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The Style

Style Story: Decolonize

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When putting a look together, it is always intentional. It is how I am going into the world, the initial message I will be sending out before I say a word.
That in and of itself is the power of fashion, style is how you make the message your own.

When I caught this shirt in my feed by Self Sovereignty it was an instant must-have, the obsession lately has been with statement tees, with labels that make social commentary that aligns with my beliefs.

The color palette was an intentional push on my part between the oversized coat, the selection of corduroy, and my continued love of any hat.

So check out my Decolinze look.

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The Entrepreneur

The Entertainment: Why “The Photograph” is important for the culture.

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So I’m walking with my best friend and we always talk about all things: current events, politics and most of all, we have a love for all things nerdy and film-oriented. A day doesn’t go by where we share or debate the merits/demerits of political candidates, the latest social scandal or a flick hitting movie theaters.

This is where Stella Meghie’s ” The Photograph” comes in. Here’s some context: Canadian Born, Stella has what might be the most anticipated film hitting theaters on Valentine’s Day. The Photograph story occurs “When famed photographer Christina Eames dies unexpectedly, she leaves her estranged daughter, Mae, hurt, angry and full of questions. When Mae finds a photograph tucked away in a safe-deposit box, she soon finds herself delving into her mother’s early life — an investigation that leads to an unexpected romance with a rising journalist.” (SOURCE)

Why has this movie has struck a cord so much with me? I for one, cannot wait to run and see it because collectively my best friend and I couldn’t remember or place a black, romance film done in the last twenty years. What was the last one? Love Jones? (which is also available on Netflix ya’ll). With the recent addition of The Photograph, we questioned why was a pure African-American, love story missing from mainstream movies in recent years? I mean, I’m about a love story, a black love story even more so. I mean you can catch me watching Deliver Us From Eva ( High Key love Gabrielle Union) to Vivica Fox giving me assertive and got it together in Two Can Play That Game, but there was definitely a gap in trying to figure out when a movie like this had last been released. I enjoy taking in a theater released love story that’s steeped in external trauma. I love Barry Jenkins y’all so Moonlight and If Beal Street Could Talk counts for me, but they are hard pills to swallow emotionally. Even Queen and Slim, it’s a love story yes, but it is also a story wrought with looming tragedy. I could see past the stories that have deep conflict or disfunction and enjoy them just the same.

For me, The Photograph, which is poised to bring love, blackness and the always amazing Issa Rae together with a soul-searching story line, that throws in a cross generational element and I realized clearly from the teaser what I was missing in my life. I applaud the story and honestly place it somewhere special because it’s what has been missing in cinema for a quite a while now (remember I said it’s been twenty years earlier?) and that’s worth going to a theater and supporting for the message it can send to the audience, to young love.

Issae Rae spoke to XONecole.com and said regarding the timeless Love Jones that

“I remember seeing Nia Long, and you know, I didn’t think I looked like Nia Long, but I was like, ‘Look at this brown skin girl…she’s so gorgeous.’ And she was someone to aspire to. So the more and more images that we have like that, the more it’s a recognition of our beauty.”

I couldn’t agree more. Go see it Champs.

SOME REVIEWS

XONecole.com
‘The Photograph’ Is A Visual Sanctuary Where Dark Skin Women Are Extolled As Soft, Vulnerable And Deserving Of Love
Normal love stories are our birthright, not just some fantasy.
By Keiyara Kelly

Indie Wire
‘The Photograph’ Review: Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield Sizzle in a Strangely Plotted Cross-Generational Romance
By Kate Erbland

The Atlantic
The Art of Shooting a Modern Black Romance
In The Photograph, starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield, the director Stella Meghie embraces darker lighting and story lines alike.
By Hannah Giorgis

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The AdvocateThe Speaker

LATINOS OUT LOUD

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The moments I got to share with Latinos Out Loud (LOL) moment beyond amazing! To sit with creative powerhouse Latinos and talk about our passions was more like a party and it felt entirely natural. For those who haven’t heard of LOL before, they are a really, energy-driven platform shown through the lens of Latinx hosts.

