New Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey©, by Harvard Business School Alumnae and Business Leaders Bonita C. Stewart and Jacqueline Adams, Sponsored by Google, Published Today

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two diverse tech students in classroom reviewing work on computer screen on google

By PR Newswire

Today, Harvard Business School alumnae and co-authors Bonita C. Stewart and Jacqueline Adams published their 2021 U.S. Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© sponsored by Google. Titled Untapped Women of Color: The Talent Force Multiplier, the new release, and third in five planned annual surveys, is unique in its analysis of the opinions and capabilities of women desk workers and students across four generations. The work also highlights new, evolving skills and attitudes that managers must develop to assess and motivate talent, across cultures as well as generations, in the complex post-COVID workplace.

For the first time, the 2021 edition of the U.S. Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© compared and contrasted the experiences of 300 White and Black male managers with those of 4,000 women managers and desk workers across four races (Black, LatinX, Asian American and White) and four generations (Gen Z students [ages 17-24], Millennials [ages 25-39], Gen X [ages 40-56], and Boomers [ages 57-74]). The results underscore the need for a more nuanced appreciation of “generational diversity,” an original concept coined by Stewart and Adams.

In addition to including Black and White male managers, this year’s survey takes a deeper look at Asian American women desk workers, with differentiating responses by the women’s countries of origin: China, Vietnam, India and the Philippines.

Co-authors Adams and Stewart, a Board Partner at Google’s Gradient Ventures, note that they truly appreciate Google’s support of their work. “The company’s sponsorship validates the originality and importance of our research,” they say. “We are also grateful for the on-going expertise of our survey partner, Quadrant Strategies. We believe creating a talent multiplier requires building new management capability in the areas of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), as well as understanding Generational Diversity in the workplace.”

“The data leads the co-authors to the conclusion that great managers matter,” says Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer at Google. “The underappreciated generational changes identified in the survey should encourage and challenge leaders to assess ‘untapped’ talent pools as a force multiplier for business success. At Google, we see this research as another lens to inform our ongoing work to build belonging, while providing exceptional thought leadership to all companies navigating the growing complexities of the workplace.”

Highlights from the new research include:
Despite promises of progress, despite disruptions to corporate recruiting, the co-authors’ chief performance metric – the Onlys – remains stalled, with almost half of Black and LatinX women continuing to report being frequently or always the only person of their races in professional settings.

More distressing is that the number of Black and LatinX Millennial Onlys has spiked: 55% for Black and 45% for LatinX.

The 2021 results show clear differentiations among Black and LatinX Millennial women, especially when it comes to confidence about the future, ways of coping with workplace stresses, and even teaming up within the “sisterhood.”

This was a breakaway year for innovation among Millennials, what this survey calls “First to Know About Technology.” 44% of Black Millennial women desk workers said they are always the first to know; 42% for LatinX, 33% for Asian Americans and 38% for White Millennials.

Black and LatinX women reported that they are actively participating in the current startup boom.

32% of Black Millennial women said they founded or co-founded the company they work at, more than doubling the 14% in 2020.

Just as they reported in 2020, Black women across all generations are more likely to be “side-preneurs”—to have a business they are working on outside of their desk jobs. 27% said they are side-entrepreneurs, as opposed to 16% LatinX, 11% Asian American, and 12% White women.

Millennial women are acknowledging systemic racism in the U.S. and are not shy about using their power to address it.

In 2021, Asian American women fell behind other racial groups, across all generations, in terms of career satisfaction.

Only 30% of Asian American women (down from 39% in 2020) agreed a great deal that they’ve had the opportunity to do meaningful and satisfying work, compared to 42% White women, 47% LatinX women, and 51% Black women).

Chinese American respondents, in particular, reported the lowest career satisfaction, while Indian American, Filipina American, and Vietnamese American women were comparatively more satisfied.

Only 17% of Chinese American women feel greatly fulfilled at work, compared to 33% of Filipina American women, 32% of Indian American women, and 31% of Vietnamese American women.

Click here to read the full article on PR Newswire.

Khaby Lame– The Most Followed Influencer On TikTok

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Khaby Lame – The Most Followed Influencer On TikTok

By Keka Araujo, BET

Black excellence is reigning on TikTok. Twenty-year-old Khabane “Khaby” Lame recently surpassed Charli D’Amelio as the most followed user on the popular social media platform.

The Senegalese influencer reportedly has almost 100,000 more followers (he has 143.4 million) than the dancing influencer (142.3 million). The popular TikToker built his massive following in the beginning by making dance vids, comedic skits and video game reactions.

It wasn’t until 2021 that the Lame’s account blew up after his hilarious and expressive reactions to life hacks. His viewership took off after his reaction only vids caught the eyes of TikTok platforms. Fans made it their business to elevate the 22-year-old social media star.

