Our inaugural listing of the Black and Brown leaders making the most impact through their capital, creativity and connections.
Black communities understand the power of giving back. As a percentage of income, Black households are the most generous of any racial group in the U.S. — giving approximately 25% more of their income to charity than white households do. Investing in the success of others is a value that’s deeply rooted in Black culture and tradition, whether it’s an investment of finances or a donation of talent and time.
It’s also a value that’s more essential than ever. Covid-19 has been especially devastating to Black, Brown and Indigenous communities across the country, with hospitalization and death rates that are more than double the rates than they are for white Americans. It also ravaged entrepreneurship, with Black business ownership rates dropping 41% in the early months of the pandemic.
And yet, as has happened so many times in our history, from that devastation grew a new determination and spirit of entrepreneurship. By the end of 2020, there were more new Black-owned businesses than at any time in the last quarter-century, according to the Kauffman Foundation. The tragic death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement brought greater awareness to systemic racism and greater support for Black-owned businesses.
Leading the charge to nurture this renaissance of entrepreneurship and creativity are members of Black and Brown communities themselves. They are the venture capitalists investing in the next unicorn, the storytellers who are defining the Black experience for the world, the founders and the titans who will be role models for generations to come and the people who want to build a more equitable and sustainable model of success.
This is the context in which we launch For(bes) the Culture’s inaugural list of FTC 50 Champions. These are the people who are making the most impact in Black and Brown communities through their capital, creativity, connections and commitment. Their goal is not just to help their neighbors but to change the game. They understand that the best way to build generational wealth is to create a generation of wealth: to spur the creative partnerships, radical collaborations, and long-term investment strategies that sustain success.
Where there is mobility, there is opportunity. Where there is ownership, there is investment. And where there is a spirit of generosity, there is hope. So join us in recognizing excellence and celebrating the champions who are creating pathways for other Black and Brown people to succeed.
Equally important, our champions are investing in themselves and achieving excellence in their respective industries while pulling the next generation up with them. Great leaders know how to lift as they climb.
Nominations were sourced by our For(bes) The Culture members and their respective networks while finalists were judged by our Advisory Board members: Monique Idlett Mosley, founder and managing partner at Reign Ventures Capital (who also played an instrumental role in helping to shape the list’s methodology); Daymond John, founder and CEO of lifestyle brand FUBU; Shavonne Charles, model, musician and director of communications and creative partnerships at VSCO; Everette Taylor, CMO of Artsy; and Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of National Women’s Law Center.