image via Phenomenal
….Continued from original BIPOC post….
This list of inspiring poets, writers, activists and speakers, publications and books, and non-profits is one with truly inspiring BIPOC individuals. Follow their work and their teachings, for they have an invaluable truth and stories to tell, especially on Racism and Black Injustices.
As far as books, there are soo many books geared at learning about racism in our systems, being an anti-racist and everything in between, that I would be repeating lists already on the internet. BUT do your homework, as some of these books that are recommended are in turn written by white people, and not POC. So go to your favorite BIPOC see what suggestions they have and go from there. Do the research yourself, BIPOC are tired and do not need to be teaching you specifically and telling you every little thing you need to do. Many on this list have inspiring books and podcasts that are a great start…
Where do I even begin, with the inspiring and beautiful soul and heart that is Morgan Harper Nicols and her inspiring and soul touching poetry and art. They always say things appear in your life when you need them, and over a year I came across her work and now there are days it’s like her words are speaking directly to whatever I’m feeling at the moment. Read her comments, many feel the same way. She is light, an uplifting and encouraging voice, a virtual hug of encouragement, that whatever it is, it’s okay, take a step back realize this is necessary. I’ve pinned so many and even hung a few of her beautiful inspiring words in my office. Yes, MHN is always a constant source of inspiration and soothing comfort.
MHN above is my female sole encouraging word whisperer, and Adrian Michael Green is the male version. His words are simple but impactful, encouraging and soothing, uplighting and empowering — above all they are filled with love! Adrian believes that purpose and identity are what drives people into meaning, and that yes comes from being an accomplished writer with 11 books of poetry, but especially from his years as an elementary school teacher helping shape the lives of young children. He is an immensely inspiring human!
3. Cleo Wade
When Cleo Wade’s book “Heart Talk” was making the rounds before its release, I like so many had to find out who this inspiring woman behind these equally inspiring words that just grab your soul and heart was. Of course I bought the book instantly, and it is one of the few I keep by my beside and randomly open each morning to see what works of empowerment and encouragement Cleo has to offer. She writes about life, and love, and hardships, and injustices, and letting go and resting…all the things she too is passionate about advocating. She is building community of light and love and strength.
I’ve been a big fan of Arielle Estoria since my days working with The Refined Woman blog, Arielle’s feature was one of the first I worked on and from our first virtual conversations through email, there was a light and inspiration that flowed from her, just like her bright smile. She’s inspiring through her words and poetry, spreading light in all areas of life. She’s a beauty inside and out!
If you’re calling yourself an “ally” and have always believed racial injustices is one of the biggest problem in this country, and you’re not following along Monique Melton‘s voice, then please take a pause, go do that know and read/see everything she has to say about identifying and eliminating racism. She is nothing short of inspiring, informative and empowering when it comes to being a force as a Black woman, on the constant fight to dismantle the systems. Through her immensely sought out work she also created, Shine Brighter Together, a podcast and now a community dedicated to healthy relationships and diverse unity.
6. Ivirlei Brookes // Mavenelle
Ivirlei Brookes is the business and mindset mentor for creatives behind Mavenelle. Ivirlei actually began her career as a dating coach for men, which of course ignited her passion for coaching and through the doubt she built her business and skills, despite the hardships. That personal journey is what makes her such an inspiring and truthful voice to help other thinkers, creators and entrepreneurs not only thrive in their business but ultimately create their dream path. Her videos are informative, inspiring and most recently the truth about what it’s like being a black person in America right now, give her video on being white women helping and being an Ally, it’s a must watch!
7. Aja Barber
Aja Barber is writer and style consultant, and one of the most truthful speakers I know focusing on sustainability, ethics, intersectional feminism, racism and all the ways systems of power effect our buying habits, particularly in fast fashion and the unethical practice/marketing strategies they use. She eloquently and powerfully says all the things I feel, constantly broadening my knowledge even more about sustainability when it comes to clothes and injustices in our systems. She brings to light the issues that make many uncomfortable, and it’s time that discomfort stops people from avoiding the issue and in turn put down the truth tellers, like they so often do to Aja. Give her videos a listen, she will certainly inform you.
Love Offering is Josefina H. Sanders’ platform to share her beautiful, inspiring and powerfully meaningful writings and art to help others find the moments of hope and healing in their life. She’s an advocate and art student and her work clearly shows how she bridges it all together through words. She also creates lovely calligraphy, offers group sessions, creative support and brand collaborations.