Lame explained the magic behind his success.

“I came up with the idea because I was seeing these videos circulating, and I liked the idea of bringing some simplicity to it,” Lame told CNN. ” I thought of a way to reach as many people as possible. And the best way was not to speak.”

The creator now lives in Italy and has amassed over 2 billion likes for his hilarious videos.

Black TikTokers called the social media platform out over allowing white creators to steal from Black trendsetters.

BET.com reported choreographer JaQuel Knight partnered with Logitech to ensure that Black creators copyright and monetize their projects.

“I am so thrilled to announce this collaboration with The JaQuel Knight Foundation and Logitech, a remarkable step in our goal toward creating a system of protection for young creators,” Knight said.

He continued, “The JK Foundation was ultimately started to provide a place of support for dancers (during an extremely fragile time in the pandemic, nonetheless), and to put the power back in the artists’ hands – not just for myself, but for the next JaQuel Knight. For all of the little boys and girls who look like me.”

Click here to read the full article on BET.

Naomi Osaka launches media company in partnership with Lebron James

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Tennis Player, Naomi Osaka poses for a photo with LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers after the game on April 4, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.

By Ian Krietzberg, CNBC

Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka is launching a media production company in partnership with The SpringHill Company, a media conglomerate created by Lebron James.

The production company, called Hana Kuma, will produce scripted and nonfiction content, starting with a New York Times documentary about Patsy Mink, the first woman of color elected to U.S. Congress, according to a press release. The announcement says Hana Kuma will highlight “empowering” and “culturally specific” stories.

“There has been an explosion of creators of color finally being equipped with resources and a huge platform,” Osaka said in the release. “In the streaming age, content has a more global perspective. You can see this in the popularity of television from Asia, Europe and Latin America that the unique can also be universal. My story is a testament to that as well.”

The SpringHill Company, founded by NBA star James and business partner Maverick Carter, will provide production and strategic resources to Hana Kuma, the release said. Hana Kuma also has partnerships with crypto exchange platform FTX and health platform Modern Health.

In May, Osaka launched an athlete representation agency called Evolve.

Click here to read the full article on CNBC.

FAA Launches ‘Be ATC’ Campaign to Recruit Next Diverse Generation of Air Traffic Controllers

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Air Traffic Controller

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is launching “Be ATC,” a recruiting campaign to hire the next generation of air traffic controllers. The application window will be open nationwide from June 24-27 for all eligible U.S. citizens.

Air traffic controllers are part of the FAA’s fast-paced, active team of 14,000 professionals in radar facilities and in air traffic control towers who keep the skies safe across the nation. Controllers have a tremendous responsibility, handling an average of 45,000 flights a day and more than 5,000 aircraft traversing the skies at once during peak times.

Anyone interested in becoming an air traffic controller can view more about eligibility requirements and application instructions at faa.gov/be-atc. Applicants can begin building a profile and learn how to apply.

Building on last year’s successful campaign to receive more applications from women and other underrepresented groups, the FAA will again work with diverse organizations, host Instagram Live conversations, and work with social media influencers and others. The FAA has created a digital toolkit to get the word out.

“We know that different perspectives add value to any organization, so it is important that we attract people with a wide range of backgrounds to help enhance our safety mission,” said Virginia Boyle, Vice President for System Operations Services in the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization.

“It’s a challenging job, but it’s also rewarding. At the end of the day when you get home and look up at the sky, you know that what you’ve done makes a difference,” said Jeffrey Vincent, Vice President for Air Traffic Services in the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens, speak English clearly and be no older than 30 (with limited exceptions). They must have either three years of general work experience or four years of education leading to a bachelor’s degree, or a combination of both. Applicants must also pass the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA). Individuals who are selected are also required to pass all pre-employment requirements, including a medical examination, security investigation, and drug test.

Selected candidates will train at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City, Okla. After successful completion of training, they will be placed in a radar facility or air traffic tower. Staffing needs will determine facility assignment, and applicants must be willing to work anywhere in the United States.

“As aerospace technology continues to grow, we need people to join the FAA to ensure our airspace continues to be the safest in the world,” said FAA Deputy Administrator A. Bradley Mims. “We are looking for a diverse pool of candidates who are ready to rise to the challenge and become air traffic controllers.”

The FAA’s controller workforce reached about 14,000 in fiscal year 2021. The FAA hired 509 new controllers in fiscal year 2021, and the FAA plans to hire more than 4,800 controllers over the next five years.

