At the end of 2015, we launched the Parlay Conversation Series, holding the first of twelve conversations at the creative incubator Maker City LA in Downtown Los Angeles. As a result, over 230 influencers of color - CEO's in the nonprofit and business sectors, Creative Directors, Original Programming & Urban Entertainment Executives, Educators, Community and Political Organizers, Publishing Executives, Labor Leaders, Dreamers, Brand Ambassadors, Artists, Small Business Owners, Students and committed community members - are now a part of the Parlay village. It was extremely important that I mirror my intentioned outcome for this endeavor with a demonstration of collective work & cooperative economics, and am proud to share that all vendors that pooled their resources to make the launch a success are local, African American/Minority owned and operated businesses.
Our esteemed panelists Nkrumah Farrar (Creative Director & Co-Creator of Parlay), Miss Diddy (Lifestyle Specialist & CEO of The Brand Group), William Syms (Political/Community Organizer), Mir Harris (Associate Director, Urban/Rhythm & Soul at ASCAP), and Channing Hawkins (Government & Community Relations at SEIU Local 721), and our Emcee - actress Taja V. Simpson showed up & showed out, dropping candid insight and serious knowledge about their unique experiences as Black Millennials of influence.
Following the panel's conclusion, countless participants lined up for Q&A's, and our channels were flooded with responses and questions from our remote viewers via our livestream. Simply put, for three hours in the middle of a Friday afternoon in Downtown LA, we showed what civic engagement reinvented through the lens of Black Millennials looks like; The dream was actualized!
It is fair to say that the power generated by Parlay was more magnanimous than we could have imagined! We all left the space with fires ignited, and with a renewed excitement and dedication to further Parlay's manifesto. As promised you can find our first PARLAY PARCEL, comprised of a snippet of the curated, revolutionary soundtrack mixed live by our very own DJ B-Hen, and our branded digital manifesto (crafted specifically for you to SHARE), on this blog.
As we coalesce and build on the momentum from our launch, I encourage you to continue parlaying with each other. Both our existence and thrival are reciprocal, and dependent on our allegiance to very principals we discussed: Unity, Influence, Legacy, Ingenuity, coupled with a heightened understanding that we have the power to affect change in this world by using our platforms responsibly and being civically engaged.
Thank you, again, to our sponsors who gave generously their time and resources to bring Parlay's launch to fruition:
T H A N K Y O U , for your continued partnership!