Updated: Oct 15, 2020
From filmmakers to journalists to CEO’s, these are the people serving their communities through their work on social media and in the real world.
Innovative technology and social media have introduced a new level of stardom in society: the Influencer.
Influencers are present throughout all platforms, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, etc. They express their brand through their mirror pics, aesthetic feeds, sponsored promo pictures, or even their story posts. However, amid all those superficially curated posts, some try to make a difference with their platforms. These influencers take charge of their identity and choose to make a difference with the positions they have earned. Here at Street Smart, we believe either you are the plug or know the plug and we are shouting out these influencers for their contributions to society.
Shelly Bell - @iamshellybell
Shelly Bell is the founding CEO of Black Girl Ventures, an organization that creates access to social capital and financial capital for Black/Brown woman founders. Through her organization, she exposes entrepreneurial women to funds that facilitate their development while highlighting Black/Brown-owned businesses through her blog. Shelly also received the amazing honor of being included in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 Women in Business.
Malik Jarret - @allhomage
Malik Jarret is a football team coach as well as the founding CEO of Elevate All the Time, or E.A.T. He founded E.A.T. with the vision that no matter which industry, career, or craft you belong to mediocrity is not an option. Through E.A.T. he has expanded the clothing line to include his philanthropic work with E.A.T Cares and Boys E.A.T. Both programs provide the youth with job training and mentoring through educational and entrepreneurial skills, Boys E.A.T. specifically does this through its mentorship program of 5th and 6th-grade students.
DonYé Taylor - @donyetaylor
DonYé Taylor is the CEO of The Digital Footprint, a black-owned and millennial led creative agency. The Digital Footprint is focused on empowering minority groups through education, creative work, client work, staffing, and by giving back. She also uses her platform on social media to enlighten her following on smart marketing skills, therefore, helping them build their brand.
Azel Prather Jr. - @hail_zel
Azel Prather Jr. is a teacher, show host, and founder of the Prather Foundation. The Prather Foundation enriches the lives of youth from low-income backgrounds with educational, athletic, and social programs. Azel also serves as an organizer of the Soufside Market in Washington D.C. with some of the best Black-owned brands in the city.
Hope Wiseman - @iamhopesodope
Hope Wiseman is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, speaking coach, and founder of Mary and Main and the 420 Experience podcast. Mary and Main is a black woman-owned dispensary making Hope the youngest woman to start a dispensary. Aside from the dispensary, she hosts 420 Experience, her innovative new age podcast that redefines cannabis culture while still giving back to organizations like the National Bail Out which are essential to Black communities.
Amanda Nwaopara - @elevatebygrace
Amanda Nwaopara is a John Hopkins alum and student doctor at the University Of Miami. She utilizes her Youtube channel and social media platform to start conversations about health in the black community. From her meal tips, tasty vegan recipes, to her #HealthisWealth interviews about cancer and drug addiction Amanda continues to promote health literacy in Black communities.
Courtney Connley - @classicalycourt
Courtney Connley is an award-winning journalist for CNBC. In her position on CNBC, she amplifies black stories and lifestyles through her thought-provoking writing. In her stories and every connection made through social media, she proudly shares her Blackness in support of her community.
Gia Peppers - @giapeppers
Gia Peppers is an entertainment journalist and host. She is using her platform to amplify Black voices and experiences through her Black Girl Podcast. This allows her to express and emphasize the Black girl beauty that many Black women don’t receive recognition for.
Omari Jesse - @omarijesse
Omari Jesse is an artist and one of the founders of 5ive Creative. 5ive Creative is an organization started by artists that feature their art and other creatives’ art as a form of peaceful protesting. They utilize their platforms to showcase art pieces that center and speak to the black experience. To support their communities 100% of the proceeds from items sold on their website are donated to social reform funds, small businesses, or organizations affected by the riots. Additionally, Omari has collaborated with UbiqLife of Georgetown to further his message and support of the black community through his designs of an original t-shirt.
Bee L. Jacks - @beejacks_back
Bee L. Jacks is an author and creator of Bee Jack’s Corner. Bee Jack’s Corner aims to combat the stigma in society surrounding transparency and vulnerability while letting this generation know that it's okay to feel their emotions. She hopes to help creatives or entrepreneurs identify their passions and hindrances then take the necessary steps to pursue them.
As the lines of social activism and performative are being drawn. These influencers are setting themselves apart from the influencer crowd through their selfless acts focused on enhancing their communities. They are utilizing their big following and platform to push messages of positivity, innovation, and creativity.
With great power comes great responsibility and these selfless entrepreneurs are taking responsibility for the future changes and growth happening in their communities..