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Thu, Mar 24

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Online Event

View from Above

In celebration of Women’s History Month join us for a pre-recorded conversation where we highlight women, their stories and life lessons who began careers of purpose and action, all while raising the bar for entrepreneurs to be bold and innovative.

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View from Above
View from Above

Time & Location

Mar 24, 2022, 8:00 PM EDT

Online Event

Guests

About the event

BAMS Fest and Amazon present season two, episode one of ARTDACITY "View From Above – Black women who are breaking barriers, unapologetically."

In celebration of Women’s History Month we are highlighting women breaking barriers unapologetically in their communities and careers. 

Across America, the number of Black women entrepreneurs are rising faster than ever. However, only a few are able to sustain their businesses, in part, due to the attack on Black women's intelligence,  and creativity, especially within male-dominated industries. Understanding the small margin of success, why are the numbers still rising?

Join us as we hear the stories and life lessons from these women who began careers of purpose and action, all while raising the bar for entrepreneurs to be bold and innovative.

Moderator

Sheena Collier, Founder and CEO of Boston While Black

Sheena Collier is a super-connector, convener, and planner with over 15 years of experience in community organizing, partnership building, strategic event planning, and program development. As Founder and CEO of The Collier Connection (TCC), she designs innovative diversity, equity, & inclusion initiatives and events to help companies engage employees, customers, & suppliers of color.

In 2020, Sheena founded Boston While Black (BWB), the first membership network for Boston-based Black professionals, entrepreneurs, and students who are seeking connection and community. Through programs, events, and a digital community, BWB connects Black people who are active in their local neighborhoods, working at the most innovative companies, building the businesses of the future, attending the area’s universities, and shaping the culture of the region. Boston While Black is creating a city where Black people want to live and work because they have the spaces, tools, and relationships to find their tribe, grow their network, navigate the city, and have fun.

Panelists:

Ariell R. Johnson, Founder and President of Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

A true child of the 80’s, Ariell R. Johnson grew up on a diet of He-Man, She-Ra, Thundercats, & Transformers. This would be the gateway to a lifelong love of super-powers, super-heroes and comics. With the love and support of her family and friends, she turned this passion into a career at the age of 32 when she opened Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse in Philadelphia; a comic book store and coffee shop hybrid. Amalgam is the only black-woman owned comic book store on the East Coast.

The Balmore/Glen Burnie, MD nave was introduced to Philadelphia in 2001 as a student at Temple University. Ariell majored in accounting at Temple’s Fox School of Business & Management, graduang in 2005. She made Philadelphia her permanent home in 2007. She balances her busy work life with knitting/crochet, dance, roller skating and circus aerials…just to keep things interesting. She also loves spending down time with her family, friends and loved ones.

Ariell has a strong passion and commitment to diversity, representation and inclusivity. She uses her shop to highlight and uplift works that are created by and feature BIPOC, women, the LGBTQ community, and other underrepresented groups in the comic book community. Amalgam has garnered national media attention, leading to a host of awards and accolades including Ariell’s 2016 Geek of the Year nomination, 2019 ECBACC Pioneer Award, An-Defamation League’s 2019 Jerry Clark Making a Difference Award and the 2020 PACDC Equitable Entrepreneur Award. Amalgam, which opened on December 14, 2015, just celebrated it’s 6th birthday!

About Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse: Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is a celebration of geek culture. A place for comic book fans, hardcore gamers, movie addicts, television connoisseurs, and zombie apocalypse survivalists to meet, and with their powers combined, make a posive impact on the world.

Specializing in comics, toys & figurines, games, comic related magazines, apparel, coffee & espresso related beverages, and baked goods.

Since opening in 2015, Amalgam has grown in capacity, becoming not only a comic book store and coffee shop, but a true community-oriented safe space hosting a wide variety of events including classes, workshops, book signings, movie screenings, open-mic nights, birthday pares, yoga classes and more.

Niesha Deed, Founder of Pure Spark

Amid her own journey to healing, Nieisha Deed saw the need for spaces where people of color can connect and share their experiences with mental health and wellness.  In 2019, she started the organization PureSpark with a vision of  “helping you on your journey to finding your PureSpark.”

Nieisha began sharing mental health and wellness resources online, and later started a weekly forum for those who felt isolated in their struggles.

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