Autumn Caviness & Huston-Tillotson University W.E.B. DuBois Scholars

Autumn Caviness & Huston-Tillotson University W.E.B. DuBois Scholars

Interim Director, W.E.B. DuBois Honors Program/Senior Students Huston-Tillotson University

 

Morghan Jones, Brittany Chopane, Autumn Caviness, Raveen Robinson, Kiera Williams, Korey Lewis, Lynn Nanjala, Joseph Reese, Jyuno Daniels, Igoboye Ned, Sherlisha Haywood, Khoryan Strange

Bernadette Phifer

Bernadette Phifer

Museum Curator, George Washington Carver Museum & Cultural Center

"My Austin experience is so varied...from the beautiful trees to the vast lakes around us. Among cites, Austin is a very clean town which is very attractive to most people, I know it was for me. It is the wonder of this City that I believe that makes one stay. If you travel around the world and tell people you are from Austin they will tell you, "they are going to or want to move to Austin". We who live here don't know what to make of it...and they do come. I know we care in Austin but I would like to see us CARE MORE about US and OURS. I love the Black talent around us in all kinds of areas. We live some of everyplace in this City so let's take pride in what we see others doing and in what we do. The walks of life are varied and different let's respect and take pride in them all."

Harrison Eppright

Harrison Eppright

Manager of Visitor Services, Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau 

"I am a native East Austinite. Although I no longer reside in East Austin, many of the cultural assets that nurtured me in my formative years are still relevant and continue to provide comfort and sustenance. As Tour Docent for Six Square -- Austin's Black Cultural District (formally known as Austin's African American Cultural District), I have a new appreciation for the relevance of the cultural assets that are located in East Austin. The Prodigal Son has returned home."

Hakeem Adewumi

Hakeem Adewumi

Special Projects & Communications Manager, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, Freelance Photographer

Joseph Hawkins

Joseph Hawkins

President & CEO, A New Thing, LLC/Community Leader

Dr. Colettte Pierce Burnette

Dr. Colettte Pierce Burnette

President & CEO, Huston-Tillotson University 

Greg Gibson, Jr.

Greg Gibson, Jr.

Founder & CEO, Dashingfoot, LLC

"While Hawaii was a great place to grow up, I knew I needed to spread my wings in a city like Austin. I came to Austin seeking opportunity and a vibrant Black community. While it took a while to find, when I discovered it, I found it was there in abundance. What I enjoy most about Austin is the ambition, creativity, and willingness of my people. Every place thinks that it is special but Blacks in Austin have a drive, a fight, that is inspiring and refreshing. Oh, and I can always catch a great concert!"

Rudy K. Metayer

Rudy K. Metayer

Special Counsel, Heath and Human Services Commission/Director, Texas Young Lawyers Association/Commissioner, Travis County Emergency Services District No. 2/Chairman, Austin Black Lawyers Association

"Austin is no longer the only regional player in the MSA, Pflugerville, Round Rock, and Cedar Park have grown into significant competitiors for jobs and resources here in Central Texas. Everyone needs to work together for the betterment all involved citizens."

Dougie Do & Megz Kelli

Dougie Do & Megz Kelli

Producer & Rapper, Hip-Hop Band, Magna Carda

Lt. Jaime Silas, Asst. Chief Richard Davis & Latoya Walker

Lt. Jaime Silas, Asst. Chief Richard Davis & Latoya Walker

Austin Fire Department

Sanya Richards-Ross & Aaron Ross

Sanya Richards-Ross & Aaron Ross

TRACK & FIELD OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST/PROFESSIONAL AMERICAN CORNERBACK, NFL

 

We love the people, great restaurants and live music! 

John Yancey

John Yancey

ARTIST/MURALIST, PROFESSOR OF ART, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF ART & ART HISTORY

Mobley

Mobley

MUSICIAN 

"Although I find many of the changes going on in the city to be pretty depressing, more and more I'm finding that there is a vibrant, engaged community of black people here, working to make sure that the city brings along everyone as it progresses."

Sheryl Cole

Sheryl Cole

MAYOR PRO TEM, CITY OF AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL

George Howell

George Howell

ANCHOR, CNN INTERNATIONAL

 

Doyin Oyeniyi & Evelyn Ngugi

Doyin Oyeniyi & Evelyn Ngugi

FOUNDERS, AUSTIN WHILE BLACK

"We love Austin's unique 'weird' culture and relaxed atmosphere, but what we love even more is the community of creatives, activists, and socially minded black people that we've met in this city. Our perspective of Austin has changed as we've learned more about the city's past while witnessing current changes. While the past few years have opened our eyes to uncomfortable truths about Austin, it's also made us more determined to be part of making Austin a more truly diverse and welcoming city."

