From Passion Project to National Platform for Young Black Creatives

Founder of My Creative Connection talks developing platform for young black creatives

In 2012 Melissa Kimble, a digital and social media strategist, started a blog with a simple goal in mind: “to share stories about ordinary people who were doing extraordinary things but weren’t getting recognized for it.” But in 2014, after the Michael Brown shooting incident, Kimble realized a much larger vision for her passion project.

“I experienced an internal shift, said Kimble. I was tired of dealing with depression and living below my potential. I was sick in bed that entire month, but like the rest of the world I was able to see how important our stories and perspectives as millennials of color were. That moment in history proved that the world around us won’t tell our stories—we have to get back to doing it ourselves.”

So with a mission to turn her pain into purpose, Kimble developed My Creative Connection(MYCC)a platform for black creatives to showcase their projects, learn new skills, and collaborate with others.

[Related: 6 Resources to Help You Achieve Your Goals by the End of the Year]

“Many creatives of color feel alone and isolated in their journeys,” said Kimble. “A lot of us are navigating career paths that didn’t exist during our parents’ generation. When people don’t understand your journey it causes you to feel disconnected, and those feelings can spiral into a number of mental and emotional health issues.”

MYCC, also known as the “the home for all #blkcreatives,” showcases a series of interviews with young professionals who’s had major success in their own right—Danyel Smith of HRDCVR, Demetria Lucas author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty; Alex Elle, writer;  Harrison Crite, fashion stylist, and Sakita Holley, CEO of House of Success PR; to name a few. There is a full calendar of events, including weekly #blkcreative Twitter Chats held on the last Monday of every month, and several in-person events scheduled in Atlanta (October, 18), Chicago, New York (November 14), and Memphis (December 4).

Typically, Twitter chats focus on personal development topics such as Managing Multiple Passions, How To Add Value to New Relationships, and Building your Tribe, and include a panel of four creatives whose personal stories and professional experiences align with the topics. Past guests have included Andrea Lewis (Black Actress), Benoni Tagoe (Awkward Black Girl and The Bizz Plan Series), Zim Ugochukwu (Travel Noire), Mattie James (Mattieologie.com), Erica Nichole (of XONecole.com), Michael Jones (of Lucky Magazine) and Michell Clark (Artistic Manifesto).  The next chat, Dealing with Distractions is  scheduled for Monday, October 26 at 6 p.m. PST/8 p.m. CST/9 p.m. EST.

“I want people to know that, regardless of your background, if you commit to doing the work internally and externally it’s possible to become who you want to be. There are so many examples of success in our culture. But you have to make sure that you’re open to learning, connecting, and building with others — no one can go on this journey alone. Whether it’s online or offline, MYCC is going to make community cool again.”

Visit My Creative Connection to learn more about upcoming events and follow them on Twitter  and Facebook.