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by Heir Sherrod

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40 Under 40

ANGELICA ROSS

ACTRESS, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER + FOUNDER OF TRANS TECH SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

Angelica Ross is a leading figure of success and strength in the movement for transgender and racial equality and a current star in Ryan Murphy’s Golden Globe nominated hit FX series “Pose”. Making TV history, the show features the largest transgender cast ever for a scripted series - five transgender women of color cast to play five series regular roles, including Angelica’s role as the witty and fiesty ‘Candy Abundance,’ the brashest member of the ‘House of Abundance.’ Ross is also the President of Miss Ross, Inc. and founder of TransTech Social Enterprises, an organization that helps people lift themselves out of poverty through technical training and digital work creating a social impact and bringing economic empowerment to marginalized trans and LGBTQI+ communities.

ANTONIO HAIRSTON

LEADER, MENTOR + FOUNDER OF 

I AM KING INITIATIVE

Antonio Javar is a leader, mentor and Founder of I AM KING Initiative. Antonio impacts the lives of so many through his mentorship, seminars and workshops. He began public speaking in local churches and community centers in Miami, Florida at the tender age of nine. Hairston's desire to be positive role model and impact the lives of young men of color, he created the I AM KING Intiative four years ago. I AM KING partners with young and adult men of color together to inspire a new generation of leaders who recognize their potential, celebrate their strengths and create successes in their lives and others through community building, mentorship and motivational networking events. 

JAHLOVE SERRANO

HEALTH EDUCATOR, YOUTH ADVOCATE + HIV/AIDS ACTIVIST

Jahlove Serrano is a Guatemalan/American drag-queen, health educator, youth advocate and HIV/AIDS activist from the Bronx. Contracting HIV a few days shy of his sixteenth birthday, he decided to take a leadership role amongst his peers and community to combat the ignorance and stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS. Jahlove is currently featured on national campaigns, "HIV Stops With Me" and NYC's "In Care" campaign. Using his entertainment platform to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and education nationally, Jahlove takes every chance he possible to share his words with all. 

ROBIN WILLIAMS

WRITER,FILMMAKER + FACILITATOR OF WRITING TO HEAL

Robin is a writer, filmmaker, producer, and entrepreneur from the Bronx, NY. As a filmmaker, Robin’s ultimate goal is to produce thoughtfully created content to make a lasting impact on social change. Her very first film "Garden of Eden," which she wrote and co-directed, was selected into the Creative Minds Short Film Corner Program at Cannes Film Festival in 2017. Currently, Robin is Managing Editor for the online publication SOULE, and also facilitates therapeutic writing and mindfulness workshops that teach participants how to use writing to unpack limiting beliefs, process emotional stressors, and practice active mindfulness.

SESSLE SARPY

FOUNDER + CREATOR OF AFRO-LATIN DIASPORA

Sessle Sarpy is the Creator/Founder of The Afro Latin Diaspora. He is a 26 year old artist, model, & now activist born and raised in Dallas, Texas to an Afro Cuban mother & Bi-racial Creole father of Sicilian, Spaniard & African decent. He turned to activism when he faced hardships and discrimination in the modeling industry based on his skin color and identity. He built his organization 2 years ago through Instagram, which was dedicated to raise awareness on Afro Latinos, while educating and rebuilding Self Love targeting specifically young black women. His page went viral many times due to his unapologetic ways in fighting against anti-blackness in Latin America, while also making it fun and educational, which lead to the growth of his team and organization. With his platform he hopes to affect change in redefining how the world is exposed to the presence of blackness in Latin America.

BIANCA GOLDEN

INSPIRING EDUCATOR + MENTOR

Many hopeful educators develop a hero teacher narrative but Bianca doesn’t have plans to to save them; because they don't need saving, they need someone who will fight with them.

We all have a person that comes to mind when thinking of the idea of a great teacher. She unambiguously want to be that to every student that she encounters. Wanting to take the time to know who they were so that she can better understand who they are and listen to their dreams thus encouraging them to become who they want to be. "I want to allow others to share their story and goals without judgment and to leave room for error and growth. Whereas many adults form assumptions, young adults ask questions, and I want to encourage a generation to ask questions and form fact-based opinions," she shares.

SANDRA GARCIA LOWERY

PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MULTI-ETHNICITY IN COMMUNICATIONS-NYC

Sandra is the current NY Chapter President of the National Association Multi-Ethnicity In Communications (N.A.M.I.C.), and sits on the board of Digital Diversity Network (DDN) and America Needs You. In 2012, Sandra launched the Afro-LatinaBeauty.com, an online destination for stories of Afro-Latinas sharing the same actual experience. As a speaker, Sandra has spoken and moderated discussions at BuzzFeed, Google, SiriusXM, Microsoft, Turner Broadcasting, Young and Rubicam, LinkedIn and at colleges; NYU, Pace University, Dickinson College and Baruch College.  

DASHAWN USHER

FOUNDER + EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,

MOBI-NYC

DaShawn Usher is an award-winning advocate, published researcher and celebrated leader within the LGBT and HIV prevention field. Having cultivated over 12 years of extensive experience in the LGBT research, program development and design, health communications and campaigns. He is the Founder and Executive Director of Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI), a series of curated social connectivity events for black, gay and queer men to see their holistic self while promoting community, wellness, and personal development. 

JUSTIN DOMINIC

PERFORMER, EDUCATOR + CREATOR OF UNAPOLOGETIC ME: BLACK |GAY| MAN

Justin Dominic is a professional dancer, performer, educator, and filmmaker. Raised in Newark, NJ, he trained at arts High School, Ailey School, American Ballet Theater, and Joffrey Ballet School. Justin received his BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and went on to perform and tour with several contemporary dance companies. After finishing his MFA at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he continues to teach locally and guest lecture at schools and universities and returned as a dancer with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In addition, Justin with his partner and love, Daniel Calderon, were most proud to create and produce their first film this year - unapologetic me: BLACK | GAY  | MAN.