Washington State Representative Jesse Johnson (30th Legislative District), and Brave New World founder, Shyan Selah, are proud to announce the beginning of a landmark endeavor in working together to create equitable programs that foster black business development and entrepreneurship, as well as establishing career based educational pathways for young creatives in South King County.
Inspired by a combination of a lifetime of community development efforts along with the current global pandemic and the effects it has had on the small business community, Creative Artist and Entrepreneur, Shyan Selah, began the development of both The Black Business Eco Chamber and the continued building of The Artist Workshop for those looking to enter into the globally vast multi-media entertainment industries. Both programs are designed to generate greater economic and career path development in the region.
“Successful Economic Development in the black community, and in communities of color in general, start and end with committed strategic partners who can empathize the critical need for equitable investment into the community,” says Shyan Selah. “Of course there must be a healthy ecosystem in place for this to have sustainability. That economic and creative ecosystem is the goal here. Just as there has been a well-documented economic ecosystem and history for other cultures that are benefiting from the likes of angel investment groups, venture capital groups, government contracting, crowd funders, real estate investment groups, banks, sponsors and donors that have provided significant resources for business endeavors and programs that often fall short of ever creating long term partnership with or stimulating economic growth in the black community.”
Pictured Jesse Johnson (L) and Shyan Selah (R).
That same type of energy that other groups have benefitted from must now expand and move in partnership with and into the black community, and other disenfranchised communities of color, with the same manner of vested commitment and opportunity they’ve shared for themselves,” continues Shyan. “The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and the centuries old yet unresolved racial inequality dynamics has created the most uniquely difficult times for the community. There is an abundance of talent and an abundance of need, but very few resource partners to build the necessary bridges to connect the two sides.”
This type of partnership between Brave New World and Representative Johnson has been in discussion for quite some time. Both the State Representative and Creative Artist have collective roots in their hometown of Federal Way where each have led and/or participated in substantial outreach programs for youth and communities of color throughout the region.
“Entrepreneurship and localized economic development is the economic driver of our country and our collective recovery from the pandemic hinges on our ability to build and sustain capacity for growth,” says Representative Johnson. “That is why I am fully supporting the work of Artist and Businessman/Shyan Selah and his Brave New World Company to cultivate an executive lifestyle/networking experience for up and coming creatives and entrepreneurs in the business community.
For many years, Brave New World and The Selah Foundation have created pathways for young people in the Pacific Northwest to enter and learn about business through the lens of creative arts and music. His Artist Workshop Program is a high impact training institute for youth to learn about the entertainment industry including all of it’s occupations and functions. It alone has reached 2 school districts, 16 high schools and 16 middle schools in our State totaling over 26,000 youth,” adds Representative Johnson.
In moving forward with this new partnership, BNW aims to expand the impact of the Artist Workshop, as well as establish similar programs for career professionals, and new and established entrepreneurs, at the state level.
“The State of Washington has a need both for developing opportunities in the creative arts space as well as creating an executive experience for business and community leaders to network and generate strong relationships,” states Representative Johnson. “I believe it is time we invest in BIPOC led capacity building business incubation and foster economic growth in our local communities, particularly historically and currently marginalized communities such as those in South King County.”
“Economic development naturally builds bridges that sprout job creation, career- based education pathways, innovation, and a high value respect for the arts,” offers Shyan. “I’m excited to continue to work with Representative Johnson and other state-elected o#cials who empathetically understand both the value potential and the critical nature of this endeavor. It’s only a beginning, but through building operations that both stimulate current, and foster new, young entrepreneurs and creatives, the community can begin to make better use of its talent pool and move itself into a position of sustainable wealth building.”
For more information on the Black Business Eco Chamber or The Artist Workshop, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.