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Naeem Davis

Freelance Production Assistant

Runyararo Mapfumo

Writer/ Director

Laura Kirwan-Ashman

Screenwriter, Filmmaker, Co-Founder

Tia Simon-Campbell

EVENT PRODUCER

Tas Elias

Cultural Engineer, Ace Hotel

    Championing Diversity: This Black History Month 2018, meet 100 creatives inspiring change

    This Black History Month 2018, we’ve brought together a group of outstanding industry heroes to each nominate 10 black changemakers and creators that are shaping culture, arts, design, business, tech and beyond.

    We still have a way to go when it comes to conquering the lack of diversity in the creative industry - which is why it so important for us, as a platform, to use our force for good.
    To do so, throughout the year we spotlight incredible people, the projects that they are involved with and the companies that they work for, to prove our diversity is our strength and to help inspire the next generation of leaders - because if they can, you can too.
    True diversity at every level is the key to creative innovation and success - so this Black History Month, we are celebrating those transforming the industry of today, inspiring the generation of tomorrow and making creative history.
    Together, we can create a better and more diverse workplace, shaping a new creative industry for us all to enjoy.

    Chief executive at MediaCom

    Karen Blackett OBE, is chairwoman of MediaCom and a widely admired leader in ad-land, known for infusing authenticity with success. Karen was the first businesswoman to top the Powerlist 100, champions her uncommon position as a senior black woman in the advertising industry and openly discusses her working-class, second generation immigrant roots when in conversation with press. Karen is a huge inspiration for diversity in the creative industry.

    Karen's nominations:
    Selma Nicholls, founder at Looks Like Me & SoWhiteProject
    Chrissa Amuah, designer at AMWA Designs
    Anthony Vander, actor & filmmaker, founder of Distortion Entertainment
    Michael Adeyeye, videographerJamal Edwards, founder at SBTV
    Jordie Wildin, account manager at Ogilvy
    Martina Lacey, new business manager, Mindshare
    Joanna Abeyie, managing director at Huden Talent
    Issah Abdul-Moomin, account director at WPP
    Priya Matadeen, general manager, commercial at Dazed Media

    Circuit programme lead, Young People’s Programmes, Tate

    Mark’s vision is dedicated to enabling young people to participate, produce and contribute to British culture today and tomorrow. For over a decade, Mark has been at the core of the creation of programmes and projects with influence spanning from national to international - examples include the Tate Collective and the British Council European Programme of Youth Art Interchange. With an avid interest in arts dialogue to promotes change, Mark is a positive force in the world of arts and culture.

    Mark’s nominations:
    PC Williams, stylist & creative consultant
    Isaac Kariuki, visual artist & writer
    Bafic, filmmaker
    Yemi Awosile, designer & visual artist
    Nicholas Daley, fashion designer
    Hamed Maiye, artist & curator
    Myvanwy Evans, founder at Louder than Words

    Youth engagement officer at Black Pride, queer activist, writer & mentor

    With such a dynamic energy, passion for radical self care and drive to help others, it’s no surprise that Tanya was voted one of the UK’s Top 100 Most Inspiring Women by Amnesty International. Spearheading for change, Tanya is also a youth worker and motivational speaker, passionate  about mentoring and supporting marginalised young women and girls in London and beyond. She currently works with the Creative Agency ON ROAD as the Youth Network Manager and is in the process of starting her own charitable organisation.

    Tanya’s nominations:
    Abondance Matanda, writer & curator
    Karis Beaumont, creative director & photographer
    Esme, founder at HOMEBODY
    Maya Patterson, fashion designer
    Akeilah Bennett, CEO and co-founder of AZ Magazine, feature & technology development engineer
    Remi Aderemi, DJ & presenter at Reprezent Radio
    Kez Coo, photographer
    Seyi Wilson, photographer
    Krystal Neuvill, photographer
    Paula Abu, photographer
    Janay-Marie Myers-Davis, business support at Creative Skillset

    Partner at Pentagram New York

    Eddie Opera is an all-encompassing designer with many a forte; from brand identity, strategy and packaging to spatial, exhibitions, installation and much more. Though he was born in London, Eddie became a partner at Pentagram’s New York office in 2010 after establishing his own studio and making a name for himself as a 90s newbie at ATG and Imaginary Forces. With awards from the likes of D&AD, permanent work at MoMa, a place at Yale University as a senior critic and his own book ‘Color Works’ - Eddie’s cabinet of success is pretty spectacular indeed.

