Happy Juneteenth, everyone! Being part of the new team at Venture Café means this was OUR first Juneteenth Celebration! We were thrilled to host this Gathering, and proud of the community response. Those who are aware of Juneteenth understand its significance in heavily Black populated cities like in St. Louis. For those who were not familiar with Juneteenth, we wanted to spotlight the individuals and organizations doing incredible work in their respective industries and in our community. It was a great event that showcased Black culture, influence, and creation. We had snacks, games, engaging sessions, and good vibes! Let’s get into what you might’ve missed!
To start off, we heard from Cenia Bosman. She is the President & CEO of Community Action Agency of St. Louis County. She spoke about her nonprofit work, and how she has assisted households and families in accessing various opportunities in education, healthcare, careers, and safe/affordable/energy efficient housing. She was the inaugural lead in our new monthly Nonprofit Meet & Greet session. This foundational programming was spearheaded by our very own Ebbi Young, and Brandon Wilkes of St. Louis Reconciliation Network. Stay tuned for next month’s nonprofit guest session!
Next, we had heard from Michael Bynum, principal at FedTech. He hosted the session, Deep Tech & The Impact of Black Inventors. The focus of his session was to highlight the rich history of Black inventors, and the seminal impacts of their collective work from past to present. Additionally, he made sure to inform today’s entrepreneurs on how to utilize publicly available technology to power their business.
Our last session of the evening was The Influence of Black Fashion in the United States & Beyond. This session was moderated by Monique Levy of Levy Consulting, with AK Brown, Yoro Newson & Michael Shead contributing via panel discussion. They recounted the global effects of Black Fashion and how it has transformed Pop Culture – from Run DMC being the first Hip-Hop group to obtain a paid partnership with a sporting brand, to Rihanna becoming an industry innovator with her Savage X Fenty brand. The reach and influence of Black culture is as permeable as it is immeasurable, and this panel personified this reality.
Our Juneteenth Celebration magnified the history of Black creativity being at the forefront of any relevant conversation in American parlance and beyond. We hope the aforementioned helped capture your imagination. You can be sure to catch us next Thursday, but for now, Happy Juneteenth, everyone!