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“One of the greatest creative setbacks I faced was finding early funding, as well as media coverage, for our growing program,” he confessed. “I struggled in the first couple of years, which left us with the notion that we were very far away from the vision of making our nonprofit program’s training initiatives global all year round. Instead of just letting talk fuel their dreams and aspirations, Lincoln Stephen and his partners Jamil Buie and Larry Yarrell, knocked on every door there was, eventually getting press in publications such as Advertising Age, Savoy Magazine, and on CNN and NBC.
His hard work and dedication engaged those he wished to make an impression upon, which lead to him being recognized as one of Advertising Age‘s top 40 marketing leaders under 40, as well as AT&T’s 28 Days Gamer Changer. Still, Stephens’ views his mentorship work, inspiring and impacting the African American community, as his greatest accomplishment.
“Every time I see one of our students post via social media, that they are enjoying their job or a business that they’ve started, it gives me hope,” he said. “To know that we might have had a small part in unlocking the true potential of our community makes us want to increase it tenfold. Thankfully, I have already seen some of my mentees take on their own mentees. I can’t wait to see the first one, from that next generation, create wealth for our community and their family.”
Mr. Stephens managed to lend his time, brainpower, and expertise to the likes of the YMCA and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, as well as other urban-progressive organizations. As we honor him with the distinction of being a BE Modern Man, here’s what the social entrepreneur, and one of the driving forces behind The Marcus Graham Project, had to say: “To me, being a BE Modern Man is about being one that stands up to the challenges of today, and inspires change within their community.”
We here at Black Enterprise salute you, Lincoln Stephens, for contributing positive images of Black culture to the masses. Your mission of identifying, exposing, mentoring, and training ethnically diverse men and women about advertising, entertainment, marketing, and the media industry frames us in an enthusiastic light — and is meant to be celebrated and appreciated.
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