Tracee Ellis Ross Partners With Non Profit To Support Black Women-Owned Businesses

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Tracee Ellis Ross Partners With Non Profit To Support Black Women-Owned Businesses

By Angela Johnson, The Root

She’s already crushing the beauty game with her PATTERN line of hair care products and accessories. Now actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross is teaming up with the non-profit Buy From A Black Woman (BFABW) and H&M USA to inspire and support other Black women business owners. According to a June 13 press release, H&M will partner with Buy From A Black Woman for the second year in a row to shine a light on Black women-owned businesses. And this time, Ross will serve as the non-profit’s ambassador.

In a June 10 sit-down with Buy From a Black Woman founder Nikki Porcher at H&M’s LA showroom, Ross shared her advice on achieving success with other young Black female entrepreneurs. “I am proud to help support Buy From a Black Woman and the incredible network of business owners they’ve brought together,” Ross said. “Black women and their contributions are often overlooked, which is why it’s crucial for us to come together to build, strengthen and create our own opportunities for success.”

Buy From A Black Woman launched in 2016 with a mission of providing Black women with all of the tools they need for success, including educational programming, an online directory and funding. In the second year of their partnership, H&M USA plans to donate $250,000 to BFABW and provide sponsorship for the Buy From a Black Woman Inspire Tour, which will place products from Black women-owned businesses on shelves in select H&M stores across the country.

BFABW founder Nikki Porcher says she believes Ross is one of the best advocates for the cause of supporting businesses owned by Black women. “It’s hard to describe in words what it means to have Tracee Ellis Ross as an ambassador for Buy From A Black Woman. This year we are celebrating and showing the world that Black Women are living examples. I couldn’t think of a better example to help us spread our message of just how important it is to buy from and support Black Women Business Owners better than Ms. Ross. We are truly honored to work with her and to continue our partnership with H&M,” she said.

Click here to read the full article on The Root.

Mellody Hobson to join Denver Broncos as the first Black female NFL owner

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Mellody Hobson to join Denver Broncos as the first Black female NFL owner

BY Angel Saunders, Revolt

Last week (June 8), it was announced that a group headed by Walmart heir Rob Walton would buy the Denver Broncos, pending approval from the league. One of the group members, a businesswoman named Mellody Hobson, is set to become the first Black female NFL minority owner.

Also in the group is Walton’s daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and his son-in-law Greg Penner, who will become minority owners as well.

At 53 years old, Hobson has built an impressive resume. The Princeton University grad is the president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments and the chairwoman of Starbucks Corporation. She previously held a position at DreamWorks Animation as a chairwoman as well.

Walton appears to be pleased with her skill set. “Beyond her role at Ariel, Mellody is an influential leader in corporate and civic organizations across the nation,” he said in a press release.

He continued, “Mellody currently serves as chair of the board of Starbucks Corporation and is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. We know she will bring her strategic acumen and leadership perspective to our team.”

Hobson is married to film director George Lucas, who is widely known for his work with the Star Wars franchise.

In February, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the Broncos would be sold. After an avalanche of claims that the league had an issue hiring minorities in leadership roles, the commissioner expressed that he was looking for diverse ownership.

Click here to read the full article on Revolt.

Jennifer Hudson Becomes an EGOT at the 2022 Tony Awards as She Wins for A Strange Loop

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Jennifer Hudson on the red carpet in a black off the shoulder gown

By Jen Juneau, People

Jennifer Hudson has officially achieved EGOT status! The actress and singer clinched her first-ever Tony Award on Sunday evening, when A Strange Loop won best musical. (Hudson, 40, serves as a producer on the show.) It was the final trophy she needed to complete the EGOT quartet of having won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

Hudson won her first of the big four awards, an Oscar, for her role in 2007’s Dreamgirls. She is a two-time Grammy winner, having nabbed her first one for her 2009 self-titled album. The American Idol alum went on to score a Daytime Emmy last year, for the animated short Baba Yaga, which she co-produced and lent her voice to.

Hudson previously joked when asked about her plans to achieve EGOT status, “I should get two more dogs.”

“I got a dog and named it Oscar, and then I won my Oscar. And then I got a dog and named it Grammy, and then I won my Grammy,” she said at the time. “So I think I should get some dogs and name them Emmy and Tony — and it’ll give me good luck, and I’ll win. [They’re] like my good luck charms.”

Presented by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing, the annual Antoinette Perry Awards for Excellence in Theatre (as the Tonys are officially known) recognize the highest honor in U.S. theater — the equivalent of TV’s Emmys, music’s Grammys or the film industry’s Oscars. It’s a necessary award in achieving EGOT, the grand slam of show business.

Click here to read the full article on People.

‘Obi-Wan’ Star Moses Ingram Speaks Out Over Racist ‘Star Wars’ Backlash: ‘I Question My Purpose’

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Obi-Wan Kenobi and Reva

By Samantha Bergeson, Indie Wire

Just days after “Obi-Wan Kenobi” debuted on Disney+ May 27, star Moses Ingram has already received countless hateful social media messages.