The two time award-winning Latinos Out Loud podcast, on the ReVolver Network, is a weekly show with comedians Rachel “La Loca” Strauss-Muniz, Michael “Juan Bago” Diaz, Jaime” “JFernz” Fernandez and Frank Nibbs that features improv bits, pranks, character segments, guests interviews that inspire and more. Packed with empowerment and laughter, as well as interviewees who inspire, LOL is here to move Latinos forward, while making them laugh. via WeAreLatinosOutLoud.com

The discussion I was a part of was about speaking really honestly about how hard it is to remain inspired and focused. In entrepreneurship, we find ourselves comparing our progress and our businesses to others. Even more with the amount of ourselves we put into our work, it’s our own personal areas of development can be what holds us back. Through the day, I constantly repeat ”Peace, Joy, Happiness”, while holding my hand over my heart and it has really helped to keep me centered. Try it champs

So take a moment to listen to the podcast! And give the LOL crew some love on IG @Wearelatinosoutloud

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To Newark, With Love. From Newark, With Love

From Newark, With Love Michael Steadman Ironbound Boxing

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Walking through downtown Newark, on my way to visit Michael Steadman, founder of Ironbound Boxing, Veteran and Newark Champion, I couldn’t help but think how many people exist in this city doing work they are passionate about and then translating that passion into impact for their community.

Michael is a shining example of what we can do when we put our mind to it! It is evident even in his email signatures which has the quote “The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.”-Unknown. Michael is the founder of Ironbound Boxing, a wellness initiative that has created corporate health experience for the likes of Spotify, WeWork and Everlast.

Michael is able to create an intense and focused experience because of his background as a Marine Veteran and all the tools he acquired at Stanford.

When we linked up, it was immediate that we had a love of Newark and also our youth. You see, that’s the beauty of what Michael does through Ironbound Boxing on the corporate level, it allows him the resources to impact the youth of Newark by instilling in them the discipline and giving them an outlet that the boxing world provides! Mike gives his all to the work, reading constantly, pushing himself and breaking down boundaries he wants to demolish.

Ironbound is not just a facility, it’s a culture and bonding space for young people who need to let out their energy. Their mission is front and center throughout the space and every time Mike steps through the door.

“WE’RE ON A MISSION TO SHARE OUR LOVE, PASSION, AND APPRECIATION FOR BOXING WITHIN COMPANIES, ORGANIZATIONS, AND LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES. AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE, WE PROUDLY DEDICATE A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF OUR PROCEEDS, TO FUND FREE BOXING PROGRAMS FOR INNER-CITY YOUTH & YOUNG ADULTS. WE ARE IRONBOUND.”

What makes me proud walking through the space is the energy of everyone giving their all to the moment. Nodding at Mike and looking to the trainers in the space for critique and compliment with the same level of enthusiasm. Whether it is a corporate team or the young person in the ring, “everyone needs a coach” Mike says and I think he is right, I am just happy that our coach is right here in Newark.

To Book Mike for a Tour or to understand more of his corporate services Reach out:

Mike Steadman
Founder & CEO IRONBOUND Boxing
Email: Mike@WeAreIronbound.com
Linkedin

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The Advocate

The Opinion

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My work with =SPACE has and will always be focused on creating an inclusive environment that provides access and resources for my community, for multicultural founders, women ventures and LGBT enterprises. I put my energy and funds into the most talent-rich and under-betted, I see opportunity in urban cities with people who just need the opportunity to grow and show their ideas.

Check out this amazing article written by our interim CEO Akosua Ayim

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The StyleUncategorized

Jennifer Lopez SS20 face of Versace

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There are many things we can ask Jennifer Lopez to do, but slowing down isn’t one of them. The actress, mogul, and singer is looking at 2020 being another banner year for her, with her upcoming Super Bowl Half Time show ( along with amazing Shakira) and recent nods for her role in Hustlers, I can not say I’m shocked with the announcement of being the face of the Spring 2020 Versace Campaign.

The campaign was shot by uber amazing duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

The campaign also has Kendall Jenner looking amazing and the two women seem to be typing their own names into a digital keyboard seen on screen.

