+80 others

Jolade Olusanya

Director, Photographer & Poet

Florence Adepoju

Founder, MDMflow

Jordan Williams

Filmmaker

Yemi Davis

Art Director x 3D Motion Designer

Sandra Falase

Artist, Writer and Scenic Set Builder

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

    We asked 11 of our creative heroes to each nominate 10 leading black change makers and creators who are shaping the current climate with raw talent, big ideas and crazy hard work.

    There is still a huge disparity of BAME individuals in the creative industry. Currently only 13% of the creative industry workforce identify as coming from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. In addition, only 8% of senior positions have BAME representation. Spotlighting this subject is as important as ever. True diversity at every level is the key to creative innovation and success. That's why this October, throughout 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.

    A big thanks to Claud Williams and our friends at Dream Nation for consulting with us on this project.

    Claud is the founder of Dream Nation - a personal development brand empowering a community of practical dreamers. For Claud, Black History Month "represents a time to encourage people of all cultures and backgrounds to dive into a deep and rich global history.” He also shared that after looking back to pioneers of the American Civil Rights Movement, his own story took shape: “During a period of soul searching, I read the biography of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, which had a profound impact on me. It was at this time that I decided I wanted to use my life to create a bigger impact for others. As a result, Dream Nation was born, and the first event took place on the 28th August 2013, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech.”

    Claud's nominations:

    Florence Adepoju - founder of cosmetics brand MDMflow
    Paul Akinrinlola - director and photographer at PDesigns Media
    Jolade Olusanya - poet, director and photographer
    Tobi Rachel Akingbade - reporter at Metro and Dream Nation
    Chidera Eggerue - blogger, speaker and presenter
    JJ Bola - writer and poet
    Bola Awoniyi and Tobi Oredein -founders at lifestyle platform Black Ballad
    Amanda Akokhia - fashion and beauty photographer
    Bola Sol - founder of finance agency Refined Currency
    Sophia Thakur - spoken word performer, storyteller and artist

    Liv is founder of gal-dem, an online and print magazine run by women of colour, for all, with the core motivation that mainstream feminism overlooks the narratives of women of colour. The publication provides a digital space for the contributors and audience to take control. gal-dem runs events at staple arts spaces such as the V&A, and celebrates its achievements with music and workshops strongly influenced by youth culture and community. Liv has also been involved with work for Refugee Women, such as the ‘Set her free’ campaign.

    Liv's nominations:

    Paula Akpan - co-founder of The I'm Tired Project & Black Girl Fest
    Nicole Crentsil - curator and founder of Unmasked Women exhibtion
    Ibiye Camp - artist
    Jocelyn Yeboah-Newton - founder of live drawing series Our Naked Truths
    Shanice Bryce and Suzette Intsiful - founders of creative studio SSPACE°
    Chelsea Bravo - designer and founder of fashion label Chelsea Bravo
    Munroe Bergdorf - DJ and activist
    Rashida Seriki - script writer and filmmaker
    Leah Abbott - stylist
    Wilson Oryema - artist and model

    A Master of all, Jordan Kensington is a successful entrepreneur, artist, actor, songwriter, presenter and founder. The Urban Music Awards, which founded in 2003, is now held in six countries around the world and celebrates achievements of artists in hip-hop, R&B, dance and soul. Meanwhile, his media company Invincible Media Group publishes over 12 magazines including; Chelsea Monthly, Los Angeles Monthly, UniDaily and Teen Republic.

    Jordan's nominations:

    Priscilla Ngethe - BBC Africa freelancer and co-founder of Global African Business Awards
    Dego Visionz - music video director, producer and TV writer
    Jordan Williams - film director
    Claud Williams - founder of Dream Nation
    Sherrie Silver - dancer, teacher and philanthropost
    Lethal Bizzle - musician and founder of brand Dench
    Tim Abuede - barber
    Sil Aneru - entrepenuer
    Nana Wereko-Brobby - copywriter and founder of creative company, Social Concierge
    Eric Myers - video director and co-founder of Boss Media

    ‘A true Renaissance Girl’, Mercedes Benson is a social media specialist, influencer and marketer by day, and a fierce entrepreneur and DJ by night. Having worked for Adidas, Puma, BeatsbyDre, Google and more, she has established herself as a voice of authority in the industry. Her passions delve into music, fashion, youth and content creation, mastering the art of juggling the fast-paced realms of social media for brands, whilst maintaining her own personal brand.