Da'Shade Moonbeam

Da'Shade Moonbeam

ACTIVIST, ACTOR, POET & MUSICIAN

Terry Russell

Terry Russell

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST, AISD

Natalie Cofield

Natalie Cofield

FOUNDER, WALKER'S LEGACY/FOUNDER & CHIEF VISIONARY OFFICER, URBAN CO-LAB

Florinda & Wesley Bryant

Florinda & Wesley Bryant

MANAGING DIRECTOR, SALVAGE VANGUARD THEATER, PERFORMANCE ARTIST, PLAYWRIGHT & DIRECTOR / ACTOR & MEMBER, CHANGING LIVES YOUTH THEATER COMPANY

 

Michelle Washington

Michelle Washington

FASHION STYLIST

"I enjoy Austin's growing diverse culture, historic neighborhoods, inspirational art and unique shopping experience at some of the most eclectic and eccentric boutiques; you have to appreciate a retail scene in a city that considers cowboy boots a black tie option. Austin is a city with no shortage of history; found in our architecture, monuments and museums. This vibrant town attracts many interesting people; from authors to activists, artists to athletes as well as musicians to politicians."

China Smith

China Smith

FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, BALLET AFRIQUE

 

Amanda Johnston

Amanda Johnston

AWARD-WINNING POET, FOUNDER, TORCH LITERARY ARTS

"Austin offers unique opportunities for growth and expansion in the arts. As a writer and literary arts administrator, I’m excited to collaborate with local venues to create programming and support for black women and girls through creative writing. Austin, like every other city, has issues that make everyday life difficult for POC [people of color]. However, campaigns like #IAMBLACKAUSTIN give us the opportunity to see ourselves and connect with each other to create platforms for open dialog and support."

Winston Williams

Winston Williams

CO-FOUNDER, CAPITAL CITY BLACK FILM FESTIVAL

Jendayi & Gyasi Bonds

Jendayi & Gyasi Bonds

SISTER/BROTHER POP DUO, CHARLIE BELLE

Leal Anderson

Leal Anderson

ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

"The food here is healthy and very good. I have also made a lot of friends here. It's great to find that most people here are healthy, fit, and enjoy working out!"

Kathy Burrell

Kathy Burrell

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, SMALL BUSINESS BANKING MARKET MANAGER, BANK OF AMERICA

Gaylon Clark

Gaylon Clark

LEAD PASTOR, GREATER MOUNT ZION BAPTIST CHURCH

DJ Kay Cali

DJ Kay Cali

DJ

“There's so many things about Austin i enjoy but i just can't get enough of the love & energy of this city. The people are truly one of a kind and I have received so much love & support from them. The most amazing thing is each person exudes the same amount of support, whether it be a Senator, Mayor, someone who comes to every show or someone who's hearing me play for the 1st time, it doesn't matter Austinites show up & show love. That's special. When I got here i didn't know anyone.....2 1/2 years later its the total opposite. Outside of representing my home state of California, im proud to tell folks that I live in ATX. Whether it be Church, School or spinning records,I've been blessed to do it here and if I've ever learned anything from this place, it is to Invest. Invest in your city, get involved, show up, because it will almost always return the favor.”

Rashanna Moss

Rashanna Moss

OWNER, PURE BARRE AUSTIN & HOUSTON

“The thing I enjoy most about Austin is the lifestyle. For me, the Austin lifestyle is defined by true access to healthy living, diverse activities and ability to freely express self in this city. I love Austin and I'm very grateful for the community that has supported me and my business. Because of it, this city felt like home very quickly.”

Kazique Prince

Kazique Prince

SENIOR POLICY ADVISOR & EDUCATION COORDINATOR, OFFICE OF MAYOR STEVE ADLER

Darwin Hamilton

Darwin Hamilton

ACCOUNTANT, STATE OFFICE OF RISK MANAGEMENT

“I am a 5th generation Austinite and great grandson of William T Dedrick featured in the center of the mosaic tile mural located in back of the Dedrick-Hamilton house at the African American Cultural Center. This was my grandmother's home. I was raised and lived adjacent to it at 916 E 11th St. also the former owner-heir. I remember when east Austin was the hub of the black community and I had the benefit of living in the central heart of the city. I love this city because it is the origin of my family, when most African Americans cannot trace their roots. I take pride in being able to point to a house where it all began and knowing my ancestors were among the first pioneers to settle in east Austin after Emancipation. I take pride in knowing that they knew and understood the benefit inter-generational living, group economics and home ownership. The little Dedrick-Hamilton house was home to 5 generations of my family for 125 years. This is significant because home ownership has often been considered the ‘American Dream’ it was definitely that for a people who were once slaves and a time in our history when only property owners had the right to vote.”

