Our Company, Juneteenth365 LLC, and How You Can Support Us
The company I work for offered to spotlight me for Black History Month. The following is what I wrote. Whether or not this is the final or version they publish, I want to remain true to myself and use my platform to unapologetically say what I originally intend to say in that "I said what I said" kind of way. Here my story about how Juneteenth365 came to be and how you can support our vision:
What is something you are passionate about? Why? (Talk about your business)
I am passionate about improving the conditions of Black people worldwide.
I am one of the first generation of my family to be able to attend college. I was blessed to get an education at UC Berkeley and graduate from the Haas School of Business. I went right into a Big 6 Accounting firm, Price Waterhouse (now PwC) and from there, worked in various finance, accounting and consulting roles at Universal Pictures, Resources Global Professionals, etc, culminating in my role as Chief Financial Officer at Windswept Holdings LLC, a music publishing company previously located in Beverly Hills, Ca.
At some point in my very ambitious career, I decided that I wanted to quit my life in accounting and explore my passion for being an entertainer rather than counting the money of entertainers and entertainment companies.
I discovered African Drumming, singing abilities, and all kinds of performing art talents and it was fun. During that time, I also discovered Eastridge’s Convention Division and worked at some of the largest conventions and events in the world.
While I truly enjoyed and evolved through all of these experiences, the thing that has always bothered me is that I see and saw Black people suffering. I may have been doing well being one of few Black people I saw in Corporate America with my comfortable salary but it bothered me that so many Black people around me were suffering, friends and family members notwithstanding.
When I was working in the music industry, I saw mostly non-Black corporations making all the money from Black artists and talent. When I was working in the film industry, I saw mostly white movies. When I was working in the convention and live events industry, I saw mostly non-Black people involved in the world of business, exhibition and commerce. All the executives, business owners, and trade seemed to be conducted by non-Black people while the blue and grey collar workers all around me tended to be where Black people were most represented. It frustrated me tremendously.
When I was working as an artist/entertainer, what I found is that many Black people lacked access to the financial resources and business services (attorneys, accountants, etc) needed to help them protect themselves as artists and ensure that they profit from their art.
With all that experience, I felt that I could no longer sit idly by being “just an entertainer” or “just an accountant in Corporate America” or “just a convention worker”. It felt like a frivolous waste of my talent and abilities.
In 2018, I started working with a team at Africa Love Store and Da’African Village and we put on events such as A Touch of Africa Las Vegas, One Night in Brazil, 2018 Kwanzaa Celebration, Pan African Soul Sessions, and Drum Circle in Town Square Park. From that experience, coupled with my convention and live events experience, a new passion was formed and I learned how much I love all aspects of the live events industry. Furthermore I learned that I love that I was able to do this work with Black people for Black people.
In 2020 after the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor along with the resultant social justice awakening of the world, some friends of mine approached me about doing a big Juneteenth festival in Las Vegas. They were inspired by watching Issa Rae’s Insecure and her block party and they wanted to create a large festival in Vegas “for us by us”. They thought there would be no better place than Las Vegas, the entertainment, travel and tourism capital of the world, to create this kind of festive educational experience for Black people.
I said “yes” and we then approached the owner of a very well known Black-owned business in the Historic Downtown Arts District about doing the festival on the blocks surrounding their property. The area is known for putting on large annual Black events and when the owner said “yes” the vision started to really take shape.
We didn’t want to simply put on a festival during Juneteenth and then forget about Black people and our Blackness the rest of the year. We formed a legal entity Juneteenth365 LLC solidifying the idea that our liberation and empowerment happens 365 days a year, not just on June 19th. Our Juneteenth365 tagline is “It’s a Lifestyle” and the hashtag we’ve claimed is #J365.
Juneteenth365 LLC is 100% Black Women Owned and is a celebration of our freedom from bondage for over 400 years with an intent of liberating ourselves and Black people from the holocaust of ongoing oppression and trauma.
Juneteenth365 brings year-round events and economic empowerment initiatives to the Black community and has also partnered with Dynamics 2k, a Las Vegas-based Black-owned Tech firm, to develop a Shop-Black mobile app. Juneteenth365 is a platform for Black entrepreneurs to network and showcase their businesses, while also exploring and making Black history through various forms of culture, commerce, arts and entertainment.
I am happy that I work for Eastridge, a company that allows me to do this work while holding down a full-time job. I do my job well and I have an incredible work ethic and commitment to my job. I’m thankful that I work for an organization that has allowed me to pursue my outside passions for the 8 years that I have been with the company.
I am also proud to be Co-Owner of Juneteenth365 along with my Black Co-Owners:
- Jahlisa Williams – Owner of Mixxiemixologist mobile bartending service
- Dre’chir Whitfield – Owner of Tea & Tonic Podcast, The Richest Touch massage therapy services and Asè Healing House a Black-Owned space for healing opening in March 2021
- Alexia Brown – writer, student, activist and Vice President of the Black Student Union at UNLV
Through the empowerment of Black businesses, Juneteenth365 helps facilitate the building of black generational wealth and improve the economic conditions of melanated people throughout the world.
It’s time to make a change, and the change starts with us. While we celebrate Black History, let’s MAKE Black History
Where can we find out more or how can we support?
Learn more about Juneteenth365 LLC at www.juneteenth365.com.
Like, re-share, comment and follow @juneteenth365lv and @officialjuneteenth365 on all social media platforms
Financially support Juneteenth365 by donating to our gofundme
Due to Covid-19 we will have a smaller Juneteenth activation in 2021 with plans for a very large Festival in 2022. We also endeavor to create and widely distribute a documentary film about our Festival, our business and events leading up to the 2022 main event. If you are interested in sponsoring us, any of our upcoming events, our documentary or our main Festival, please send an inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also contact us at 702-509-5499