    Mercedes' nominations:

    Ashley Verse - photographer
    Tolani Shoneye - beauty and lifestyle writer at Buzzfeed
    Debbie Shasanya - ASOS magazine coordinator
    Sophia Tassew - junior art director at Ogilvy UK
    Chidera Eggerue - blogger, speaker and presenter
    Nicole Crentsil - curator and founder of Unmasked Women exhibtion
    Bejay Mulenga - entrepreneur and founder of Supa Academy and Filli Studios
    Israel Peters - video producer
    Dior Bediako - founder of Pepper Your Talk
    William Adoasi - founder and CEO of Vitae London

    Melanie Eusebe has recently become the executive producer of WOW (Women of the World) festival, with the mothership event being at world-famous arts centre Southbank, and other festivals happenings around the UK. This accompanies a string of accomplishments such as the chairing the Black British Business Awards, broadcasting, lecturing and strategising transformation initiatives for leading global brands.

    Melanie's nominations:

    Chrissa Amuah - founder of AMWA Designs
    Lenique Louis - jewellery designer
    Stella Nwimo - storyteller and film producer
    Adrian Grant - producer, director and writer
    Dr Gus Casely-Hayford - curator and cultural historian
    Misan Sagay - screen writer
    Hannah Azieb Pool - journalist, curator, producer
    Chi-chi Nwanoku - artistic director of Chineke!, and professor at Royal Academy of Music
    Timothy Armoo - co-founder of advertising platform Fanbytes
    Marc Hare - footwear designer
    Jonathan Akwue - managing partners of Digitas LBI
    Vanessa Kingori - publisher of British GQ & GQ Style
    Kenneth Tharp - CEO and freelance arts professional

    Founded by Dior Bediako, Pepper Your Talk is inspiring the next generation of fashion creatives. The organisation sets out to support its community of junior fashion creatives with honest access to information, people and events - aiming to be a ‘phy-gital’ platform whereby there is as much physical experiences offline, as there are online. Dior’s work with young people in a leadership capacity started at the age of just 14, which she followed up with a fashion degree and the genesis of Pepper Your Talk.

    Dior's nominations:

    Toni Blaze - senior fashion editor of Wonderland Magazine
    Velma Simmons - partnerships manager at ASOS
    Chloe Watts - founder of creative agency Chloe Digital
    Basma Khalifa - presenter, fashion stylist and brand consultant
    Abisola Omole - CEO of The Apartment Global Group
    Naomi Mdudu - founder of creative platform The Lifestyle Edit
    Sandra Falase - actor, artist and writer
    Shannon Wright - content and talent coordinator of Mobo Awards
    Shanice Mears - co founder of The Elephant Room

    Abraham Asefaw is part of a new-era of creativity. As co-founder of The Pop Up Agency, Abraham set out to redefine the way in which we tap into creativity in business. A strong believer in the power of creativity and inclusivity, Abraham inspires not only through his work but through lecturing and speaking at the beaux-mondes of creativity such as Central Saint Martins, Hyper Island, Cannes Lions, Dubai Lynx, D&AD and more.

    Abraham's nominations:

    Karen Okonkwo - co-founder of diverse stock photography agency TONL
    Barakat Bino Ghebrehawariat - democracy agent and entrepreneur
    Ellen Elias - stylist, costume designer and art producer
    Tani Brown - partnerships at BAME career advancement platform Jopwell
    Zakaria A Hersi - founder of inclusion and diversity in tech network Orten.io
    Anthony Prince - cinematographer and creative director
    Denisse Ariana Pérez - author and copywriter
    Ahmed Abokor - creative designer at Innovision
    Faiza Farah - founder and CEO of Third Space Media
    Dara Oke - program manager at Microsoft

    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:

    Marisa Ambersley - strategy director of MediaCom
    Tolu Farinto - founder of careers platform LFA (Limitless Future Achievements)
    Selma Nicholls - founder Looks Like Me and The So White Project
    Jamal Edwards - founder of SB.TV
    Chrissa Amuah - founder of AMWA Designs
    Lawrence Lartey - creative director, senior lecturer and founder of Question Media Group
    Adrian Walcott - MD at Brands With Values Co.
    Anthony Vander - actor, film maker and founder of Distortion Entertainment
    Joanna Hall - BBC News Producer
    Michael Adeyeye - videographer

    Tolu Farinto is the founder of LFA ‘Limitless Future Achievements’ an opportunity consultation company whose philosophy centres around investing in the next generation of rising stars from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds. Tolu is also Operations Manager at Sunshine, a next-generation entertainment company, and co-founded The Great British Diversity Experiment.

