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!):

The Origin Studio House is a Real Vibe

It was a mild November Thursday night in Austin when Origin Studio House had a soft launch to become available to ...
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The Texas Empowerment Academy New School Campus

The Texas Empowerment Academy (TxEA) Roland Hayes Campus (named after the Chair of the Board of Directors, Roland Hayes) is expanding ...
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Hubbled Vision is Pioneering Creativity, Community, and Tech in Austin with AfroVision

In the vibrant heart of Austin, a cultural renaissance is underway, and leading the charge is the remarkable collective known as ...
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Come Thru to Origin Studio House during AfroTech

As Black Austin's population continues to dwindle, several local businesses and organizations are attempting to do their part to retain the ...
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Mando Rayo: from Taco Talk to Trailblazing

As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to an end, we wanted to highlight a true soul citizen and hermano of soulciti. Armando ...
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Pamela Benson Owens: Sisterhood, Influence and Collaboration

For most women, running a business takes as much energy as working three full-time jobs, siphons away every last ounce of ...
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East Austinite Kedrick Jeffries Appointed New CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters

Kedrick Jeffries, who has been with the Boys and Girls Club for eight years with his most recent position being Chief ...
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My First Dream Con Experience: A Journey of Inclusivity, Connection, and Community

As a first-time attendee of Dream Con, I can confidently say that this event has left a lasting impression on me. ...
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A Celebration of Black Culinary Excellence in Austin

Austin, renowned for its vibrant food culture, is witnessing a culinary revolution driven by three exceptional black chefs. Tavel Bristol Joseph, ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: Sianni Dean

“I came here to work and get Cranky Granny’s off the ground,” she says. She has poured everything into achieving that ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: Harold Hughes

Harold Hughes is on a mission to connect people. “I’m Jamaican. First-generation American and from a culture standpoint, there’s a lot ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: Phyllis Everette

Phyllis Everette imagines she has a heart for Black women that is similar to the heart Jesus has for all of ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: BiNi Coleman

Ater 28 years of being in Austin and constantly asking herself “where are all the Black people,” Bini Coleman is excited ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: Rachel Lauren

“I say really from a place of pain is how I got here, having had a lot of different jobs, mostly ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: De Juana Lozada

De Juana Lozada has what she describes as “a bunch of degrees” and more than a lifetime’s worth of experiences. She ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: Jermaine & Jahmaal Dumes

“That’s what we do: Food and just enjoying one another’s company,” Jahmaal says. Much of what the twin entrepreneurs do now ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: Dr. Charles Alston

“She tried to push me to become a physician but I liked her hours. She was able to be home on ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: Dr. Laresea Woods

“I was a very serious child,” Woods laughs, adding that she was also “extremely shy.” No one who knows Woods today ...
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Best In The Citi | Innovator: Janice Omadecke

For Omadeke, who moved to Austin from Washington, D.C. in 2017, the Mentor Method was the solution to a problem she ...
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Lisa B. Thompson: The Play Prof

The first time was her comedy Single Black Female, which launched her career and has been produced all over the country ...
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