LOS ANGELES — Are you the next Black Future Maker?
AT&T has launched a campaign that is awarding artists, activists, entrepreneurs and other inspiring community members $10,000 to encourage the work they are doing in the community.
What You Need To Know
- Black Future Makers highlights the luminaries who are shaping culture and advocating for equality, like Shania Accius
- Black Future Makers aims to inspire the Black community to dream big, highlighting every day, inspirational people, like Accius and celebrities, like Meagan Good
- One winner will be chosen every month until the end of this year
- For more information on how to submit, visit here
It is Black History Month with a new twist.
Black Future Makers highlights the luminaries who are shaping culture and advocating for equality, like Shania Accius. Every Saturday, she can be found in a Winnetka parking lot, serving food to a long line of people in need.
“We get a lot of people who say they wouldn’t be able to provide food for their families if we weren’t doing what we’re doing,” she explained.
Accius said she is raising two daughters, and she does this because she wants them to see what being a good citizen and community member looks like. But this is just one of several hats Accius wears.
She founded an organization called the Zawadi Cultural Collective to curate culturally based events in the San Fernando Valley.
She is the leader of an all-Black Girl Scout Troop that focuses on character, culture and community. She launched a Black business Facebook group that now has 4,000 members when she saw the need for a resource hub, and her day job is acting.
“It’s a lot, but I have the heart to serve. That’s just how I’ve always been,” she explained.
She is tired, but Accius loves what she does and is emotional because she is finally being recognized for it.
She just won $10,000 as the recipient for AT&T’s Dream in Black, Black Future Makers campaign.
It is a Black History Month initiative that awards people pursuing greater possibilities for the greater good each month through the end of the year.
It aims to inspire the Black community to dream big, highlighting every day, inspirational people, like Shania, and celebrities, like Meagan Good, who has been named a Black Future Maker for her influence as an actress, producer, author and founder of “The Greater Good,” a nonprofit benefiting and educating young women.
“Helping to create movements, helping to bring people together,” Good explained of what it means to be a Black Future Maker. “Helping to teach this younger generation how they can see themselves and what they’re capable of.”
The young husband and wife behind the visuals for this campaign are Black Future Makers in their own right.
Chris Scholar and Bevin Anderson Brown also founded BOOC Production Company to fill a need in their community, but this one was about the void of authentic Black and Brown stories in mainstream media.
“Your story, or your experience, rather, matters,” Anderson Brown said. “I think that’s the biggest thing that we always reach for in any piece of content that we’re doing is to be able to resonate.”
She said it is why they were drawn to help produce this project. While history is a vital part of celebrating how far the Black community has come, she appreciates how this campaign focuses on how far they still will go.
“Celebrating that there’s no ceiling,” she said.
Breaking ceilings can be arduous work without time to rest, even for an interview, but Accius said the money is a new motivation to keep going.
“To be recognized as a Black Future Maker, it fuels me to do more,” she said.
She will use it for her Zawadi Cultural Collective, to keep sowing the seeds of the Black Future Makers she is raising in the present.
One winner will be chosen every month until the end of this year. For more information on how you can submit, visit here.