    Tolu's nominations:

    Anthea Agyekum - production and publishing assistant at PITCH
    Mercedes Benson - social media specialist and founder of online network SocialFixt
    Marian Ogokwu - director of BlackPepperPR
    Myles Manyonda - Junior Strategist at HeyHuman
    Fola Enifeni - planner executive at RPM Ltd
    Naomi Desalegene - experience designer
    Bolaji Farinto - junior creative for Chi & Partners
    Patricia Odje - founder of PBelle Communications and freelance music journalist

    Nene Parsotam is an art director and co-founder of Stripes - a UK based initiative with the purpose of creating opportunities and expanding horizons for BAME individuals. Another trailblazing project of Nene’s is Vine Creatives - a branding and investment agency for the African diaspora and African focused businesses, this includes working directly with businesses to work on brand development, content strategy and visual communications.

    Nene's nominations:

    Akama Davies - head of brand performance AOL, and founding member of Stripes
    Ade Okelarin - African portrait and conceptual photographer
    Selma Nicholls - founder Looks Like Me and The So White Project
    Melody Sylvester - producer of RSA London
    Ade Onilude - founder of Women in Marketing
    Yemi Davis - motion designer
    Tori Taiwo - photographer
    Neequaye Dreph Dsane - street artist
    Cey Adams - visual artist
    Amit Amin and Naroop Jhooti - founders of photograpy agency Amit and Naroop

    Trevor Robinson OBE, creative director and founder of advertising and production agency Quiet Storm, has been at the forefront of advertising and philanthropy for over two decades. Trevor is dedicated to encouraging the creative industry to support, encourage and embrace individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds. Notably, Robinson founded ‘Create Not Hate’ in 2007, aimed at children affected by gang-related violence and knife crime, a project which recieved world-wide press.

    Trevors's nominations:

    Dennis Gyamfi - founder Endz2Endz
    Alex Botaeng - head of Island records, Urban Division
    Michael Dapper - comedian
    Famalam - BBC sketch show pilot cast and writers

    Credits

    Sandra Falase

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    Jordan Williams

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    • Founder, MDMflow
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    Jolade Olusanya

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    • Director, Photographer & Poet
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    Melody Sylvester

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    • Executive Producer at RSA Films/RSA Photographic - Head of Design & Animation
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    Abisola Omole

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    • CEO of The Apartment Global Group
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    Dior Bediako

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    • Founder and Director at Pepper Your Talk/The Junior Network
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    Chidera Eggerue

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    • Visual Artist
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    Nene Parsotam

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    • art director | visual designer | co-founder
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    Tobí Rachel Akingbadé

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    • Reporter at Metro.co.uk and Editor-in-Chief at Dream Nation
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    Liv Little

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    Basma Khalifa

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    • Co-Founder of SSPACE°
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    • Founder | Refined Currency
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    Ibiye Camp

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    Selma Nicholls

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    • Founder Looks Like Me & Co -Founder theSOwhiteproject
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    Munroe Bergdorf

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    • Social Activist & Model
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    Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE

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    • Founder, Artistic & Executive Director of Chineke!
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    Kenneth Tharpe

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    • Arts Professional | Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
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    Vanessa Kingori

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    • Publisher of British GQ & GQ Style
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    Adrian Grant

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    • Producer
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    Amanda Akokhia

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    Anthony Vander

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    • Actor/Filmmaker and Founder of Distortion Entertainment
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    Karen Okonkwo

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    • Social Entrepreneur | Co Founder of TONL
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    Gus Casely-Hayford

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    • Director | Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
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    Faiza Farah

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    • Co Founder and CEO of Third Space Media
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    Jordan Kensington

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    Ahmed Abokor

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    Nana Wereko-Brobby

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    • Founder, Social Concierge
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    Michael Adeyeye

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    • Film Director
    • Cancer Research, Kudos Productions, Shine Group

    Chrissa Amuah

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    • Founder & Creative Director of AMWA Designs
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    Ade Onilude

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    • Founder & CEO Women in Marketing CIC
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    Jonathan Akwue

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    Amit Amin

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    Tobi Oredein & Bola Awoniyi

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    Priscilla Ng'ethe

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    • Strategist, TRO
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    Ashley Verse

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    Karen Blackett

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    • Beauty & Lifestyle Writer, Buzzfeed
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    Project Tags

    • Black History Month
    • The Dots Black History Month
    • Creatives
    • Creative Industry
    • Equality
    • Diversity
    • Black Creatives
    • Empowerment
    • Creative Platform