Meet The Creative Collective 2024 Creative Class

These changemakers are leading the culture in media, arts and entertainment

The Creative Class NYC revealed the 2024 cohort as a kickoff celebration of Black culture shifters and leaders. Presented by Max, the new roster includes those in tech, art, entertainment, fashion, and social goods. “Max is excited to join forces once again with The Creative Collective team to highlight the next generation of incredible Black creatives and leaders,” says Jackie Gagne, Senior Vice President, Multicultural Marketing, HBO and Max. “By spotlighting these exceptional individuals, we celebrate the vibrant and influential voices that Black culture shifters bring to various industries.”

With partnerships including Gucci Changemakers North America, Prime Video, and Topicals, these powerhouses are the ones making brands pay attention to the need for diversity and inclusion in the creative space. “We’re on a mission to platform pioneering Black creatives and celebrate their countless contributions and lasting impact,” says Founder and CEO of The Creative Collective, Imani Ellis. “The remarkable impact of these culture-shifters truly uplifts us while inspiring the next generation of world-changing dreamers to relentlessly pursue their own dreams.”

Through various initiatives, The Creative Collective thrives on developing a community for Black and Brown creatives and equipping them with the tools to thrive in the industry. Born from the mind of Ellis’ apartment in 2017 she continues to have the same drive and passion to help the future creative class. “We continue to be inspired by the limitless creativity and impact made by our community,” Ellis says.

The list includes Gen Z’ers like environmentalist Wawa Gatheru, Gen Z Historian Kahlil Greene and Nandi Howard, VP Content EV & Senior Content Director ECI, Essence. These creatives have emerged as powerful forces, making incredible cultural and societal impact. Scroll ahead and see the creative class of 2024.

Social Good

Charles Kuykendoll, General Manager of Community, Blavity Inc.

Damilare Kujembola and Timi Adeyeba, CoFounder and COO, Amplify Africa

Derrick “DT” Thomas, Partner, Community & Strategic Partnerships

John Petty III, Executive Creative Director

Kahlil Greene, The Gen Z Historian

Marva and Myriam Babel, Founder Babel Loft, Babel Gin, and Ode to Babel

Qween Jean, Founder of  Black Trans Liberation 

Wawa Gatheru, Founder & Executive Director

Entertainment & Arts

Calvin Clausell, Artist / Actor 

Coco Jones, Singer, Songwriter & Actress 

Crystal Reneé, Actress, Podcast Host, Philanthropist

Daniel Taylor, Co-Founder & CEO of Bags 

DeAndre Brown, Content Creator & Entrepreneur

Hannah Traore, Founder/Director, Hannah Traore Gallery

Jean Elie, Actor Writer Producer

Jocelyn Bioh, Writer & Performer

Josef Adamu, Creative Director

Khris Riddick-Tynes, Multi Platinum Producer/Writer, Co-Head Urban & VP A&R Arista Records

Nandi Howard, VP Content EV & Senior Content Director ECI, Essence 

SAMOHT, Artist

Nicholas Fuler, Art Director and Graphic Designer

Joy Ofodu, Voice Actor & Creator CEO

Beauty & Fashion

Ah-Niyah Gold, Founder & CEO

Asia Milia Ware, Fashion and Beauty Writer / New York Magazine’s The Cut

Dex Robinson, Stylist & Designer

Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye, Founder & CEO of Ami Colé

Justin Blanco, Product Designer / Illustrator 

Kia Davidson, Stylist and Content Creator 

Melissa Samuel, Founder and CEO, FinesseYourClaws

Michael Graham, Owner of Savant Studios

Ryan Clark, Style Specialist 

Sean Garrette, Esthetician and Skin Care Specialist

Skylar Kearney, Creative Strategist, Storyteller 

Health & Wellness

Billy Chapata, Best Selling Author, Writer & Poet

Elyse Galloway, Senior Vice President, Edelman – Health

Jenné Claiborne, Vegan chef & Cookbook Author

Joel Bervell, Science Communicator / “Medical Mythbuster”

Joseph Awuah-Darko, Artist, Curator and Writer 

Lindsey Rachel, Author and Photographer 

Michell Clark, Writer & Speaker

Shahem Mclaurin, Licensed Therapist & Social Worker 

Entrepreneurship + Tech

Bimma WIlliams, Freelance Interviewer & Personal Branding Expert

Deniese Davis, CEO/Founder, Reform Media Group and Co-Founder, ColorCreative

Duke Alexander Moore, EA – CEO & Founder of Duke Tax

Everette Taylor, CEO, Kickstarter 

Iddris Sandu, Founder and Entrepreneur

Mandy Bowman, Founder, Official Black Wall Street

Ameer Brown, President & Co-Founder, Breakr 

Daniel Taylor, Co-Founder & CEO of Bags 

About the Author: Kenyatta Victoria is the lead writer for Essence GU, working on all things pop culture, politics, entertainment and business. Throughout her time at GU, she’s garnered devoted readers and specializes in the Zillennial point of view.

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