Ingram plays a Jedi hunter Inquisitor named Reva, who actively tracks down Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan. While Lucasfilm and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” director Deborah Chow anticipated fan hate toward a Black female character, Ingram addressed the onslaught of DMs and comments she has received thus far.

“Long story short, there are hundreds of those. Hundreds,” Ingram said in an Instagram video after screenshotting messages that threatened her and called her racial slurs. “And I also see those of you out there who put on a cape for me and that really does mean the world to me because, you know, there’s nothing anybody can do about this. There’s nothing anybody can do to stop this hate. And so I question my purposes even being here in front of you saying that this is happening.”

Ingram continued, “I don’t really know. I don’t really know. But I think the thing that bothers me is that like, sort of this feeling that I’ve had inside of myself. This feeling that no one has told me, but like I just got to shut up and take it. I just got to bury it. And I’m not built like that. So I really just wanted to come on, I think, and say thank you to the people who show up for me in the comments and the places I’m not going to put myself. And to the rest of y’all, y’all weird.”

Ingram’s Instagram Stories included threats saying her days were “numbered” and slamming her for not being the first Black person in “Star Wars” history.

“You suck, loser. You’re a diversity hire and you won’t be loved or remembered for this acting role,” one message read.

Another said, “How the f**k does an alien know eubonics?”

The “Queen’s Gambit” alum also included a soundbite from “The Read” podcast during which she said: “You know what’s really crazy, you would think sci-fi and fantasy would be the most welcoming, the most accepting genres because they are so often storylines that are ridiculous and made up of like, aliens and weird shit, comic book shit, and n***** having special powers and all that.”

The official “Star Wars” Twitter addressed the backlash to Ingram early Tuesday, posting, “We are proud to welcome Moses Ingram to the Star Wars family and excited for Reva’s story to unfold. If anyone intends to make her feel in any way unwelcome, we have only one thing to say: we resist.”

The “Star Wars” page continued, “There are more than 20 million sentient species in the Star Wars galaxy, don’t choose to be a racist.”

Ingram previously acknowledged that Lucasfilm “actually got in front” of the anticipated racism to her casting. “‘This is a thing that, unfortunately, likely will happen. But we are here to help you; you can let us know when it happens,’” Ingram said earlier this month. “Of course, there are always pockets of hate, but I have no problem with the block button.”

John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran formerly received racist fan harassment following their respective roles in the recent Skywalker trilogy, leading to Boyega having a “very honest, a very transparent conversation” with Disney executives to not sideline Black and POC characters in the franchise.

Click here to read the full article on Indie Wire.

Pierrah Hilaire On Going Viral Teaching Her TikTok Followers About Black Fashion Brands

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Pierrah Hilaire wearing orange for her article On Going Viral Teaching Her TikTok Followers About Black Fashion Brands

By Robyn Mowatt, Okay Player

Pierrah Hilaire, a Brooklyn-based content creator, was on TikTok before the platform forced its way into the fashion conversation and became a go-to source for people to keep an eye on growing (and dying) trends. But she noticed a problem: that most of the creators behind “Fashion Tok” as she calls it were mostly filled with white creators who also weren’t highlighting the brands — especially Black ones — she admires and enjoys. So, she decided to fill a void and share the brands she had an affinity for, making her TikTok account a popular destination to learn about Black-owned brands and designer pieces in the process.

Originally from Miami, Florida, Hilaire’s roots in fashion stem from her parents; her father was always stylish, while her mother modeled in New York City during her twenties.

“I’ve been obsessed with fashion ever since I could remember because of my parents,” she said over a Zoom call. “I’ve always loved [it].”

Hilaire began modeling as a teen; as she got older, she began dreaming of moving to New York and working in fashion in some capacity, inspired by all of the blogs she voraciously read about New York-based designers.

“The plan was to just go to medical school and stay in Florida,” she said when speaking of her life before taking the leap and moving to New York City. Even as she was studying psychology and putting in work at clinics, Hilaire was still making time for modeling.

“[I went] to school and studied,” she said. “There were times I would even go to clinics and help the physicians in the hospital. But then, I would have my bikini underneath and run to the beach for castings.”

In 2018, she decided to put her medical school ambitions behind her and told her parents she was relocating to New York (Brooklyn) to pursue modeling. The early stages were tough; although she had family support, money was hard to come by and she had only saved up a few month’s worth of salary from a hospital job. But she eventually landed on her feet when she began working in corporate for companies like PepsiCo, while also balancing a social media management side job and participating in as many fashion-related opportunities as she could.