    Eddie’s nominations:
    Tracy Reese, fashion designer
    Jonathan Jackson, partner at WSDIA
    Stephen Burks, author
    Ozwald Boateng, fashion designer
    Jason Murphy, brand design director, Nike
    Azede Jean Pierre, fashion designer
    Madison Maxey, CIO at Loomia
    Bobby C Martin, founding partner at OCD
    Virgil Abloh, men’s artistic designer at Louis Vuitton
    Kunlé Adeyemi, architect, urbanist and creative researcher
    Kerby Jean Raymond, founder & fashion designer at Pyer Moss
    Sir. David Adjaye, lead designer at National Museum of African American History & Culture

    Co-president at Since ‘93

    An icon in discovering musical talent, Glyn was the signing hand behind acts such as Artful Dodger, Lethal Bizzle and So Solid Crew, responsible also for unearthing artists such as Emeli Sandé and Professor Green. After working for big names such as Virgin Music, Glyn took the leap with co-worker Riki Bleau to give their expertise in urban talent to the new label Since ‘93. With such a vast knowledge of the scene and a tapestry of connections, Glyn has become renowned and loved for his abilities to spot and nurture talent.

    Glyn’s nominations:
    Ibrahim Kamara, co-founder & editor in chief, GUAP magazine
    Ree Sewell, A&R, events manager, artist manager and blogger
    Kaylum Dennis, video director
    Koby Martin, illustrator, animator, co-founder at VVX Creative Group
    Daniel Owusu, A&R at BMG Music Publishing
    Davina Merchant, A&R at Downtown Music Publishing
    Akua Agyemfra, founder & creative director at Bea London
    Yara Shaikh, VP of UR Records
    Olivia Aikins, trainee solicitor at Spraggon Stennet & Brabyn
    Micheal Adex, founder at Northern Quarterz Entertainment

    Brand partnerships manager, influencer, DJ & founder of Social Fixt

    By day, Mercedes exercises her first-class skills in for all things PR, Marketing and Partnerships at Complex UK Networks. By night, Mercedes her spare time to immerse herself in the music platform 'FutureSNDS' which celebrates new talent in the UK and 'Social Fixt' - the online community that connects the dots for BAME talent in the creative industry. Mercedes can also be caught with a mic in her hand or behind the decks, as a self-taught DJ regularly playing the London circuit.
    Mercedes' nominations:
    Olivia Gold Tongo, founder of Life of a Marketing Girl
    Velma Simmons, founder of Life Talks
    Dior Bediako, founder of the junior network
    Deborah Okenla, Campus London
    Christina Nwabugo, Getty Images
    Christina Okorocha , co-founder of VAMP
    Dwayne Miller, co-founder of Unorthodox
    Cornelius Walker, Google 5 and Filmmaker
    Israel Peters, creative at Xero and Founder of YOCF
    Ibrahim Kamara, co-founder & editor in chief, GUAP magazine

    Film director, producer & artist

    Also named in our list of 200 women redefining the creative industries 2018, there really is a lot to be excited about with Jenn. Her powerfully excited visuals have already won her clients such as the BFI, Channel 4 and Tate. Jenn’s recent dreamlike exploration of black identity ‘Rebirth Is Necessary’ has been produced by NOWNESS and won the Canal + award and Best Documentary at the London independent Film Festival. Other strings to Jenn’s bow include introducing the UK premiere of Black Panther and being given the 2018 Voice of Woman award at Cannes.

    Jenn’s nominations:
    Runyararo Mapfumo, film director
    Abondance Matanda, poet, writer & curator
    Elijah Maja, arts & community
    Thick/er Black Lines, research initiative in arts & culture to rewrite histories
    Kareem Reid, founder at Body Party
    Sharmaarke Ali Adan, photographer
    Yero Timi-Biu, director & writer
    BBZ London, club night & curatorial collective for queer womxn, trans & nb poc
    Laura Kirwan-Ashman, screenwriter, director & co-founder at Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah
    BORN N BREAD, creative community in music, culture, events & arts

    Graphic designer, writer & educator

    As one of the most established designers in the world, Gail’s career has been more than colourful. After working up the ladder to senior art director at Rolling Stone Magazine 1987-2002, Gail has gone on to become the creative director of theatre and broadway advertisement company Spotco, an author of a myriad of design books and a lecturer at the School of Visual Arts MGA. Gail has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Medal from AIGA amongst many other awards.

    Gail’s nominations:
    Tre Seals, type designer
    Maurice Cherry, writer & podcast house
    Njoki Gitahi, design lead
    Mahdi Woodard, marketing strategist
    Andrea Pippins, illustrator & designer
    Kai Frazier, founder at Curated x Kai
    Gil Kuruneri, VP, global creative director, Edelman NY
    Jerome Harris, teaching fellow at MICA
    Lashun Tines, design director
    Dimeji Onafuwa, design researcher & consultant

    Entrepreneur, speaker & brand consultant

    Blending business and creativity, Claud is a go-getter, leader and a ‘practical dreamer’ - the basis of which sparked the genesis of Claud’s start up, Dream Nation. This is a personal development brand seeking to empower a community of creatives, innovators and more. Claud also offers website design, marketing and branding consultation for businesses and works with nonprofits via workshops and project leadership.

