The Creative Collective NYC Ushers In It’s 2023 Class Of Thought Leaders

The Creative Collective NYC (TheCCnyc) has announced its fourth annual Creative Class ‘in celebration of Black culture-shifters across a variety of disciplines, from tech, social justice, fashion and beyond, who inspire us to be our most unapologetic selves.’

Spearheaded by Imani Ellis, she set out for the Creative Collective NYC to be a safe space for creatives of color to commune. CultureCon, the Collective’s banner event, annually convenes diverse voices in celebration of list of change agents from across a variety of disciplines including ( “Digital Vanguards”), fashion & beauty (“The Trendsetters”), health and wellness (“The Healers”), entertainment and arts (“The Culture Shifters”) and social good (“The Visionaries”).

“We are so excited to unveil our fourth annual Creative Class honorees,” Ellis exclusively told ESSENCE. “Our goal is to amplify these change leaders and give credit where credit is clearly due in hopes to inspire the next generation of innovative leaders.”

“For the Creative Class campaign this year, we wanted to root ourselves in nostalgia because our inner child serves as a critical influence in how we see the world,” said Michael Oloyede, Art and Editorial Director of The Creative Collective NYC. “We wanted to showcase our honorees with visuals that celebrate the inner child that grows up to live out their wildest dreams.”

This year’s honoree’s include Paulana Lamonier, Founder of Black People Will Swim, Luke Lawal Jr., Founder + CEO of HBCU Buzz, Obio Jones, Life Coach, LQBTQ+ Changemaker, EJ James, SVP, Special Projects at Digital Brand Architects, Kirk Brown, Chief Development & Communications Officer, Ron Clark Academy, Tola Lawal, Founder of Gyrl Wonder, Willie Greene, Founder of WE THE URBAN, Elyse Fox, Entrepreneur and Founder of Sad Girls Club, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, Licensed Psychologist & Founder of Therapy for Black Girls, Sinikiwe Dhliwayo, Naaya Founder and Creative Director, Annya Santana, Founder/CEO of Hood Health, Marley Rae, Director of WalkGood LA, Yasmine Jameelah, Founder + CEO, Transparent & Black, Percell Dugger, Founder + CEO: GOODWRK & Fit For Us, Sherica Holmon, Fitness Trainer & Public Figure, Lyana Blount, Founder, Black Rican Vegan, Maya Allen, Beauty Director-at-Large, The Cut at New York Magazine, Olamide Ayomikun Olowe, Founder & CEO of Topicals, Tobi Egberongbe, Founder & Director, Mifland, Brittany Hampton, Art + Creative Director, Blake Newby, Beauty & Style Expert, Antoine Gregory, Creative Consultant & Founder of Black Fashion Fair, Tayo Kuku, Photographer & Director, Edvin Thompson, Founder/Designer, Theophilio, Ivy Coco Maurice, Stylist, Creative Entrepreneur, and Vice-President of WalkgoodLA, Amiraa Vainqueur, Celebrity Fashion Stylist & Founder of VeeMode Consulting, Bryon Javar, Fashion Stylist/ Creative Director, Brian Wright, Co- founder of Six Degrees, Desmond Attmore, Co- founder of Six Degrees, Tiffany James, Founder & CEO, Modernblkgirl, Amber Mayfield, Founder, To Be Hosted & While Entertaining Magazine, Travis Montaque, CEO & Co-Founder of Group Black, Tobi Ajala, Founder & CEO, TECHTEE, Charles Johnson, Interactive Designer, Art Director, and Founder of VEGA Studio, Desiree Talley, Attorney & Culture Commentator, Keenan Williams, Cofounder & President of REZI | Founding Partner of Stratum Growth, Kwame Onwuachi, Chef/Author/Restaurateur, Priah Ferguson, Actress, Kendall Kyndall, Actor, Television Host & Social Media Personality, Reyna Noriega, Visual Artist & Author, Sidnee Michelle Douyon, Celebrity Reporter/ Senior Digital Editor at Black Enterprise, Sophia Yeshi, Illustrator & Designer, Krystal Vega, On-Air Host, Freddie Ransome, Content Creator, Christian Nolan Jones, Writer & Director, Boma Iluma, Writer, Director, & Visual Artist, Derrian “Phreshy” Perry, Founder, CEO & Creative, Diana Sinclair, Visual Artist + Creative Director, Julian Thomas, The Internet’s Favorite Home Boy, Gabrielle Williams, CEO and Founder, and MEFeater Magazine.

Find the full 2023 Creative Class list at

(Pictured above Imani Ellis.)

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