I love the meta aspect of the campaign, the commentary on the multiple ways your digital life and real-life intersect and collide. Of course, the infamous jungle print that Lopez wore in her plunging gown 20 years ago at the Grammy’s makes an appearance in the 2020 campaign. The Versace moment and Lopez are said to be the reason google invented the images feature in its search.

Take a look at all of the shots from the campaign below.

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To Newark, With Love. From Newark, With LoveUncategorized

KKAD

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In Newark, I get to have these amazing moments where I discover a company that I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting before. I was invited to be a keynote for Next City Vanguard and speak about the spirit of collaboration in our city.

Newark is about equitable development for its citizens and small business owners. It is a point of pride in my career that in this city, I have found multiple ways to partner and bring hyper-local companies into projects I work on.

After such an amazing experience of speaking on collaboration, my favorite part of any engagement is afterwards! I want to meet everyone in the room, learn about their projects and services, especially when the leaders in the room are in Newark. I want to grab every card and find moments to take in their stories.

I had a moment to chat with the amazing Kraig Kalashian and Jennifer Van Blarcom of KKAD. Their boutique powerhouse Architecture & Hospitality Design Firm creates breathtaking environments and they are headquartered in a building I have been curious about since coming to Newark. They invited me to their Raymond Blvd studio for coffee and I was beyond, excited to sit with them.

So before I can even talk about how beautiful their work is, we need to understand how welcoming their space is. It was so evident that they wished to have every member of their team have an optimal work environment to execute in. It was ultimate luxury meets function.

There were so many common areas to grab the latest in design publications, create mood boards in their sample space, or even to play a good game of chess. The creative in me was instantly drawn to ever corner of the studio.

I lust after studios because they open your mind up to possibilities in executing your own projects.

Sitting in the well-appointed conference room, we discussed the beauty of Newark and our shared obsession over historic buildings waiting to be brought to life again and the neighborhoods in Newark like Vailsburg, Lincoln Park and Lower Clinton Hill where small businesses need spaces to bring those areas to life and reflect the residents. I’m excited to know that KKAD founder Kraig Kalashian is committed to building relationships with small businesses that will help them to take up space in their developments.

Over all I was so happy to visit this space and speak with the team, cannot wait to see what is next for KKAD.

HOTEL PHILLIPS

Kansas City, MO – 2016

Take a moment to see this Historic project executed by KKAD.

Previously listed on the National Register for Historic Places, the recent renovation enhanced the existing architecture while repositioning the hotel for the 21st century traveler. The redesign included three new food and beverage outlets as well as a new design concept for all 217 rooms.

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To Newark, With Love. From Newark, With Love

To Newark, with Love.

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Mural part of the Four Corners Public Arts: “Magnitude and Bond” by a Womb of Violet Collective @awombofviolet , Layqa Nuna Yawar @layqanunawar & Kelly Prevard @prevardk

It has been over 10 years of living, working and loving in Newark. The opportunity to expand my company and build it into the fabric of the city found me in a whirlwind love affair with Brick City.

Now after all this time, I wanted to devote a portion of my platform to write love letters to this city by telling the stories of different places, companies, and people that make Newark a unique and beautiful place to live, work and play.

Born in Brooklyn, Made in Newark.

I used this quote in my TEDx, I have been blessed to be able to grow in this city, as a person of color, a business owner and an advocate, in Newark there is opportunity to push yourself.

So take a read about some amazing parts of my city.

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Uncategorized

Yes, The Vmas, Yes Newark

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So it is coming as a surprise that Newark is hosting the MTV VMA’s on September 16th, 2019, and it makes me and the other citizens of the city laugh, our city is an amazing location for the awards show. Prudential is a perfect venue, along with a taping happening at Symphony Hall, our city has an amazing history of breakout artist, Whitney, Queen Latifah, and Naughty By Nature!

So let’s take a moment to showcase the celebrations being hosted across the city by Newark’s own tastemakers and culture builders!

Newark will continues to disrupt entertainment and the traditional paths by being innovative and equitable in showcasing the best the city has to offer, its culutral capital through its citizens.

This is a milestone but its just one of many that the city is leading under Mayor ras J Baraka.

Useful Info

Traffic Advisory via NJPATCH

VMAs Lineup up includes NJ Legends via NJ.com

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