    Claud’s nominations:
    Akil Benjamin, head of research at Comuzi
    Alex Fefegha, founder & head creative at Comuzi
    Nas Abraham, visual artist
    Buki Thompson, software engineer & artist
    Elizabeth Uviebinené & Yomi Adegoke, authors of Slay in Your Lane
    Seyi Ogunnaike, graphic designer & musician
    Tobi Kyeremateng, theatre, poetry and festival producer
    Aji Ayorinde, social entrepreneur, lawyer & designer
    Lope Ariyo, food blogger & author
    Sebastian Thiel, director, writer & producer

    Founder of For Working Ladies

    For Working Ladies is a digital media platform and offline community that provides advice, details of events and practical actionable content for women across topics on entrepreneurship, lifestyle and careers. Elizabeth dedicates her work to voicing the stories of diverse, intelligent women, not-for-profit organisations and rallies her network and beyond to be supportive of one another - especially on the subject of female founders.

    Elizabeth’s nominations:
    Abadesi Osunade, founder at Hustle Crew
    Ade Akinsanya, founder at Adzvice
    Otegha Uwagba, founder at Women Who
    Sharmadein Reed, founder at Wah Nails & Beauty Stack
    Chidera Egguerue, author & influencer
    Bayo Adelaja, founder at Do It Now Now
    Sereena Abbassi, head of culture & inclusion, M&C Saatchi, founder at All Here
    Alice Casely-Hayford, digital editor at Vogue
    Reni Eddo-Lodge, journalist & author

    Founder of Life Talks

    Velma is an individual committed to awareness and understanding of how global branding works, along with a drive to adapt and diversify the entertainment industry. After moving to the UK to work at the music industry and joining the Universal team, Velma became the boss at brand partnerships at the ever-booming ASOS. Her side Hustle is L.I.F.E. Talks (Learning from Intelligent Fearless Entrepreneurs) which Velma created after witnessing first hand the hardships of a youth breaking into the entertainment industry.

    Velma’s nominations:
    Dior Bediako, founder & director at Pepper Your Talk
    Mercedes Benson, brand partnerships manager, influencer, DJ & founder of Social Fixt
    Josiah Sampson, director
    Dominique Olowu, musician
    Tosin Cole, actor
    CJ Beckford, actor
    Jeffery Simmons,  senior programmatic partner manager
    Yasmine Elizabeth, beauty therapist, PT, influencer
    Olivia Gold Tongo, founder of Life of a Marketing Girl
    Lletitia Sophie, makeup artist & fashion designer
    Roland John, founder of Lynch & Mason & Property Cohort

    Cultural engineer at the Ace Hotel Shoreditch

    Tas Elias is the mastermind behind the music and culture programming at East London hotspot Ace Hotel Shoreditch. As the cultural engineer, it’s down to Tas to keep feet tapping on the dancefloor, minds curious at exhibitions and folk far and wide excited about events from rooftop raves to the next big book launch. Tas plays a pivotal role in Ready Made Go, a project for London Design Festival that exhibits new commissions - past contributions have included tip top designers from Assemble and Studio TooGood.
    Tas’ nominations:
    Jenn Nkiru, film director, producer & artist
    James Massiah, poet & musician
    Zezi Ifore, presenter, journalist & DJ
    Anita Blay, singer & songwriter
    PC Williams, stylist & creative consultant
    Akin Davies JR, moving image artist
    Kevin Morosky, photographer & art director
    Femi Adeyemi, founder at NTS Radio
    Theo Oliver, DJ at NTS Radio
    Tayo Yusuff, shooting producer & director at Noisey, VICE

    Co-founder & editor in chief, GUAP magazine

    At just 24, Ibrahim is already leading the way in digital innovation. Hailed by the Mayor of London as a ‘digital pioneer’ for  his work in digital media and entrepreneurship, he has certainly leaped right into industry icon status. A co-founder of GUAP magazine, Ibrahim mixes skills with youth culture and content, and has worked with brands such as Nike, NME, BBC and The London Assembly.

    Ibrahim’s nominations:
    Shanice Mears, co-founder at The Elephant Room
    Nwaka Okparaeke, multidisciplinary artist
    Abondance Matanda, writer & curator
    Leon Carlton, filmmaker, editor & colourist
    Ejatu Shaw, photographer
    Sophia Tassew, creative
    Liv Little, editor in chief, gal-dem
    Jojo Sonubi, design, events & founder at Recess & Blkintheday
    Caleb Femi, poet & director

    Credits

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