During a time when building real-life connections can be a challenge, online communities have been a saving grace for many.
The presence of groups on social media has heightened, which has transformed into an influx of people that strive to be sources of support and resources. Community leaders especially are using the impact of social media to reach the masses and create the change they want to see.
Here are nine Black leaders making real impact that should be on your radar.
1. Mary DeBoise, Black Girls Craft
As an avid creative herself, Mary DeBoise founded Black Girls Craft in 2015 to be a safe space for Black women to nurture their crafts and for talent to blossom. The online platform is a place to connect with other Black female creatives, which has built a sisterhood of over 213,000 members. Mary further extends her movement to uplift the Black community through creating resources, hosting workshops, and amplifying support for Black-owned businesses.
2. Depelsha McGruder, Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. (MOBB United)
Raising young Black men in America can be a journey of experiences that can cause anxiety, but Depelsha McGruder’s online community is a source for Black mothers to be empowered through hardships. MOBB United started as a community in 2016 and transformed into a nonprofit, which has a sister organization — MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. What started as McGruder’s Facebook support group has become a nationwide platform that works to shift how Black boys and men are treated and racially profiled, as well as is a resource for Black mothers and their voices to be heard.
3. Dasha Kennedy, The Broke Black Girl
Financial activist Dasha Kennedy is all about helping Black women in overcoming financial struggles. After her own personal battles with making ends meet, the millennial launched The Broke Black Girl to help others learn from her mistakes. Dasha offers financial literacy support, tools and resources for young Black women to embark on the path to financial wellness. Supporting her community boosts her mission to play a role in bridging the racial and gender wealth gap.
4. Delilah Antoinette, Black Girl’s Healing House
After seeing a lack of Black women in wellness spaces, Delilah Antoinette decided to create her own. Black Girl’s Healing House, founded in 2017, caters to the needs of the underrepresented group and emphasizes the power of healing. Antoinette’s community is connected with wellness resources, workshops, and a network of healers. The online group has a following of 61,000 members (and counting) of Black women working toward holistic health.
5. Evita Robinson, Nomadness Travel Tribe
Nomadness Travel Tribe is a vivid picture of the Black community living their best lives all around the world. Being someone who travels often inspired Evita Robinson to create a group that connects fellow Black travelers and pushes for representation within the travel industry. In its span of over 10 years, the tribe has spawned travel groups where people can ensure safe trips. Another plus about the community is that while collecting passport stamps, members get to more importantly bond with one another during each stay.
6. Dr. Rhonika Thomas, Blacks in Nonprofits
Dr. Rhonika Thomas launched Blacks in Nonprofits in 2020 to help build a community of Black-led nonprofits on a global scale. Through support and networking, the platform aims to make an impact across cities and neighborhoods. Thomas is also the founder and CEO of National Nonprofit Minority Association, which connects nonprofit organizations and professionals with resources and mentorship.
7. Jonathan Gibbs, Black and Asian Alliance Network
Coming from his mixed heritage of being Black and Asian, Jonathan Gibbs formed the Black and Asian Alliance Network during the racial unrest in 2020. At the center of the alliance’s purpose is unity between races. Gibbs created the group to empower its members to collectively use their voices in the fight against systemic oppressions.
8. Antonio Driver, Speak Out
In 2017, Antonio Driver created Speak Out as a safe space for the Black LGBTQ+ community. Over time, the group transitioned into a nonprofit that’s mission is to educate, support and connect its members by being a source of guidance and mentorship. Speak Out places self-care and mental health at the forefront by connecting the community to various services.
9. Mia Cooley, Black LGBTQ+ Moms & Parents
More representation for Black LGBTQ+ moms is needed, and that’s where Mia Cooley steps in. Her safe online community is where mothers across the spectrum can uplift and support one another. Black LGBTQ+ Moms & Parents focuses on the fundamentals of healthy relationships and parenting.