WATCH THIS SPACE
New social platforms cater to professionals and creatives of color
The rise of niche social spaces wherein members can congregate and co-work with like-minded individuals has expanded community access for many youth today. Now, social and professional platforms specifically for people of color are providing the same sort of safe space to center and celebrate those in this community, ultimately encouraging creativity and fostering self-love.
Najla Austin (pictured above) is the founder of Ethel’s Club, a private social club for people of color that launched earlier this month. The Brooklyn-based club is meant to both center and celebrate people of color by providing a haven for like-minded members to celebrate their unique identity and experiences. Members must apply to join Ethel’s Club, demonstrating that they too support the brand’s mission of empowering and advancing people of color (and indeed, Austin said she was not interested in funding from investors whose interests might conflict with this credo). The multi-use space at Ethel’s Club will be used to host in-person events around art, film, wellness, music, and literature, all of which amplify the work of creators of color.
THE CREATIVE COLLECTIVE NYC
Imani Ellis founded The Creative Collective NYC back in 2016 to create community and foster meaningful connection for multicultural creatives. Since then, the creative agency has become one of the fastest-growing communities for creatives of color. Just last month, TheCCnyc hosted its third annual CultureCon, a conference that “curat[es] brave spaces for prolific collaboration and strategy by and for creatives of color.” At the conference, over 2,000 attendees went to see panelists like Tracee Ellis Ross, who spoke to themes of self-acceptance, and ask questions directly to Kerby Jean-Raymond (the founder of buzzy fashion brand Pyer Moss). Events like CultureCon—put on by entities like The Creative Collective NYC—help young creatives of color thrive, both personally and professionally.
Co-founders Bianca Jeanty and Netta Dobbins (pictured above) launched Mimconnect (a portmanteau for “Minorities in Media Connect”), a career resource platform that empowers underrepresented media professionals. The platform began as a “Minorities in Media” GroupMe chat that Dobbins started when she moved to NYC to network and make connections as she pursued a career in PR. When the group grew to 300 members in three weeks, the co-founders knew they had tapped into a serious need. Today, the multi-pronged platform has a dedicated newsletter promoting in-person events and job listings and a Slack channel that counts 4,000 members and hosts in-Slack digital events where professionals impart their knowledge to users that tune in.