With Juneteeth right around the corner, Culture Con delievered a virtual experience unlike no other with it’s #ShadesofBlack: Range & Representation panel. Hosted by the phenomenal Gia Peppers as M·A·C Cosmetics teamed up to provide a great conversation as they are allies against systemic racism. M·A·C made sure to well equip us with the ThrowBlack items that were best sellers and cult classics. The panel began with some words from the stellar brand, André Branch, SVP of M·A·C North America shared that it is one of the largest network of Black creatives. Also, that it’s conception in the 80’s lived on the model of “all age, all races, all genders.” M·A·C has continued to be a pivotal piece in the community by having a series of intitatives such as M·A·C Movement which is an employee board used to drive the racial equities. Next Jamin Courtney, the chair of the M·A·C Movement shared details about the board and its goal to help develop new ways to be more inclusive and diverse. The creation of Melanin Programs such as community programs like Ballet Black were created, there will also be more educational material for Juneteeth.

Gia then led us into an panel of renowned guests including actress Bresha Webb, model Angeer Amol, Victoria & Alexia of Women of Color on Broadway, and costume designer June Ambrose. Bresha Webb stated she’s been taking action on-set by providing feedback about her glam and giving information of individuals she knows who may better suit the needs of the talent (i.e. such a styling different hair textures). Angeer Amol shared her role was to ensure M·A·C continued inclusivity with the shade range they had for consumers as well as bringing awareness to her culture in South Sedan. She also let it be known, to either “give us a seat at the table or we’ll take one.” (I loved it and it felt so necessary!) Another intriguing component was the Women in Color on Broadway began their intivative to create a network of creatives. Both Victoria and Alexia used their own stories to nuture college students in the profession – dropping gems about the debt Black people, specifically Black women incur trying to obtain the formal education. Bresha chimed in and shared how fortunate her circumstances were to come from her schooling to booking gigs quickly but also having the pricy cost of education. Victoria and Alexia hope to eventually create a tuition free art school. June Ambrose gave quite an insight on how she envisions where she wants to be as far as 5 to 10 years out so that she can gameplay. Remarking in agreence with the other panelist that making spaces for those who look like us is bigger than all of us. In totality, I took away the fact of, “Once you get to the top, make sure to send the evelator back down.”

Culture Con is important and created an essential space used to inspire all of us to operate in our gifts entirely!


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