In an Advocate exclusive, LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization, GLAAD, has launched “Changemakers,” a 4-part video series that highlights Black LGBTQ+ small business owners and their impact on their local communities — both before and through the ongoing global pandemic.
“[The pandemic] has disproportionately impacted Black communities and businesses across the United States. In creating this project, I wanted to spotlight how brands can show up for Black LGBTQ small businesses owners in authentic and meaningful ways,” said Abdool Corlette, GLAAD’s Creative Director and co-founder of NEON, GLAAD’s digital content series that seeks to elevate Black LGBTQ+ voices and experiences.
The series premiere of "Changemakers" follows Kingsley Gbadegesin, a first-generation Nigerian American who lives in New York. He’s the founder and creator behind K.NGSLEY, a brand that’s looking to reshape how we think of Black, queer, and femme bodies.
K.NGSLEY can be found online at k.ngsley.com, Nordstrom, and Fred Segal, with more stores carrying the brand in the near future, according to GLAAD.
Ally, the digital financial services company, supported the series. The company is donating $10,000 to each business featured in “Changemakers.”
“We’re excited to work with GLAAD on this project that shines a light on the important contributions these Black LGBTQ business owners made in the face of a global pandemic and will continue to do in years to come,” said Reggie Willis, chief diversity officer at Ally, in a press release. “The ‘Changemakers’ video series fosters an inclusive environment that celebrates peoples' differences, which is something we encourage with our teammates at Ally every day.”
“In addition to Ally’s financial contributions to these four small businesses, this series helps to elevate the stories of the incredible people behind these change-making businesses, allowing viewers to connect and learn about the challenges and triumphs of being a small business owner during these unprecedented times,” Corlette said.
Check out the exclusive premiere below.