Alexandra Elle is an author and wellness consultant using her words as a way to explore and heal through journaling. You may have seen her post-it not styles of quotes popping up on Instagram, but go through her page and read all her inspiring and reassuring words. They are simple, but the kind of simple words of encouragement that are impactful. She’s building a community of self-care through the power of literature. Her book After the Rain is being released soon and she’s the host of The Heygirl Podcast.
10. Yasmine Cheyenne
Yasmine Cheyenne is a teacher, writer, speaker and an inspiring and encouraging advocate for mental health and spiritual wellness. Through her platform and The Sugarjar Podcast she is sharing tools, resources and empowering words to help you learn to dive deep into self-healing — an important part in each our journeys. Yasmine believes learning to navigate the tough stuff in life is what will propel us to joy and peace, but we must be willing to do that work and change as needed. I find her words to be uplifting and empowerment for us all, especially during these times.
Phenomenal Woman is an action campaign powered by females and brings awareness to various types of social causes, and was inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman.” The PHENOMENAL shirts you’ve been seeing everywhere, that’s them!
This ridiciuslou notion of cancel culture baffles me, and Colin Kapernick was one of those who’s football career was jeopdoraizes all because he took a peacefully stand against police brutality towards black people. He lost his athletic career, but what came out was Know Your Rights Camp and a more profound path in activism. The mission behind KYRC is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black/Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.
After witnessing two innocent black men arrested for not buying a coffee at a Starbucks in Philly on April 12, 2018, Melissa DePino was the first person to speak up, tweeting the video that went viral. In a cohesive effort, she and Michelle Saahene teamed up to spark the dialogue on what racism looks like today. From Privilege to Progress, is movement that calls on all Americans to join the path of Antiracism by learning, speaking up in their everyday lives and amplifying the voices of people of color. This is our now and our future!
14. The Love Foundation // Rachel Cargle
If you’re not following the inspiring, incredibly strong and truth telling Rachel Cargle, then stop, and go do that NOW! She may be critical to some, but she is speaking truth, she is an empowering storyteller in every sense! She created The Loveland Foundation, as a means to help Black women and girls in the US to receive therapy support, because everyone deserves access to healing especially communities of colors. The foundation does this through donations that foster fellowships, residency programs, listening tours and many other resources that empower communities. I’ve personally donated and will continue to support this amazing cause!
15. Rachel Ricketts
Rachel Ricketts is a racial justice educator, spiritual activist and all around changemaker diving deep and speaking about the tough sh*t. She’s on a mission to help and educate on the dismantling of racist heteropatriarchy, supportive healing for Black/Indigenous women and helping reclaim freedom in all areas of mind, body and soul. Alongside her team, they’re having the tough but necessary conversations that will collectively bring transformation through speaking engagements, online courses, events and her writing.
16. Gyrl Wonder
Gyrl Wonder is an initiative whose mission is to empower young women of color between the ages of 17 – 22 through social impact, career exploration and objective alignment by providing the resources necessary for them to successfully enter a competitive workforce, while teaching them how best use all these tools to reach their goals. Gyrl Wonder gives the guidance, service and mentorship necessary to get them to succeed both personally and professionally. And shoutout to one of my amazing freelance assistants who I loved assisting me on events/weddings for being a part of this amazing organization as their Special Events + GWLA Coordinator!!
The Lower Eastside Girls Club is a community center that serves as a safe haven for girls in middle/high school with programs in the arts, sciences, leadership, entrepreneurship, and wellness — all with the mission to train the next generation of leaders by helping them overcome adversity, develop self-confidence, make ethical decisions and healthy life choices, amongst so many other skills just so they too can have the ability to enter college/the workforce as fully prepared and connected adults. This is truly amazing organization, another doing crucial work for the children that need it most and it needs to shared across the country with the hopes that it can spread to as many communities as possible!!
18. Nikia Phoenix
I first found out about Nikia Phoenix beautiful soul during my The Refined Woman days, and you may actually seen her gorgeous beauty modeling in campaigns and editorials, but don’t she’s more than a beautiful woman. She is a creator and inspiration for all dreamers, the host of Nikia Phoenix Podcast and founder of Black Girl Beautiful — she’s a passionate advocate for women’s issues, social equality, and all things beautiful. She’s never going to hide her freckles, and thank goodness because they are stunning!
Black Girl Beautiful founded by Nikia Phoenix is a celebration of all women of African descent and and the power in uplifting black consumers. Every part of African beauty is art — their melanin, bodies, their kinky and curly hair and graceful spirit deserve tender loving care! BGB is bringing that empowerment to all black women.
20. Jamila Reddy
Jamila Reddy is a writer and self empowerment teacher/motivator, and the creator of Make it Happen, a course where she teaches others to dive deep within themselves to conquer their fear and help them overcome and conquer what it is they want to do! If that’s not selfless empowering inspiration, I don’t know what is.