Carla Nickerson

Carla Nickerson

ACTRESS/VISUAL ARTIST, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF ARTS & CULTURAL RESOURCES-CITY OF AUSTIN

“I’m a quasi Austin native! Growing up so close and being here so often, I was inextricably connected to its vibrancy at an early age. Once I graduated from Prairie View A&M, there was never a question where I'd be. I really enjoy leisurely drives around to survey how the city is 'growing up'. Even with the changes I remain hopelessly smitten. I love TOWN Lake (nothing against Mrs. Johnson) Austin has unparalleled quality and abundance of live theatre and music. I love that it's easy to make art happen in Austin. I love that I get to work and play with some of the most gifted arts professionals in the world.”

 

Teddy McDaniel

Teddy McDaniel

PRESIDENT & CEO, AUSTIN AREA URBAN LEAGUE

"Austin has a lot of positives to offer for individuals and families and its tremendous recent growth is a testament to its appeal." 

LaTashia & George Kiel

LaTashia & George Kiel

 

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, NICEKICKS | REGISTERED NURSE, UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER IN BRACKENRIDGE | FOUNDERS, KIEL COLON CANCER FOUNDATION

"We love the outdoor feel to the city. It's a safe and fun environment. Austin is filled with a lot of opportunities for every race and gender."

Charisma Wright

Charisma Wright

STUDENT, HUSTON-TILLOTSON UNIVERSITY / MISS BLACK AUSTIN 2015

 

"As Miss Black Austin 2015 I have the esteemed privilege of representing my city in the national Miss Black USA pageant. What a better way to say 'I Am Black Austin' than to do so all the way in our nations capital Washington D.C. I've loved living in Austin and wouldn't trade the experiences I've gained here for anything. I feel Austin has raised me to be a well rounded individual. It is my hope to be a role model for young black girls within our community. I want to show them that if they have a dream they can pursue it. You can be from Austin and shine."

Anthony Snipes

Anthony Snipes

ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER, CITY OF AUSTIN

"I often say to African-Americans new to our city: 'It is all about what you make of it.' I see Austin as becoming one of the best places to live, work or retire. To reach that point we must stop talking about changes needed and start creating them. The Central Texas region is attractive to all: young or old, single or partnered, gay or straight. With Austin becoming one of the fastest-growing technology markets in the country, it also has the potential to be a mecca for minorities in technology. I truly love the multi-dimensional aspect of black life in Austin."

Zhane Hall

Zhane Hall

ACTOR

"There's no other city I'd rather live in!"

Ashley Goudeau

Ashley Goudeau

NEWS ANCHOR & REPORTER, KVUE NEWS

 

Sterling Smith

Sterling Smith

FOUNDER & CEO, KEYSTOKE

"Motivated by my frustrations with the redundant approach to mobile app development while working as a software developer for management consulting firms and start-ups alike, I decided to start my own company. I'd heard that Austin had a burgeoning start-up community, so I decided relocate here."

"Second to BBQ, I love the innovative atmosphere that this city possesses. This is evidenced by the fact that Austin is home to some of the most prolific brands in the world. The eclectic blends of music, technology and food has kept me especially busy over the last few years. I've met so many great people that have moved here from all over the world and have truly enhanced my exposure to different cultures. I particularly appreciate my friends who have made it their job to take me outside of my comfort zone, introducing me to remote swimming holes, and random indie bands at live music venues."

 

AJ Bingham

AJ Bingham

CONSULTANT, STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

“I feel privileged to be among a group of ambitious black professionals seeking to make this great city greater.”

Yolanda Conyers

Yolanda Conyers

VICE PRESIDENT, WORLDWIDE FUNCTIONS HR & CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER, LENOVO

"I love Austin's spirit of individualism, freedom and encouragement to follow your passions. But I also love that that spirit is balanced with a strong sense of community.  My boys have grown up in a community where there are no limits on what they can do, as well as a sense of obligation to get involved and give back."

 

Kelvin King

Kelvin King

CEO & FOUNDER, STRATEGYAXI

"My wife and I moved to Austin because my employer relocated to Austin. I no longer work for that company, but we liked Austin so much we decided to stay and expand our family here; we even recruited my brother-and-law and his wife to Austin! Austin provides a good environment for starting/expanding a new company while boasting natural beauty, promoting a family-oriented lifestyle and capturing big city amenities with small city values."

