Malia Lazu is a powerful culture creator and strategist whose instinct and clarity have changed cities, institutions and organizations throughout the US and abroad for over 20 years. Having started her first cultural endeavor at age 19 - in which she was credited with forever changing the voting landscape in Boston - Malia has been using strategy and the connective tissue of community networks to build diversity in authentic ways and creating consistent impact .
With over two decades of experience building diverse culture in the political and civic space, Malia felt the diversity and inclusion industry was in need of disruption in the private sector. While at MIT, Malia launched a space for diversity research and development called The Urban Labs, which has emerged as a boutique multi-cultural agency helping corporations and institutions be more effective in their diversity and inclusion efforts. Over the last few years Malia has experimented in attacking ongoing diversity problems, including working with the city of Boston in the startup space, creating Accelerate Boston, an accelerator for creatives. In its first five years, Accelerate Boston helped launched 20+ minority businesses and continues to support minority entrepreneurs in their search for investment capital.
The passion and success of Malia’s work has earned her a reputation as one of the most insightful and critical culture creators of her generation, and caught the attention of MTV, Showtime, ABC-TV, Fox News, and print publications such as Newsweek, The Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal and Boston Magazine. Malia was named as one of the 50 founders to watch in Essence Magazine 2017.
In addition to her extensive work building bridges and bringing people together, Malia has created campaigns for numerous tastemakers including Grammy Award-winner and famed civil-rights activist Harry Belafonte, businessmen and philanthropists George Soros and Peter Lewis. Malia currently sits on The Nation Magazine Editorial Board, Eastern Bank Board of Incorporators, Boston Society of Architects and the Black Economic Council of MA.
Carey Jenkins has been striving to educate, and empower disenfranchised communities of color since he was a teenager. For over 20 years Carey has led communities to find effective ways to participate in civil society. Most recently Carey is building bridges from inner cities to Washington DC, leading several national voter turnout campaigns including turning out thousands of young people in the 2008 and 2012 elections, with the League of Young Voters and The Georgia Project. Carey has one of the strongest hard to reach networks in America with a focus in mid west and southern cities.
Reggie Williams began his journey to build a better society through media at age 15 after getting hired for his first job. After attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Reggie returned to Boston and has deepened his commitment to working at the intersections of Public Health and Media. He also currently serves as a Funding Panel member at Haymarket People’s Fund among other service roles.
Erin was born in Billings, Montana, “the magic city” and moved to Massachusetts in 2000. Her initial study was housed Sociology & History with a concentration on race relations & the black arts movement, multi cultural immersion & programming. Her work & life experience is broad - ranging from youth programming, service & hospitality industries, nonprofit development, & event & program management and design. Her work has been housed in Missoula, Denver, Minneapolis, and Boston. She currently works as the program and marketing manager at The Capital Network and is the cofounder and collaborator on the local/global initiatives: PEACE (@PeaceInBoston) & Black & Blonde (@Blck.and.Blnd)
Keith Jones is the President and CEO of SoulTouchin’ Experiences. An organization aimed at bringing a perspective to the issues of access inclusion and empowerment, which affect him as well as others who are persons with a disability. Mr. Jones is also extremely active in multi-cultural, cross-disability education and outreach efforts and conducts training's (including train the trainer) with the purpose of strengthening efforts to provide services and information to people with disabilities.