diversity

Inauguration of London Breed | The First African American Female Mayor of San Francisco

Mayor London Breed

It was a “Oh Happy Day” about to happen when I arrived at City Hall in San Francisco in great anticipation of the historic inauguration services of the first African American woman to be elected as Mayor of San Francisco - LONDON BREED.  I had no idea that my arrival at 6:30 am, for a program that began at 11 am, would be noticed by the KRON4 news crew.  I was asked to do a live interview about the inauguration that would air in 15 minutes.  I was thrilled for the opportunity.  I shared in the KRON 4 interview that as a native of San Francisco, growing up in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood, I’ve watched London’s trajectory since she was around 19 years old, and given the journey this historic new chapter in her life was destined.  It was a tremendous honor for me to start the day giving my thoughts and accolades to the first African American woman to be elected as Mayor of San Francisco.

As a millennial thinker and 21st-century innovator, Breed understood the value of the arts and how it impacts the lives of inner-city children as she chose to lead the African American Art & Culture Complex as the Executive Director.  The journey continued in 2012 when Breed was first elected to the Board of Supervisors and was re-elected in 2016. She was elected by supervisors in 2015 to serve as the board’s president.  This next monumental step in leading one of the finest cities in the nation, San Francisco,the city is fortunate to have her leadership.

Lynette McElhaney & Willie Mays

 

There were 3,000 chairs set up in preparation of Breed’s swearing-in by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and there was standing room only by the time the program began.  In her inauguration speech, Breed, 43, vowed to stand by immigrants during this very stressful and uncertain time in their lives.  She addressed the need to care for the mentally ill population, and she gave hope to the housing situation that the city has been facing for some time.  I am very excited about Breed’s leadership and I was very happy to hear her intentional attention to the mental illness community.  A much-forgotten population who need our attention and more importantly who deserved it.  For those who have served our country in the military and now they face this illness, they have earned our help.

London grew up in public housing in San Francisco and gives continued honor and respect to her grandmother who raised her.  We know the challenges ahead for Breed are monumental, but when the people of San Francisco voted for her as their new leader, there was assurance that she could get the job done.

San Francisco has embraced Breed’s innovative millennial thinking, and the supportive voters are standing by her side to help in any way they can.  We will begin to see a city in action like no other, and it’s going to be leadership at its best by far.

Breed is set to serve the remainder of former Mayor Ed Lee’s term, which ends in January 2020.

THE MoAD Afropolitan BALL RAISES $1M to keep black culture in san francisco

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When the Hiplet Ballerinas of Chicago, IL get the party started at a gala, you know you're in for an absolute treat.  The MoAD Afropolitan 2017 Gala took place on October 28, 2017 at the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco and it was outstanding as expected.  Hundreds attended and more than $1M was raised towards MoAD's goal of keeping Black Art & Culture in the City of San Francisco.  It's no secret that the African American population in San Francisco has decreased tremendously over the last 20 years, so while the people, in many cases, have been forced to make an exodus from the city, keeping the black history and culture that made the city what it is today, is extremely important.

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It was very refreshing to see so many young professionals attending the MoAD Afropolitan Gala this year.  MoAD's commitment to advancing the message of the need to elevate the voice of black art in San Francisco is critical to this movement - a movement as I call it.  MoAD understands the value of embracing young professionals and millennials in the conversation as they will soon be, or they already are, those 'next in line' to bring the message full circle, not just in San Francisco, but nationally.  MoAD's Vanguard Leadership Council has the charge of outreach to young professionals throughout the Bay Area, many who don't know about the museum and others who have desired to find a place to share their artistic talent and other professional skills that the museum can use.

The honorees of the evening were Betye Saar – Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and Fred Blackwell – Visionary Leader in Philanthropy.  It would be great to see next year a young philanthropic professional honored as this would even further elevate the reach to a group of people who are open to being included and can bring money and talent to the table.

And go!

Y'Anad Burrell on Huff Post HERE

Marshawn Lynch - From Star NFL Athlete to Fashion Designer

From an NFL star athlete to now fashion designer, Marshawn Lynch showcased his Beast Mode collection for the first time on the runway at Fashion On The Square on November 13, 2016 in San Francisco.  Marshawn Lynch, who recently retired from the NFL, is a leading example of how to take a decorated athletic career to the next level and invest in an industry, fashion, that speaks to every ethnicity, age, culture, ethnicity both nationally and internationally.

 

During the Best Mode segment at Fashion On The Square, there were looks for men, women and even for the 'fluffy girl' as I affectionately call our 'plus size' models. When the 'fluffy girl' came down the runway, it was a standing moment for Marshawn as he was video recording the entire segment.  To see him raise to his feet in excitement about seeing this model rip the runway excited the crowd beyond measure. Also, one of several crowd favorite looks was a women's black sweatshirt with the words 'BLESSED' written in all white very large print on the back.  From the crowd applause it was certainly a show stopper.  Many of the women's wear pieces were worn with heels which gave the overall look something very sophisticated and beyond just athletic wear.

Marshawn opened his flagship store, Best Mode, in October 2015, at 811 Broadway St., in Oakland, CA.  He visits the store often and on any given day or time of day you will see traffic in the store because the collection is just that outstanding.  From the logo to the line, Marshawn Lynch's landing into the fashion industry has many paying close attention to his growth and from millennials to baby-boomers, they all want a piece of his collection in their wardrobe.

Marshawn doesn't just talk the talk when it comes to giving back to his hometown community, but he walks it and it's seen in the charitable activities he hosts where he is giving back to at-risk children and teens throughout Oakland through his Fam 1st Foundation.  It's been one of the best feelings ever to see a native of Oakland give back and do it continuously.

For more information about the Beast Mode Collection visit www.beastmodeonline.com.  To see photos from the fashion show visit www.fashiononthesquare.com.