The celebrities we know and love aren’t jut making strides in their professional fields, but actively making a difference in diversity, equality and excellence.
Serena Williams and Nike Create Sportswear for Diversity
Photo Credit: Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
In collaboration with Nike, tennis champion Serena Williams has come out with a collection of women’s athleisure, designed to promote diversity in the world of fashion design. Currently, only 6.3% of US apparel makers identify as Black Americans while about 60% identify as White. To combat this, the collaboration brought together a group of ten new, talented and diverse designers of color to create Williams’ entire line. The clothes were designed to be fashionable, yet functional, for individuals of all backgrounds and body types. “I want people from all walks of life to have the opportounity to be in the room,” Williams told CNN of her collection, “I hope the next generation sees this program and is inspired to get involved.”
Jay-Z Fosters Small, Minority-Owned Businesses and Community Endeavors
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About a year ago, successful rapper Jay-Z began using his platform to support minority-owned, cannabis businesses through his partnership with The Parent Company, a social equity corporate venture fund. As the company’s Chief Visionary Officer, Jay-Z has used his position to give out $10 million worth of funding to entrepreneurs of color in the industry, including the first women-owned cannabis dispensary in Los Angeles. According to the Parent Company’s CEO, Troy Datcher, Jay-Z has also expressed his vision to not only foster business success, but to support their local communities. In accordance with this vision, Jay-Z has additionally invested his funds into other black-owned businesses such as technology companies, the food and wine industry and projects centering on the arts.
Source: Benzinga, Wikipedia
Tiffany Haddish: Creating a More Inclusive Playing Field
Photo Credit: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV)
Tiffany Haddish is more than just an amazing comedian and actress; she is also a businesswoman looking to improve the lives of the community around her. After facing financial struggles for much of her life and early career, Haddish is dedicated to helping those with similar backgrounds make informed financial and business decisions through investing in causes that she cares deeply about. Having grown up moving from foster home to foster home, Haddish founded the She Ready Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to ensuring the safety and well-being of foster children. This not only includes the general well-being of children in these systems, but includes educational, internship and career opportunities through the “She Ready Internship Program.” To take it a step further, Haddish additionally has plans to open a grocery store in South Central Los Angeles with primarily black and minority-owned vendors to provide community needs to lower income areas, provide information on healthy food choices and to circulate money in the black community.
Source: The Hollywodd Reporter, She Ready Internship, Forbes
Issa Rae Helps Others Find Black-Owned Businesses
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In the United States alone, Black-owned businesses makeup $150 billion annually and are sought out by about 44% of all U.S. consumers. In her recent team up with American Express and the U.S. Black Chambers, Issa Rae is committing to helping others have easier access to discovering and shopping from these businesses through ByBlack, the first nationwide certification program for Black business owners. “I think it’s one thing to support them during a very specific time when you feel guilty, but we’re beyond that,” Rae said to Variety of the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses, “To support these businesses year-round, and to know what you’re supporting and actively making an effort to do so, is extremely necessary.” Rae is also an advocate for hiring people of color in the workplace, including her own small businesses and the entertainment industry.
Sean “Diddy” Combs:
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Sean “Diddy” Combs has been one of the most influential advocates for business diversity, especially in the last year. Not only does he have extensive experience in founding and investing in businesses across sectors, such as the immensely successful Combs Enterprises, but is constantly working to bring Black-owned businesses into the public eye. In the last year, Combs launched “Endeavour,” a development program for aspiring entertainment executives of diverse backgrounds and “Shop Circulate,” a digital marketplace for Black entrepreneurs. Combs has also gone out of his way to make sure minority-owned businesses are educated and advocated for through the “REVOLT Summit x AT&T,” a conference for black professionals in the entertainment industries to network with one another.
Source: Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, REVOLT, Combs Enterprises