Written By: Andrea Sanchez-Mendoza
Afiya Williams is the founder and director of Wildfiya, a social enterprise focused on creating racial justice through lifestyle transformation. “Wildfiya is my baby, and I started it technically by name, back in 2016”, expressed Afiya over the phone from New York after getting off of a long flight from Costa Rica. In the past year, she restored her brand to focus on her mission “to empower black women and women of color to live joyful and liberate lives. We will do that by providing life-enriching or joy enhancing experiences, and tools that empower those shifts”. Women are the pillars of many communities, they lift up families, and economies but sadly they are often “left behind, misunderstood, or violated… And I feel that is usually black women”.
“Black women still continue to carry the broad responsibilities of their community, homes and being able to move things forward. So from women who live in the projects to women who can sit around the boardroom table, it just feels like we deal with stress, our well-being, experience conformity, and conditioning just to belong in different spaces”.
It's finally here!! We are proud to announce that we have just launched Represented Foundation's first official impact report!!! Our Impact Report will showcase all about our cohort 3 fellows, what our curriculum entails, and the impact we have made together over the years.
Written By: Andrea Sanchez-Mendoza
Taking breaks from sports, at work, or even in life in general is not typically seen as a power play in our society, but in the current sports season, many athletes have taken themselves out of competitions to focus on their mental health. Most recently, Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in her generation withdrew herself from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics team gymnastics competition over concerns about her mental health.
It takes a strong person to admit they need help, and an even stronger person to know when to take a break and to stop pushing so hard.
"I say put mental health first … if you don't, then you're not going to enjoy your sport and you're not going to succeed as much as you want to. So it's okay sometimes to even sit out the big competitions to focus on yourself because it shows how strong of a competitor and person that you are — rather than just battle through it".
Nicole Barnwell has been breaking down closed doors and creating a pipeline from New York City to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Since 2016, Nicole has been forming a supportive space for highschoolers as the founder of The HBCU Hub helping 1,500 students discover the benefits of HBCUs and prepare for college.
Nicole’s Time with Represented:
Nicole was one of Represented Foundation’s fellows from the 2020 cohort. As I interviewed Nicole over the phone, she gushed about her time with Represented. “(Being) from a background that wasn’t nonprofit related, it helped me to understand the social impact and nonprofit space a lot better...especially as a black woman, entering into a predominantly white space”.
Represented Foundation's founder, Noel McKenzie, joined The Stakeholders Podcast with Andy Dosev to discuss the diversity gaps in social impact.
The Stakeholders Podcast aims to educate us on the stakeholders in our life and how we can manage their wants and needs to achieve long term success.
Noel joined Andy in Episode 27 where they dive into the diversity gap in our society, acting with intent in your career and life, the representation of African American and LatinX people in business, and more.
NEW YORK, February, 2021 - Represented Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to close the diversity gap in social impact leadership, announced a new partnership with BKLYN LEAGUE, a socially-conscious streetwear brand.
As a result of the partnership, BKLYN LEAGUE offered Represented Foundation branded swag items to purchase on the BKLYN LEAGUE website. All proceeds go directly toward supporting Represented Foundation’s V.E.R. Incubator program for Black and Latinx social entrepreneurs.
“This partnership means a lot because we’ve been a supporter and fan of BKLYN LEAGUE for a few years, and it’s great to have support so close to home,” said Noel McKenzie, founder of Represented Foundation.
BKLYN LEAGUE and Represented’s relationship dates back to 2018, when marketing executive and Founder of BKLYN LEAGUE, Phaon Spurlock, offered his advice and one of Represented Foundation’s first marketing days.
"Part of BKLYN LEAGUE's mission is to give back to Brooklyn by patterning with non-profit organizations. By partnering with Represented Foundation, we will be able to reach and support several different non-profits. The best partnerships are established when both parties see eye-to-eye and I can honestly say that this is it! We look forward to working with the Represented Team," said Phaon K. Spurlock, Founder of BKLYN LEAGUE
This April, Represented Foundation will host the fourth cohort of the V.E.R. Social Impact Incubator. This Incubator provides 15 entrepreneurs with the training, tools, and knowledge to take their organizations to the next level.
Eligible applicants should;
Application closes February 26th! Apply today!
Questions? Please contact Marrissa@representedfoundation.org
White residents in New York City make up close to 32% of the population but almost 70% of New York City-based nonprofit CEOs (Source: 2018, NPCC). Brooklyn based nonprofit Represented Foundation announces new partnership with Warby Parker to advance their work closing the diversity gap in social impact leadership. With the contribution of $50,000 from the eyewear brand, Represented Foundation will launch the fourth and largest cohort of its incubator (Vision. Execution. Results or V.E.R.) for 15 Black and Latinx social entrepreneurs running mission-driven organizations in New York.
Over the course of five months, fellows in the incubator receive (10) business development courses, mentoring, executive coaching, and access to Represented Foundation’s curated panels and networking opportunities. Participating entrepreneurs will grow new companies serving New Yorkers in one of four program areas:
“This partnership with Warby Parker is major. Too often, when we talk about investing in Black and Brown communities, we don’t talk about social impact leaders and their contributions. Emerging leaders, especially those who draw from their own lived experiences to create nonprofits and social enterprises deserve someone to invest in their potential now, not after they've raised their first million in funding. These leaders deserve to be seen, heard and taught by a community that looks like them, --this funding is helping us do exactly that,” says Noel McKenzie founder and Executive Director, Represented Foundation.
"It is important now more than ever to take concrete action and invest in opportunities that increase diverse representation across all industries. Since day one, social innovation has been at the core of Warby Parker and partnering with Represented Foundation is a fundamental next step to continue to provide meaningful support to Black and BIPOC entrepreneurs. We are excited to team up with Represented Foundation to help bring the next iteration of this program to life, with opportunities for our own Warby Parker team members to share insights and provide mentorship to V.E.R participants," says Dave Gilboa, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker.
To date, 19 Black and Latinx leaders have gone through the V.E.R. incubator and launched 15 new social enterprises in NYC. The latest cohort will begin in April ‘21 with applications being accepted February 1.
For more information on applying or volunteering visit www.RepresentedFoundation.org
Click here to read the most recent newsletter on our V.E.R fellows, champion and partner spotlights and more!
Click here to read the first issue of our newest newsletter - The Future State Experience: Practical Tips for Future Entrepreneurs.
Read the recent spotlight about our founder, Noel, from Skysthelimit.org!
Key Takeaways from our Latest Workshop "The Art of Accepting Help" with Net Impact NYC
How Asking For Help Can Help Others
Thank you to Net Impact NYC for hosting our workshop last week, "The Art of Accepting Help." Keep reading for some of the key takeaways from the workshop.
Asking for Help: What’s Holding You Back?
Noel graciously shared his personal story and how he has struggled to help others in the past, including during a time in his life when he wasn’t able to be honest with himself regarding his sexuality and identity. He asked us all to think about how the messaging from our own family and society influence our ability to seek and receive help:
Not Asking for Help Can Impact Others Besides You
When we don’t ask for help, we discourage others who need it from asking. We do not live in an equitable society. There are systems in place that by definition make some people more in need of help.
Asking for Help: Do’s and Don’ts
Historically, nonprofits were managed by wealthy white women who had the free time to participate in charitable work. This created an imbalance in the nonprofit sector that still needs to be addressed. This influences how we see those who give and receive help. Represented Foundation is actively working to address this imbalance.
Represented Foundation's mission is to close the diversity gap in social impact leadership.