Best in the Citi | Innovators

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soulciti and the African American Leadership Institute (AALI) are recognizing the accomplishments of Black Austinites who are leaving their mark in the arts, business, government, education, and healthcare.

Following a number of online discussions about the lack of Black community in the city – it is especially important to acknowledge the trailblazers and innovators who are working hard to represent and build that community.

Alongside this recognition, AALI is doubling down on efforts to help cultivate the next generation of leaders in Austin who will help improve the quality of life for those who currently live in the city and those who will join the more than 160 people who move to Austin each day.

Austin is the fastest-growing major city in the U.S., and it is our hope that as diverse populations continue to migrate here, they will find there are people working fervently to promote a city that is truly inclusive and welcoming of everyone.

In the meantime, keep an eye on these Black Austinites to watch for 2022 (and beyond!):

Best In The Citi | Innovator: Sianni Dean

By Autumn A. Arnett

“I came here to work and get Cranky Granny’s off the ground,” she says. She has poured everything into achieving that … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: Harold Hughes

By Autumn A. Arnett

Harold Hughes is on a mission to connect people. “I’m Jamaican. First-generation American and from a culture standpoint, there’s a lot … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: Phyllis Everette

By Autumn A. Arnett

Phyllis Everette imagines she has a heart for Black women that is similar to the heart Jesus has for all of … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: BiNi Coleman

By Autumn A. Arnett

Ater 28 years of being in Austin and constantly asking herself “where are all the Black people,” Bini Coleman is excited … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: Rachel Pierce

By Autumn A. Arnett

Rachel Pierce sees her life’s work as advocating for a better life for people who look like her – whether in … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: De Jauna Lozado

By Autumn A. Arnett

De Juana Lozada has what she describes as “a bunch of degrees” and more than a lifetime’s worth of experiences. She … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: Jermaine & Jahmaal Dumes

By Autumn A. Arnett

“That’s what we do: Food and just enjoying one another’s company,” Jahmaal says. Much of what the twin entrepreneurs do now … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: Dr. Charles Alston

By Autumn A. Arnett

“She tried to push me to become a physician but I liked her hours. She was able to be home on … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: Dr. Laressa Woods

By Autumn A. Arnett

“I was a very serious child,” Woods laughs, adding that she was also “extremely shy.” No one who knows Woods today … Read More →

Best In The Citi | Innovator: Janice Omadecke

By Autumn A. Arnett

For Omadeke, who moved to Austin from Washington, D.C. in 2017, the Mentor Method was the solution to a problem she … Read More →



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