Lais Milburn

Lais Milburn

SALON MANAGER, BIRDS BARBERSHO

"The Austin culture had so much appeal to me, there was no doubt in my mind this would be a great place to live. Job opportunity, great food and diversity all drew me here. The sense of community here is quite powerful. I love that no matter who you are or where you come from, you will always find your place here."

Keith Moore, M.Ed.

Keith Moore, M.Ed.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, AUSTIN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT

"Austin is a green city. There is always a scenic park or trail to visit.There is a quirky class about the city that encourages relaxation and fun. I am currently serving as principal of an elementary school in the neighborhood in which I grew up. While so much of the East Austin community has changed recently; the experience is still surreal."

Serafia

Serafia

SINGER / SONGWRITER / SPOKESMODEL

“Austin is so vibrant and there are so many opportunities for creative people to flourish. I am a huge fan of the movement to preserving East Austin’s history. I'm originally from the west coast so it's very special for me to be able to say that I have played in historical venues along the 'Chitlin-Circuit'. The fact that we still have historical Chitlin Circuit venues in Austin that I have performed in makes me so very proud to be an entertainer here.”

Ricardo Brazziell

Ricardo Brazziell

PHOTOJOURNALIST, AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMA

“Through my professional experience I have the great opportunity to see Austin in a completely different way. I go to events and cover stories that most people wouldn’t think about attending because they may not be interested. There is a large chance that I may experience being back stage at a Nas Concert to covering national breaking news in the Austin Area, (like the Fort hood shootings) or attending a national sports championship.” 

Ms. Olyvia Green

Ms. Olyvia Green

RETIRED, FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN TEACHER AT PEASE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

"As a widow with two minor children, I had to ponder our future. I wanted to locate to a city with educational opportunities as well as exposure to cultural enrichment. I had a degree in Elementary Education, and I was looking for a teaching assignment.  It was important that I live close to family.  So, since, I had a brother who already resided in Austin, it was the obvious choice. I have lived in Austin 48 years. People are friendly and there is always something entertaining to do here. There are great restaurants and museums as well as parks and playgrounds. You can take a walk along the river; or, if you prefer, you might enjoy a lovely boat ride down Town Lake."

James A. Nortey II

James A. Nortey II

ATTORNEY & COMMUNITY ADVOCATE

"I love the fact that Austin is a platform of opportunity for those who seek it. Unlike some of the other major cities which require a newcomer to 'pay their dues', Austin strives to be a 'welcoming city' with thriving businesses, a vibrant entertainment scene, amazing greenspace, and great eats. My Austin experience has been defined by serving the community to open doors of opportunity for all. Whether it is by serving on the City Planning Commission, in our community schools, in our neighborhoods, or in places of worship I've seen how engaged citizens can do their part to make Austin a more livable community."

Virginia Cumberbatch

Virginia Cumberbatch

MASTERS CANDIDATE, LBJ SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, GRADUATE ASSISTANT, DIVISION OF DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

“Austin provides a wonderful life for many, as has been the case for me and my family. It is such a special city, with so much creativity and cultural expression to offer.  But as a native I've known the struggle of constantly being the only black person in the room or certain circles and when I came back to Austin after venturing to the northeast for school, I was interested in reconciling those issues. Both my personal experience and the work I do reflect efforts to challenge Austin's historical and present day exclusion of the African American and Latino cultural expression and experience within the social and economic infrastructure of the city. I think this is really important to the vitality of the millennial community of color. I feel so fortunate to be part of this conversation an I'm so excited to see the progress that Austin continues to show through programmatic and organizational efforts. 

Oh, did I mention that you simply can't beat the vibe that is Austin...local food, trail runs and a festival every other week?" 

 

Hoover Alexander

Hoover Alexander

FOUNDER & CEO, HOOVER’S COOKING

"I most enjoy the creative spirit & entrepreneurial attitude we have - from my industry, food; to music, to hi-tech. I've experienced the good, bad, and ugly of our wonderful city. I value our past, appreciate our present, look forward to our future. At the same time, I value or progress in many areas, while being concerned about the challenges that we currently face."

Brannen Temple

Brannen Temple

MUSICIAN

"I can be me."

Chief Michael McDonald

Chief Michael McDonald

RETIRED DEPUTY CITY MANAGER, CITY OF AUSTIN

"I have always been proud that Austin is such an engaging community." 