21. CRWN Magazine
CRWN Magazine is a publication geared at openly and honestly having a dialogue about natural hair and the black women who wear it, the black woman is a constant evolution for the generations before that have fought to get them a seat at this ridiculous table on inequality. They tell stories of hair inspiration through beautiful content and commentaries, and documenting it in print form. Plus, my girl Issa Rae is on the cover of their storytellers issue, always love hearing her speak definitely give it a watch.
22. Yes Supply
Reese Evans, founder of Yes Supply is a manifestation and abundance Coach, on a mission to teach the world and help emerging leaders/innovators/business owners the power of tapping into their subconscious mind, and universal laws to create the life you’re meant to live and achieve the things you want and more with her Yes Supply Method! I first began following Reese along her teachings, about a year into aimlessly running my business, soaking up an information I could to grow both the business but more importantly help gear me to the purposeful path I wanted to be on. She makes wanting to achieve our dreams and passions, the permission to follow our purpose not only approachable but accessible.
23. Olea and Fig
I’ve been following Olea and Fig‘s beautiful inspiration, newsletter and webinars since sisters Annie and Terrie were first growing the brand. Their main focus is to help women entrepreneurs create brands and business that stand out by being uniquely theirs, helping to bring each person’s ideas out into the grow, learn strategies of how to market and grow their specific business. Their gorgeous aesthetic is enough to make anyone follow their journey along, but their advice is just as worthy of a follow.
24. The Lit Bar
The Lit Bar is the kind of library and literature haven we all want to immerse ourselves and spend time in, because what library not only has an array of books but is also a wine bar and cafe?? Yes, owner Noëlle Santos is a genius!! This Bronx library welcomes all literary and community gatherings and creating an all around experience. We can’t wait until it opens back up and its safe to mingle inside again, so we can spend the entire day here!
Austin Channing Brown is a writer, speaker, producer advocating for Racial Justice and Black Womanhood. Her best-selling “I’m Still Here” is Austin’s journey of self-worth and pitfalls at racial justice. The book is on my list to read soon, as it dives head first into seeking out the complex history of white supremacy in America in order to be able to defeat it.
Reni Eddo-Lodge is an award winning journalist, author, and podcaster of About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge. I’m currently reading “While I’m No Longer to White People About Race“ as part of a small book club and I’m already finding it very insightful!
Brittany Packnett Cunningham is an inspiration doing endless work in leading the intersection of culture and justice. As an activist, educator, writer, contributor for NBC News and MSNBC, Sephora equity advisor and the Founder of Love & Power Works, a full-service social impact firm focused on creating justice and equity in every sector — Brittany has certainly become an unstoppable force for change. It’s not a big surprise and still a huge honor to have been credited by President Barack Obama as a leader whose “voice is going to be making a difference for years to come.” And that she is certainly doing. Follow her Instagram from current news and talks about everything going on and ways to help take action towards change.
The Black Independence Project is an initiative whose mission is to advance and protect Black life through operational and functional support of community-based initiatives across the US. Their vision is for communities to lead lead sustainable change to create a new course for Black history in the United States and educate all people of the injustices, inequities and disparities that are oppressive to Black life through programming, services and activism.
29. Texture Diaries
Texture Diaries is a Vogue column curated by Akili King as a space for Black women to share how hair acceptance plays a crucial role in their journey to self-love. Each week, women across different industries speak on their favorite hair rituals, products and biggest lessons they’ve learned.
30. Yrsa Daley Ward
Yrsa Daley Ward is a writer, author of ‘bone’ and ‘The Terrible’ with a proud West Indian and West African heritage. Yrsa is a storyteller in all its form, sharing enlightening stories to dark stories. Follow her instagram along, she will leave you enlightened for sure!
31. Rosa Rebellion
Rosa Rebellion was founded by Virginia Cumberbatch and Meagan Harding for creative activism and for women of color to engage in creative activism local to Austin.. Their initiative, REBEL + REST offers space for women of color to live more joyously, peacefully and freely. They have written a powerful letter to White Austin which you can read here. Follow their initiative along to inspire activism in your city and state.
Created by Marcie Walker, Black Coffee with White Friends, is a platform “for the curious and the hopeful.” With curated playlists, resource lists, personal essays and a thoughtfully arranged Instagram feed, Black Coffee with White Friends will soothe and invigorate you while being extremely insightful.
And these lists won’t end here, as I learn about more BIPOC I will continuously be updating these lists with as many inspiring talents as possible, so stay tuned!!
Don’t forget to check out these other inspiring BIPOC too!