESIGNER,’ WILLIAM MALCOLM

    18 Jul 2018, 8:00 pm

    BE Modern Man is an integrative program that honors the essence, image, and accomplishments of today’s man of color. With features of today’s leaders, executives, creatives, students, politicians, entrepreneurs, professionals, and agents of change—these men share the common thread of creating a new normal while setting the bar in tech, art, philanthropy, business, and beyond. The BE Modern Man is making a positive impact, his way, and has a story to tell.

    BE MODERN MAN WILLIAM MALCOLM

    Age: Ageless

    Profession: Fashion Designer / Creative Director

    One Word That Describes You: Creative

    Social Media: Facebook: William Malcolm Luxe | Twitter: @TheStyleArtist | Instagram: @TheSyleArtist

     

    What does being one of the BE Modern Man 100 Honorees mean to you?

    Being recognized as one of BE’s Modern Man 100 Honorees means a great deal to me. When I launched my fashion label a few years ago, I often turned to Black Enterprise magazine for inspiration. It being one of the few publications that featured African American entrepreneurs, Black Enterprise has often provided me with needed strategies to grow my fashion brand and market my business.

    What is your “Extraordinary Impact?” 

    I encourage everyone to live in purpose! For the last nine years, I have hosted The William Malcolm Morning Show. The goal of the weekly talk radio show (that is broadcast on Detroit FM airways) is to inspire, uplift, and motivate listeners to become DREAMERS in action. I want to encourage everyone to live a life of passion and purpose.

    What are you doing as a BEMM to help support black male achievement now or in the future?

    I believe that young black men can become as successful as their peers if provided with similar opportunities. This is why I founded my nonprofit organization Fashion Means Nothing. The William Malcolm Foundation. Our Mission is to uplift, inspire, and highlight aspects of manhood within our community. My organization provides outreach to fatherless young men by promoting educational enrichment, one-on-one mentoring, and service initiatives that will cultivate the next generation of responsible leaders.

    What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?

    I launched my luxury menswear fashion label [a decade ago]. During this same time, Detroit and the country were heading into a recession. Many colleagues, family members, and friends questioned why I was choosing to leave a successful “safe” career as an insurance and financial services executive to pursue a career in fashion during such uncertain economic times. So when I was contacted by Lincoln Motor Company in the fall of 2016, to design a menswear collection in inspiration of the 2017 Lincoln Continental to be featured in a multifaceted marketing campaign and fashion showcase, it further validated the brand that I have been building.

    modern man

    (Photo Credit: Courtesy of William Malcolm)

    What is the best advice you ever received?

    “If your heart is filled with faith, there is no room for fear.” I cannot remember where I originally read this quote but it has forever impacted my life.

    What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?

    You can’t make a difference in someone else’s life if you have not made a difference in your own life. I encourage all men to take the time to explore what truly makes them excited to be alive. I believe that we are the most productive for ourselves and others when we are living in alignment with our passion and purpose.

    It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.

    Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the 2nd Annual Black Men XCEL, Aug. 29–Sept. 2, 2018, at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

    The post BE MODERN MAN: MEET ‘THE DESIGNER,’ WILLIAM MALCOLM appeared first on Black Enterprise.


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