Around this time, Hilaire began seeing Telfar bags in her neighborhood. Unfamiliar with the then-rising Black brand, she began researching it and other Black brands. This, paired with the racial reckoning of 2020 amid the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, led to Hilaire using her knowledge of fashion to shed light on Black-owned brands and designs on her TikTok account.

Hilaire sees TikTok as a fashion discovery tool, and even her first viral video on the platform reflects that. Highlighting bags by Telfar, Brandon Blackwood, Homage Year, and CISE, the video propped up names that have since become more known and popular in recent years, helping the video go viral in the process. Since then, she’s gone on to create additional compilation clips centered around menswear brands, gender-inclusive lines, sustainable fashion houses, and more.

We recently spoke with Hilaire about how she got her start in New York, the role she plays as a content creator, and the rise of Black luxury brands.

Do you feel you naturally fell into highlighting Black designers on your TikTok account?

Pierrah Hilaire: I think it was a mix. I didn’t see what I wanted in the TikTok space. It was predominantly non-black even though we were leading the trends. I always liked to know who was behind a brand that I was buying into. I would ask on Instagram all the time and people would tell me, “Oh, we’re black or women-owned.” And I liked knowing where my dollars were going.

Then, around the Black Lives Matter resurgence [in 2020], I realized, “What can I do to help out?” [Highlighting Black designers] was my form of activism. I went to some of the marches [and] donated to [organizations too].

I was literally sitting in Zoom meetings at my corporate job stressed out. At one point, we were in a lot of racial sensitivity trainings that weren’t even geared toward me. And I felt the least [I] could do [was] support the smaller Black businesses. So, I just started creating a list of brands that I would want to buy into or that I already have bought into, and I was on TikTok for a year already before I really took it seriously. So, when I posted it did really well, and I just kept it going.

How do you feel about the responsibility of sharing these brands with your followers?

As a creator, it’s great when the video does really well when it comes to numbers, but it’s not about the numbers. I think I care about the one person in the comment who’s like, “Oh, I didn’t know about this brand and I’m going to buy into it because ultimately it’s about supporting each other.”

But on top of that, what I love to see is growth. I hope people pay attention to [these] brands because — yes, I love them — but they’re doing amazing work not just for the business. A lot of these brands tend to help their community. I know my money’s not just going to the brand and the brand owner’s pockets, but to the community that they’re serving. That’s where you see the impact, and I think that’s the most important part of some of these videos.

Click here to read the full article on Okay Player

It’s About Making Us Feel Seen: How 3 Brand Founders Are Making Space For Black Women

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Three black women brand founders headshots

By Natasha Marsh, Refinery 29

In the wake of social unrest in 2020, as the country reckoned head-to-head with its stance and role in racism, many companies released blanket statements professing their solidarity with Black people, most of which lacked emotion and felt more like a sink-or-swim tactic. Brands who declared to suddenly be woke were met with skepticism and the unanimous knowing that for years, their inaction reflected their failure to support the Black community both personally and professionally. History has shown that the system was never built to nurture Black-founded companies the way it has their white counterparts, making it nearly impossible for these brands to prosper and, in many cases, preventing them from ever getting off the ground.

But with more and more companies beginning to take inventory of their blind spots and part in systemic racism, this is starting to change. In fact, according to a 2021 survey by The Harvard Business Review and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 17% of Black women are in the process of starting or running new businesses, compared to the 10% of white women and 15% of white men. Indeed, Black women-owned businesses are on the rise, which may be because we’ve finally been given more access to the resources and capital to properly sustain them.

The rise of brand incubators and mentorship programs has certainly helped pave the way. Working to meet the growing needs of entrepreneurs who weren’t traditionally given a seat at the table, they help equip small businesses owners with the tools and support they need for success. By passing the mic to Black women, they give us the space to build community, empower one another, and, in part, inspire the next set of young Black entrepreneurs-to-be.

Ahead, get to know the founders of three Black-women-owned businesses in  program and how they’re using their platforms to inspire Black women to be their most authentic selves and forge their own paths.

Malisa Parke of Swanky Designs

Founded by creative mother-daughter duo Malisa and Imani Parke, Swanky Designs is handcrafted jewelry, apparel, and home goods brand, most known for its bold and colorful statement earrings. Sharing a deep love of art and fashion, the pair have channeled this passion into creating pieces of wearable art that speak to women’s individuality.

More so than anything, the Parkes believes in lifting women up and creating collections that complement that. “My goal is to empower other women to live their authentic lives, to not be afraid of standing out,” says Malisa. Rather than follow the ever-changing trend cycle, they aim to stay true to themselves, drawing inspiration from both the world around them and their roots. “We’re from New York, so we’re always in the city, looking at things like shapes and buildings,” Malisa explains. “We’re also very much into African-inspired jewelry, but with a twist, and we’d like to continue digging deeper into that.”

