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7 Culture Disruptors: Presented By Baxter of California

The quote, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do,” from the late Steve Jobs, is often said to encourage ambitious individuals for motivation and encouragement. For our 7 Culture Disruptors, living by this quote comes as second nature. These men are blazing their own paths in a world where our narratives are told to us and not by us. Helping to push our culture forward is a giant task made up of small steps that eventually lead to a shift in the way we think and navigate in this world. Disrupting an industry means taking back our narrative and showing the complexities of who we are and our 7 Culture Disruptors continue to embody the possibilities of who we can become.



Anton Peeples

Talk Show Host / Producer / Entrepreneur



Black people have been the driving force behind the culture we see today. What does the term culture mean to you and its significance to our community?


We are the ‘Culture.” Always have been and always will be. We are the driving force behind all things art, fashion and entertainment. Black people are the inspiration behind it all. For too long the mass media has tried to dial down our brilliance and contributions to the “culture,” now finally throughout this beautiful renaissance, we are being celebrated for all of the gifts we provide to the “Culture” as we are the greatest influence in the world. To me, culture is Black pride. Being unapologetically Black. Shining in our Black Boy Joy and glistening in our Black Goddess Essence.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


I realized Black actors like me were missing from film and TV, and I immediately knew I had to be a part of that change. I kept seeing through the lens of someone else, a very stereotypical view of how they saw black men. We are all so diverse and that is part of our beauty; but, for so many years there were so many voices left out of the conversation. Not seeing someone like me or people whom I grew up around and loved hit a nerve for me. Then I realized I would create a world in which I wanted to see, and I would include all of the gorgeous and complex black people that shaped my life. I would depict them as everyday humans, not stereotypical over-dramatized characters, but rather, real people.


What Impact do you hope to leave behind?


I try to lead with truth and fearlessness. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am in life now. If I could leave anything behind it would be to live fearlessly in your truth


What can we expect next from you?


Next up, my talk show, Season 2 of The Mix on Fox Soul! Coming in October! I am the co-creator, executive producer and one of the hosts. New Music, I’ll be dropping some new records before the end of summer. I’ll also be introducing the world to P44 my skincare/ beauty line which includes an essential beard oil and body butter. P44’s goal is to emphasize the beauty of all people with gorgeous melanin skin.


Cam Kirk

Photographer


Black people have been the driving force behind the culture we see today. What does the term culture mean to you and its significance to our community?


Culture to me is synonymous with experience, and in America, nobody has had a more thrilling experience than Black people. It's the underdog story in every aspect of our daily lives. For Black people, Culture in America is like the story of the diamond mines. We foster and create it and the world exploits it and profits off it. To me, the goal should be creating the culture and also owning the vessels that distribute and exploit it.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


I realized that when I first started to see some success in my career. Through my success, I realized how much opportunity our people were leaving on the table. At times our people were thinking in survivor mode for self and did not realize that through their success came a responsibility to uplift others and their community. I watched my peers partner with brands and companies and at the end of the arrangement the only people truly impacted were the two parties involved. I made it my mission that with every job I did with a major brand or company who wanted to exploit my culture and talent that they made room for others in my community in the process. Through my partnerships with Sprite, Nike, Puma, and Facebook to name a few we have donated everything from money, job opportunities, free workshops, and even trash and recycling initiatives directly in my community. These bigger artists and influencers can demand the same if they really wanted to.


What Impact do you hope to leave behind?


The impact I will leave behind will be one that inspires generations to know that life can truly be limitless. No matter what your passion or talent is you can be as big as the next star and use your gifts to not only positively impact your community but the world as well.


What can we expect next from you?


It's hard to actually put it into words because I'm aiming and striving for the unexpected. If you can expect or see my future then I'm not aiming high enough.


Dr. Sean Larry Stevens

Celebrity Consultant / Author



Black people have been the driving force behind the culture we see today. What does the term culture mean to you and its significance to our community?


