In honor of My Creative Connection, the platform dedicated to connecting young Black Creatives turning two on August 24, the website has decided to honor individuals who live up to its motto: Create. Connect. Conquer. MYCC Presents its 2nd annual feature: 45 Young Millennials of Color Who Are Blazing Their Own Paths. While proving difficult to whittle down to just forty-five movers + shakers, this list is composed of fearless leaders, creatives, compassionate professionals, and extreme talents who all have one thing in common. In a society that demands we follow the rules, this list is too busy creating their own. They are unapologetically staying true to themselves and their dreams while forging forward towards the lives they want to create for themselves and the world around them. Be inspired. (Each Part of the list will be revealed each Friday in September.)
The One With The Divine Thought
You rarely see any black millennials working in social media, let alone black women – especially in the church. Deanna Mingo, the owner of Divyn Media, has been making her mark in the digital marketing world on behalf of churches and nonprofits. Gearing up for 2015 as the co-founder of a new social media and tech conference for churches, Deanna is has plenty of love to share when it comes to all things digital, tech, and community.
Why We Love Following Her On Twitter – @divynthought: We don’t realize how much peace we forfeit by keeping certain people in our lives. @CityPointCC #cpFriends
The One Taking Over The Radio
Whether you’ve seen her on VH1’s Masters Of The Mix, on BET’s 106 & Park as a guest judge, grabbing a nod or an award for Best Female DJ, being a brand ambassador for Moskato Lite, partnering up with Miss Jessie’s or handling her business in one of the top markets in the country, it’s clear that DJ Dimepiece understands the value of hardwork. Known as 107.5 WGCI Chicago’s first female Mixer and on air personality, you can now find this powerhouse on 101.1 The Wiz in Cincinnati Ohio and during “Dime Time Radio” weeknights on Columbus Ohio’s Power 107.5.
The One With The Fest
When marketing guru Jason Carter wanted to find an experience that would please progressive music lovers AND unite the city Atlanta, he didn’t rely on the current menu of national music festivals. He created his own. The amazing One Music Fest kicks off next weekend with major acts like Nas, Jhene Aiko, Kendrick Lamar, Amel Laurrieux, Daley, and Bilal.
The One With the Golden Touch
Launched in 2011, JLANI Jewels was created to break the mold of what traditional eco-friendly accessories look like and introduce the world to the art of blending delicate details with the rough medium of stainless steel. Proving that substance and style go a long way, Lani Nesbit has mastered a brand that is loved by mega celebs such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Tika Sumpter, Taraji P Henson, Solange, Nia Long, Angela Simmons, Serena Williams and more.
The One Who Builds A Family
His story is impressive: He’s the founder of Adjah, a full service entertainment advisory firm, the co-founder of Greenlighter a Silicon-Valley based startup, Board of Directors and as an advisor to the Urbanworld Film Festival sponsored by HBO and BET Networks, and the President of The Harvard Black Alumni Society. The most impressive feat? This entrepreneur, community builder & trusted business advisor has created Our Family Dinner, a community-based family dinner tradition started in New York that now hosts thousands of our most influential and diverse young adults over family style dinners to build community in twenty two major cities all over the world.
Why We Follow Lawrence: The daily goal is to relinquish my life, so as to be used fully, in serving others and ultimately, building His kindgom. (L.E.A.)
The One For The Nubians
Someone must have been praying hard this year to make Black womens’ lives a tad bit easier because we’ve been blessed with Nubian Skin. Nubian Skin, a new nude lingerie and hosiery line for women of color set to level the playing field when it comes to beauty necessities for Nubian Queens:
“It’s an uphill battle, but every revolution starts somewhere. Looking at the makeup industry, it took Eunice W. Johnson to create Fashion Fair Cosmetics in 1973 for black women to really have an adequate choice in finding makeup colours to suit them. In the 1990s and 2000s, mainstream brands began to realize the value of providing to women of colour, and despite the billions we spend on make up each year, there are still brands that have chosen not to provide an offering for us.”
The One with All The Wild Stories
Created by the Florida based blogger, graphic and web designer known as Kimberly Luxe, From A Wildflower has transformed the way 20 and 30 somethings share their stories. The stories she curates are just as real, raw, and visually stimulating as her work, and no matter what capacity she’s serving in, we already can’t get enough. Charlamagne Tha God agrees.
(Check out From A Wildflower’s September Challenge Here)
The One Who Writes Better Black TV
We’ve watched the pilot presentation for his series Bros Before Hos so many times that we can’t wait to see it on the small screen! Ben Jones has written a family comedy that it sure to bring the quality and love we’ve missed from shows like The Fresh Prince and Martin. A testament to what can happen when you follow your dreams, this Morehouse grad left Wall Street to pursue his passion for creative writing took is currently a staff writer for ABC Family’s Chasing Life.
The One With The Wanderlust Eye
You know those people that you randomly meet one day and instantly fall in love with their spirit? Though we have yet to meet Photographer and philanthropist Bessie Akuba offline, we’re completely mesmerized by her energy and her commitment to living out her life’s passions – no matter what continent she’s on.
Why We Follow Bessie: “In our pursuit to create and to make, and to be; we must reach beyond the expectations that people have set for us. Reach beyond our own expectations. Just reach. Outside our zone of comfort.”
The One Who Thinks Smart
St. Louis, MO native Wiz has seen his fair share of injustice even before Ferguson erupted. It’s his passion to strengthen community and set a positive example that motivated him to create Think Smart Apparel, a socially conscious apparel line. He recently created a Pray for Peace shirt with all proceeds going to the Mike Brown family.
Why We Follow Wiz: “I fear for my life. Those who are sworn to protect me, wave Guns at me, throw bombs at me, and use military tactics against me. I can’t trust them with my life I can only trust God…Pray for peace and ThinkSmart.”
The One Who Keeps It Real
We’re convinced that Ty is our best friend in our head. You know the friend – who always, always puts you in your place just when you’re about to overthink that new idea or not giving yourself enough credit for all of your accomplishments. She’s smart, fun, and not afraid to be transparent.
Why We Follow Ty: “You have to know who you are. I know that there is a shift happening in my life, imperceptible to very few people. Things are changing, but they are doing so at such a glacial and gradual pace that no one really stops to notice. So, as they change, I have to know myself and what the hell I’m trying to do.” – via You Have To Know Who You Are
The One Ruling The Playground
When her 3 year old daughter came home from school crying and pleading for Dad to make her hair straight and yellow, not only did Nicole provide encouragement and empowerment to her little one, she responded by creating her own movement. The brilliant artist and illustrator founded Cotton Candy Playground, a multi-faceted collection of children’s books, stationery, and apparel focused on self love and acceptance.
The One Who Defends Dreams
Phillip Agnew is the Executive Director of the Dream Defenders, an org dedicated to developing the next generation of radical leaders to realize and exercise our independent collective power; building alternative systems and organizing to disrupt the structures that oppress our communities.
Check back next Friday as we reveal Part 2! Want to learn more about our story? Read it here.
If you can tweet us and tell us where we got the inspiration from for our titles, you’ll be entered to win a special prize! Send the tweet to @_MYCC on Twitter using #mycc45. Raffle ends Sept 30. (Hint: It’s from a popular 90s TV show) We’re also open to hearing about any other millennials of color who are blazing their own paths!
Editor’s Note: We’re gearing up for the Black Weblog Awards and we’d love your help to get nominated for Best Group Blog. Voting opens up September 16 and we’ll keep you posted.