Ahead, Refinery29 spoke with Malisa about her creative relationship with her daughter, how it’s shaped their brand journey, and why we all should be our own trendsetters. 

You run your brand with your daughter, Imani. What inspired you to go into business together?
“We both have the creative gene. Imani has always been a super creative person. She started designing clothing at 14, while I used to sell jewelry at different vendor shows. One day I said to myself, You know what? I can do this myself. I prefer my own creativity, and Imani told me she wanted to do the same. Our creative juices flowed so well together that I suggested we do it as a team, and that’s pretty much how it was born.”

What lessons have you taught each other throughout your brand journey? How has your business strengthened your mother-daughter relationship?
“Imani teaches me a lot. Because she’s younger, she keeps me very fresh, but she also allows me to make mistakes. She’s teaching me not to be so constrained and to be freer. At this point in her life, I’m guiding her through it and helping her learn to [navigate it]. Being in business together strengthens our relationship in some ways, but she’s my daughter, so we butt heads a lot. When you’re in business with anyone, you’re going to clash; it can be tough, but then I’m reminded of the importance of our relationship”

In what ways do you use your brand to uplift and empower Black women?
“I hope to influence Black women to know they can do this, too, and that there’s room for everyone in jewelry making, no matter what medium you’re using. Age shouldn’t stop you from doing anything, know you can do it whenever you want. I also don’t think we should be so concerned about following fashion trends; we should be our own trendsetters. You shouldn’t have to worry about buying or being the latest — just do you. It’s a constant learning experience — we ask ourselves: How can we get better? What’s going to be the best for us?”

What advice do you have for young Black entrepreneurs?
“Read, learn, and get a mentor. Don’t just jump into it and expect things to happen because you’ll be quickly disappointed that it doesn’t happen that way. If you’re an entrepreneur, what you do is your passion, and it comes naturally to you. But you also need to read about the business side of things. Understanding capital, loans, taxes, and manufacturing; are things you have to know. Talk to people who are doing it and be open to accepting help.”

Dr. Anne Beal of AbsoluteJOI

For many Black consumers, the desire to take better care of our skin has been hindered by the fact that we’ve been long ignored by mainstream beauty brands. This makes it taxing to source products to effectively combat the most common concerns of melanated skin, like hyperpigmentation and dark spots. So was the case with physician Dr. Anne Beal, who launched AbsoluteJOI after struggling to find products that worked both for her and her daughters. Her research led her to discover that 70% of women of color believe the products currently available don’t work for them, so she developed her own, tailored to women over the age of 35 seeking to address signs of aging.

“There are so many products available that address aging, but people with melanin-rich skin don’t show aging with fine lines and wrinkles,” Dr. Beal says. “Instead, we start to show age with changes in skin tone and dark marks.” Fusing scientifically based active ingredients and soothing botanicals, AbsoluteJOI products focus on balancing and nourishing the complexion while reducing the damage caused by aging and hyperpigmentation. Rather than offer a dizzying array of products, Dr. Beal took a minimalist approach by launching a tight edit of cleanly formulated necessities, such as a tinted daily SPF moisturizer and a retinol-powered, tone-evening night oil.

Ahead, Refinery29 spoke with Dr. Beal about how she uses her brand and platform to make Black women feel more seen, plus the skin-care advice every woman of color should follow. 

When it comes to caring for skin of color, what are some of the most common misconceptions?
“Historically, there have been a lot of recommendations for products and home remedies, including everything from lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to using bleach — both medicinal like hydroquinone and actual commercial bleach. The reality is that skin of color is incredibly sensitive, so we need to take a very gentle approach. Secondly, the approach toward aging skin care for the general population is very much centered on fine lines and wrinkles, but many women of color first develop dark spots and changes in skin tone and, later, the lines. So when you’re thinking melanin-rich skin, the approach should be to address tone first.”

What is the most important skin-care advice you think every woman of color should follow?
“Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, all day, every day. Many women of color think they don’t need it because they have melanin, but we do. We age with dark marks, and those are signs of sun damage. It’s also important to look for a sunscreen with blue light protection. Recent studies have shown that the blue light emitted from our screens — like our phones and computers — causes hyperpigmentation in darker-toned skin. Retinol is also a fabulous ingredient [for evening skin tone].”

In what ways do you use your brand to uplift and empower Black women?
“First and foremost, to say I see you. I recently posted a video discussing the four features of melanated skin that make us unique, and so many commenters mentioned how they feel seen and heard. I’ve also posted reels where I share the behind-the-scenes of our photoshoots, and it’s just a melanin celebration. I’m also very deliberate in who I collaborate with and what businesses I work with, and I try to seek out other Black women as business partners. I have aspirations to, at some point, grow the company to where we can invest in and mentor other businesses.”