Culture by its more formal definition means the culmination of a racial, ethnic, or social group's identity - very broadly that's a range from style, arts, customs, language etc. For me, culture, more specifically Black culture is this legacy that we must pass down to others. A legacy that embodies the greatness of all things Black. It's evident today that Black culture has been appropriated by white people in a myriad of ways and thus for me, Black culture is embedded in the essence of this country but in a way needs to be protected, loved, appreciated, and passed down to the next generations as something that is sacred and valued. It's important to me because it moves our people forward; this pride that we have in our identity allows us to evolve and enhance in a way that sets us uniquely apart and obviously influences all other cultures in our country. The way Black people talk, the way we dress, the way we dance, our creativity and innovation, our food, our music, our consciousness, our fearlessness, our strength...all of this is culture and it's significant to our community because it's something you can't take from us even through appropriation - it will always be ours.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


I was in high school. I had gotten left-back in 9th grade and then got sent to a school where the majority of people didn't look like me. I was in this new world, that literally I only saw in tv shows and movies, but this world of white people and money....lots of money. Where seniors had a parking lot dedicated just for them and to see a kid's Maserati parked next to another senior's Porsche, next to a Lamborghini, next to a Tesla....at 17 years old. I remember my first car that I bought at 18; it was a 1995 Nissan Altima that I paid $500 for out of my paycheck that ironically came from me being a part of the custodial crew at my high school so that I can pay for prom. When I went to this school and saw the inequities that existed within education by comparing the experiences of the first 15 years of school with what would be the next 3 years in high school with such a vast difference, I knew I wanted to dismantle this oppression. How could a school like this exist 2 miles away from the high school I was just coming from and literally everything be different - racial demographics, financial wealth, access to resources, etc. I wanted to invest in education myself to explore how and why this is the case and decided I would dedicate the rest of my life to entering spaces where I could disrupt it.


What Impact do you hope to leave behind?


I simply hope that I've left this place in better shape than I was born into. One of the things I say in many interviews is that impact and influence are two words that summarize why I do what I do every day. I want to ensure that when people refer to the work I've done over the course of my life, they say "Wow, he really made an impact on me, on his community, on education, in the world of social justice, and on the world." I want people to read articles written by me that have pushed their thinking. I want them to watch interviewers and be inspired to speak their truth, follow their passions, be unapologetically themselves, and walk in their excellence.


What can we expect next from you?


Well, I'm not the United States Secretary just yet - but that's coming down the pipeline one day. Next, I plan to start publishing and really focusing on my work as a researcher to propel the Black man forward. Over the next year or two, the immediate goals are to get my name out there even more as an expert in leadership and education and to relaunch my podcast platform in a meaningful way. I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing celebrities over the course of the last two years and I plan to continue the work to influence them in positive ways that allow them to use their own impact, influence, and resources for good in the world. Oh, and you can expect to see me on TV...I'm working on that.


Mike Gauyo

TV Writer



Black people have been the driving force behind the culture we see today. What does the term culture mean to you and its significance to our community?


To me, as a person of color and more specifically as a Black man, the term Culture means wealth. It's significant to our community because it is synonymous with intellectual property and should be considered currency. Not just in the monetary sense, but as the knowledge that should be passed down from generation to generation. Others like to appropriate it because they see the value. And because it's so valuable, it must be protected.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


I wouldn't say there was one moment, but a series of small moments. And it was less about me realizing I needed to be the change and more about stepping into my purpose. Here is what I mean by that. Some disruptors don't set out to disrupt. Oftentimes it comes from being forced into a position where you have no choice but to act. As a working writer in entertainment, I have seen, heard, and experienced firsthand the pitfalls of being a person of color in this industry. I launched the Black Boy Writes and Black Girl Writes mentorship Initiative seeking to combat some of those pitfalls. As colleagues and those coming up behind me would ask for my advice, it just became a natural progression into realizing that the advice I was giving was me walking in my purpose.


