PARLAY — AN URBAN THINK TANK ON CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
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.
Every month our esteemed panelists show up & show out, dropping candid insight and serious knowledge about their unique experiences as Black Millennials of influence. Following the panel's conclusion, countless participants line up for Q&A's, and our channels were flooded with responses and questions from our remote viewers via our livestream. Simply put, we have proven what civic engagement reinvented through the lens of Black Millennials looks like; The dream is actualized!
As we coalesce and build on this momentum, 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.