What advice do you have for young Black entrepreneurs?
“One, I would say read and be well-read. Two, don’t start a business — solve a problem, and the business will come. When you solve a problem, the implication is that you know who your customer is, what they want, and what their challenges are. If you solve their problems, then you have a business there. Take a customer-focused approach.”

Terese Brown of Terese Sydonna

Jamaican-born, New York-raised designer Terese Brown infuses her vibrant Jamaican culture and love of Japanese art and architecture into every collection she creates. A self-starter, she’s greatly focused on inspiring women to step into their authentic selves for their communities and, most importantly, themselves. “I personally understand the struggles women face navigating pressure to fit a particular image and standard of beauty,” she says. “I want to change this and empower them to confidently reveal their inner strength and untapped superpowers.” And so, she considers her sophisticated collection of dresses, robes, two-piece sets, and accessories as “modern armor.”

Many white or non-Black entrepreneurs start businesses with capital from generations of wealth in their families, but unfortunately, this is not a common thread in the Black community. Brown, who has experienced her own career pivots and understands the value of mentorships and incubator programs first-hand, is looking to change that with her work on several advisory boards centered around entrepreneurship. “As a minority business owner, being authentic, being unapologetic about my story of sacrifice, dreaming big, and overcoming the extra hardships to be where I am now are what matters most,” she says.

Ahead, Refinery29 spoke with Brown about what led her to start a brand of her own and the importance of uplifting other Black women.

You began your career in finance and then pivoted to working with some of the biggest names in fashion. What inspired you to make this transition and eventually start a brand of your own?
“As an immigrant and the oldest in my family, it was always my mother’s dream for me to be successful and get a “big” job, and for a while, I bought into that. I did my stint on Wall Street, but it just didn’t feel right or feel like me, so I made the transition to buying and merchandising. I started working as an assistant buyer at a major retailer right before the 2008 recession, and one day I went to work, and half of us were fired. I remember feeling so relieved; it was my opportunity to get out to do what I really wanted to do. The next week, I was enrolled in a one-year design program, and within a year’s time, I was working as a designer by day and on my own line, Terese Sydonna, by night.”

You proudly manufacture your collections in New York City’s Garment District. Why is it important to you to keep your brand locally made?
“I feel like I’m living my American dream. I’m proudly Jamaican, a New Yorker, and a Bronxite, and I feel like New York has given so much to me. I love working with the small businesses that make Terese Sydonna what it is. Every single person that I work with who helps us create the prints, that do our manufacturing, or handle our grading and marking is part of an individual family business of color and immigrants. It feels so good to know that, together, we’re creating something so beautiful. It means the world to me knowing that I’m helping out my community.”

In what ways do you use your brand to uplift and empower Black women?
“My brand is all about authenticity. I wasn’t able to truly tell my story until I started being authentic in owning the fact that I am a Black woman. How can I design something if I’m not empowering myself and empowering Black women, too? When I look back on my time on Wall Street and in buying and merchandising, there were so many spaces where I couldn’t be myself, where my hair was an issue, or where I was the only Black woman. Many of my clientele are Black women, and they face these same challenges every single day. I wanted to change that, so I sought out to create a community centered around celebrating each other and what makes us unique. I couldn’t do any of this without celebrating Black women because they truly built my business and helped me get to where I am today.”

What advice do you have for young Black entrepreneurs?
“Whatever your idea, always listen to that inner voice telling you to do it. No one is going to cheer for you as hard as yourself. You are your biggest cheerleader. I also think young entrepreneurs need to realize that the story behind your brand is what matters. People are more interested in ideas, feelings, and stories — they care less about the clothes, they buy them because it’s you, and that’s what makes you magic.”

Click here to read the full article on Refinery 29.

Texas News Station Hires All-Women, Black Anchors

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A local news station in Texas, has hired Black anchors who are all women

By B.E.T

Starting back on May 2, Jasmin Caldwell, Taheshah Moise and meteorologist Ashley Carter began hosting Texas Today. The weekday morning news show airs on KCEN, which is an NBC affiliate serving Temple, Waco, Killeen, and the surrounding areas.

Caldwell, who joined the station in 2017, told KCEN, “Growing up, I always saw all-white news anchors. I didn’t think that there would ever be Black newscasts. I knew there was always room for one, but I didn’t think that I would see three African Americans — male or female — permanently, all at one time. No way.”

Carter revealed how she heard the news that KCEN would hire Black women anchors, “Maybe about three weeks to a month after I decided to come here I got an email saying Jasmin is going to be joining Texas Today, which is going make the show you’re a part of all women.”