What Impact do you hope to leave behind?


Whenever I hear the word impact I think of breaking barriers and creating a clear path ahead for the next person. The impact I hope to leave behind is an accessible pathway for aspiring writers of color to achieve and sustain success.


What can we expect next from you?


I'm currently developing a few film and tv projects, a couple of which you should be hearing about soon. I'm also planning to expand the Black Boy Writes Media brand (including Black Girl Writes) into high schools and colleges. Stay tuned.


Jeff Lindor

Entrepreneur



Black people have been the driving force behind the culture we see today. What does the term culture mean to you and its significance to our community?

Culture sets the tone of a nation. Black culture drives America, yet the Black community does not monetize its creativity enough. We need to continue to build our infrastructure and use the wealth we receive from our culture as one of the income streams to reduce the racial wealth gap.

When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?

After graduating from school, I was looking for a space to connect with like-minded people who looked like me. There are limited spaces that are designed for Black men to thrive. Normally spaces are there for us to fit in, but there are few spaces that are built to fit us. As a result, I started Gentlemen’s Factory in 2016 as the central destination for Gentlemen to build with each other.

What Impact do you hope to leave behind?

I want to help create a world where people of color are no longer looking to just survive, I want us all to thrive and I will continue to do all that I can to put the resources in our possession so we can get to the next level.

What can we expect next from you?


We have expanded Gentlemen’s Factory to a digital community. We have digital members in 18 states and 4 countries. We will open physical locations in the coming months and years to meet the growing need for community across the planet.


Jesse Mills

Social Media Specialist


Black people have been the driving force behind the culture we see today. What does the term culture mean to you and its significance to our community?


I agree Black people are at the forefront of creativity within popular culture and I consider myself a Creative Brand Builder. My brand isn’t created for only Black people though. I’m a global citizen. I represent a life and product that isn’t limited by color or race. If not doing so, I feel like I’m not getting the full message or story out. I do this while having ultimate solidarity back to my base, but still aiming for a true global impact of my art and creative power. I don’t subscribe to convenient colloquials around excellence, I try to exemplify that in the impact of my work versus my words.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


Change is inherent to life. It’s a Constant, guaranteed factor like time… a cousin of change is adaptability - there’s no way you can be a consistent power in this industry if you don’t have ultimate respect for that. As a social media specialist, I look to the average person. Instagram is seemingly a monolith but here you have FanBase and TikTok stealing market share. You gotta respect the big picture. You gotta see how you can now incorporate them into client’s social strategies. Change and more specifically adaptability is an important factor in that.


What type of impact do you hope your contribution will have on the culture?


My goal is to make brands better through social media every day through compelling stories and culturally authentic content that sparks the soul. I do this with our team @BrandVistaSocial. I’m grateful to be a part of it.


What can we expect next from you?

Ultimately, I want to build more equity and be a full-time philanthropist to create curriculums and better access for advanced education for people in the creative and branding fields.


Omar Bolden

Former Pro Football Player / Entrepreneur



Black people have been the driving force behind the culture we see today. What does the term “culture" mean to you and its significance to your community?


Culture, to me, is the voice and the pulse of the urban community, which is constantly evolving. We always want to do well for the culture. We must represent and showcase ourselves in the best light possible because of the tremendous influence and impact this has for us as a community.


When was the moment that you realized you needed to be the change you wanted to see in your industry?


The moment I became a pro athlete. I became a pro athlete at 23 for the Denver Broncos, and quickly understood the enormous amount of responsibility that falls on one's shoulders in that position. It came by default simply by being young and Black. And as the late great Stan Lee would say "with great power comes great responsibility."


What type of impact do you hope your contribution will have on the culture?


I hope to have a positive and lasting impact on the culture and my community. I hope to lead by example and show all young kids, especially the ones that look like me, that anything you want in life is possible.


What can we expect next from you?


You can expect to see me more on screen.

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