/  02.28.2022

On Sunday (Feb. 27), SHAVONE. wrapped up the last weekend of Black History Month 2022 with a bang. Soho House along with the musician, FORD model, and tech executive hosted the inaugural Future of Creatives Black Brilliance Brunch in partnership with REVOLT. The fun event even included a great panel conversation with like-minded creatives such as director and award-winning choreographer Jaquel Knight, The Shaderoom founder and CEO Angie Nwandu; actor, film writer and artist Bre-Z; and The Purple Agency founder and former head of urban at Columbia Records Phylicia Fant.

The goal of the brunch was simple: To celebrate Black creatives who are apologetically disrupting industries and making sure the Black community’s voices are heard through their work.

SHAVONE. exclusively told REVOLT exactly why hosting such an event meant so much to her. “This year’s inaugural Black Brilliance Brunch by Future Of Creatives was all about honoring and celebrating all that Black people are — across the diaspora of our culture and collective brilliance,” she declared. “We wanted to gather some of the industry’s most inspiring multidisciplinary Black creatives to celebrate one another and have envelope-pushing dialogue that will help effect the change we want to see in our communities and industries. As we wrap up Black Future Month, the bigger message is we are just getting started.”

Once the panelists kicked off the chat and dove into the importance of ownership in their fields, Knight opened up about reaching a crossroad during the pandemic that changed his outlook. “At what point do we start to take up for ourselves? And be our own voice? We’re so used to everyone speaking for us, but at what point do we speak for ourselves? And for me, that was a kicker,” he said. “The past two years, I’m sure for everyone, have been up, down, back, around… It has been complete chaos in the sense of where do I find myself in this space? And with that became knowledge and clarity.

“At what point do I start to take the bull by the horns and channel my career and my worth how I want to? …What does owning a house look like in my field? And that was ownership. And I’ve been a part of so much work that has changed the face of culture.”

On the topic of being unique, Nwandu said, “[People are told] it has to look like Issa Rae, which is amazing, or someone doing things in a certain way. But, I feel like we [should] kind of break out the box and allow people to find their own brilliance in their own way, and contribute to the culture in their own ways… Just be great in whatever it is that you are put here on earth to do. Whatever your talent is. And don’t feel like you have to look a certain way or be a certain way to be excellent.”

Bre-Z added: “I think Black brilliance is to define who we are and redefine who we are, and not go based on history… I think we all have that right.”

Important topics that, unfortunately, don’t get talked about enough in the Black community is mental health and self-care. The pandemic has taken a toll on our mental state in many different ways and the panelists discussed how they dealt with that. “The great thing about staying still was you had to hear yourself, you had to deal with your own voice. You had to look at your own self in the mirror,” Knight confessed.

“How do I worry about people and how they feel? And how I feel too. ‘No, actually I’m not cool with this. I’m actually not with this… You’re actually not a good person. I should really separate myself from this situation.’ And these are relationships you may have had all your life. And you have to realize that it was OK to break some things… It was OK to speak up. And, for me, I think that was the hardest thing of it all.”

REVOLT was proud to sponsor such an amazing event to close out Black History Month with SHAVONE. and Soho House. As we continue to celebrate Black brilliance all throughout the year, let’s never forget to thrive to make history every single day.

See some more pics of the brunch below.

Dunnie West, Dave Shirley, Autiena Avery, Kia Riley, Isha Thorpe, Ghislaine Leon at Future Creatives Brunch at Soho House

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