She continued, “It was pretty cool. I was like wow. It was just the icing on the cake. Not only be able to advance my career to where I wanted, but to be able to do it next to these two.”

Moise added, “I just think back to when I was a young girl and I used to watch the news with my parents and I never saw anyone who looked like me. If I did, they were outside reporting in the cold.”

Texas Today airs Monday through Friday from 4:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m.

Click here to read the full article on B.E.T.

Black female-owned supplements brand builds on partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe

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Samia Gore, CEO and Founder of Body Complete Rx

By Cision PR Newswire

Body Complete Rx (BCRX), the first Black female-owned supplement company to break significant ground in the male-dominated, nutritional supplement industry, is proud to announce it will be launching its exclusive plant-based, vegan weight management supplements at The Vitamin Shoppe on August 1st. BCRX will introduce their TRIM line in over 700 retail locations nationwide, making them the first Black female-owned brand to launch in the retailer’s weight management category.

Founded by Samia Gore in 2017, BCRX is a self-funded wellness brand which has grossed over $10 million in sales in just under 4 years. Their natural, vegan supplements, which enjoy a celebrity following, provide a range of benefits based on customers’ specific needs, including weight management and improving energy, skin health, and nutrition. Products include vegan protein powders, supplements, a Vitamin C serum, collagen-boosting powder, women and men’s multivitamins, and superfood bars.

BCRX’s launch at The Vitamin Shoppe’s brick-and-mortar retail stores follows the brand’s recent rebranding and repackaging campaign, which included the launch of five new product lines of plant-based, vegan supplements, including TRIM, THRIVE, GLOW, NOURISH and PERFORM.

BCRX’s TRIM line, designed to empower customers to “power up and slim down,” features the brand’s best-selling weight management supplements. The plant-based, clinically proven supplements will help make customers’ weight loss goals achievable by curbing their cravings, revving up their metabolism, and supercharging their energy.

The TRIM line includes:

  • Boost Metabolism Drops ($50) – Adaptogenic metabolism boosting drops made with African mango and natural herbs like rhodiola, maca and astragalus.
  • Control Appetite Suppressant Capsules ($40) – All-natural appetite suppressant capsules.
  • Renew Energy Drops ($40) – Energy drops made with Riboflavin, Niacin and Vitamin B12.

BCRX’s partnership with The Vitamin Shoppe reflects the ever-growing position of the company within the wellness market.

“We are so excited to be launching at one of the top retailers of nutritional supplements in the country because it’s a true testament to the efficacy of our brand and products,” explains Samia Gore, founder and CEO of Body Complete Rx. “As the first and only Black female-owned brand in The Vitamin Shoppe’s weight management category, I am excited to make these wellness products more accessible to customers across the country and support their journey towards wellbeing.”

Click here to read the full article on Cision PR Newswire.

‘Sex Education’ actor Ncuti Gatwa will be the first Black lead in ‘Doctor Who’

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Actor Ncuti Gatwa at the premiere of the second season of the Netflix series Sex Education. Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

By , NPR

Actor Ncuti Gatwa will play the role of The Doctor in the show Doctor Who, the BBC announced Sunday, in a historic casting selection that marks the first time a Black person has been cast to star in the show’s central role full-time.

The 29-year-old Gatwa, best known for his work in the Netflix series Sex Education, is also among the youngest Doctors yet.

“There aren’t quite the words to describe how I’m feeling. A mix of deeply honoured, beyond excited and of course a little bit scared,” Gatwa said in a press release. “Unlike the Doctor, I may only have one heart but I am giving it all to this show.”

Gatwa was born in Rwanda and raised in Scotland. He began his professional acting career eight years ago after graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, one of the world’s top performing arts schools.

In Netflix’s warm-hearted series Sex Education, Gatwa plays the vibrant Eric Effiong, a gay high school student.

As a gay Black teen who is the best friend of the show’s main character, the role of Eric could have been a trap of cliches as the “gay sidekick” or “Black best friend” for a straight white male protagonist.

Instead, Gatwa’s Eric stands out from the ensemble cast with a fully realized personality and inner life. The actor has twice been nominated for Best Male Comedy Performance at the British Film and Television Awards.

He becomes the 14th actor to be cast in the iconic role, following the departure of Jodie Whittaker, who was the first woman to play the role when she was cast in 2017.

In 2020, a Black person played a variation of the Doctor role for the first time when Jo Martin was cast as the Fugitive Doctor.

The new season of Doctor Who is also marked by the return of showrunner Russell T Davies, who helped revive the show in 2005 after a 15-year hiatus. Davies stepped away from the showrunner role in 2009.

Click here to read the full article on NPR.

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