Adesewa Faleti

Adesewa Faleti

PUBLIC RELATIONS/ENTERTAINMENT MANAGER, URBAN LIFE & STYLE, LLC

"My Austin experience has shaped so much of my life. I became an adult here. I have grown spiritually and mentally here. I have challenged myself here. Austin has allowed me to thrive in many areas."

SaulPaul

SaulPaul

AWARD-WINNING MUSICIAN & SONGWRITER

"Austin is a great city for music artists. I'm a 'Musician with a Message' and Austin is the Live Music Capitol of the World. Austin has been good to me. Not only did they officially proclaim June 12th as SaulPaul Day, they've empowered me to represent the City of Austin as a Creative Ambassador when I travel abroad.”

Zay & Tasha Collier

Zay & Tasha Collier

FOUNDERS, PHOENIX ARISING AVIATION ACADEMY

"We've met some really great people here and enjoy living in a small city that is progressive."

Theo, D'Andra, Mikaila and Jacob Ulmer

Theo, D'Andra, Mikaila and Jacob Ulmer

 

KIDPRENEUR & FOUNDER, BEE SWEET LEMONADE (MIKAILA)

"Living in Central Austin allows us to be a mile from many of the festivals, events and family fun activities. We treasure being able to ride the bus, walk or bike to many fun and free events. Entrepreneurship is in the foundation of Austin. We love how this city has embraced Mikaila's BeeSweet Lemonade. Which is a local lemonade that is made with love in Austin, TX."

Chantell Moody

Chantell Moody

 

ACTRESS, MODEL, SINGER

"I relocated for a number of reasons. Mostly because I knew I would have more opportunity to grow pursuing my passion doing music and dance. I now play with The Digital Wild and I am working on a side project called Ft. Hood. They are both really fun projects that I am very excited about. I also dance for a company called Crash Alchemy. I do what I love everyday...I love living in a place where I have the opportunity and tools to do so. I love how open minded people are here. I also love that a lot of the people I meet are doing really amazing things with their lives. I meet a lot of individuals who are pursuing their passions which is really inspiring and great to be around...coming from Iowa I especially appreciate the sunshine."

P.S.: The food here is amazing!

 

Lisa Byrd

Lisa Byrd

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE DISTRICT

“I lived here for about 10 years and moved away but always really enjoyed my time in Austin. I most enjoy the weather, music and cultural diversity this city has to offer. I also like that Austin is small and easy to navigate and clean with a lot of outdoor recreational activities for families. The city has youthful energy and I feel that I can create my own destiny here.”

Funmi Ogunro

Funmi Ogunro

INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER, HOST & CREATOR, FUNMI & FRIENDS

“I like that Austin is a safe, family city. I enjoy the unique food, one-of-a-kind festivals and that this city is supportive of the arts."

 

Ebony Stewart

Ebony Stewart

SPOKEN WORD ARTIST, INTERDISCIPLINARY THEATER ARTIST


“I went to school in San Marcos and transitioned to Austin for work and to better my artistic career. I enjoy the weather, the live music and except acceptance of artist. I also enjoy that Austin is a liberal city in a red state. I often feel that there are not enough outlets for people of color. Many times I have felt excluded and missing in Austin's culture and community. Growing up in Baytown (right outside of Houston) black people were not segregated or a commodity. In Austin, I can go a whole day without seeing another black person. Because of this I have to be more aware of my surroundings and of how much of a threat I am made out to be.”

Terry & Lemuel Williams

Terry & Lemuel Williams

VICE PRESIDENT OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS, AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION / CHANNEL DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, NORTH AMERICA GEMALTO

"If you work hard, give back to the community with a good heart and intentions there's no limit to what you can experience in Austin, especially as a young African-American. There's no wait in line mentality. If you are willing to get your hands dirty and put in sweat equity there's a place for you at the table to shape the Central Texas community."

Dawn Okoro

Dawn Okoro

MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST & PAINTER/PRODUCER, TIME WARNER CABLE NEWS AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO

“What draws me to Austin is the fact that I can find some of the excitement of a big city, but there are still pockets of the Austin where I can find a small town feel. I also enjoy the nature trails, going for walks on the trail helps recharge my creativity. And of course I love the food in Austin! Some of my favorite restaurants aren’t here anymore, but I do enjoy some of the new eateries. Austin is where I got my start as an artist. There are many people in town who are willing to support emerging artists. Also, the art scene in Austin is ever changing and that gives me room to carve my own path.”

 

Joah Spearman

Joah Spearman

FOUNDER & CEO, LOCALEUR

"With my startup we use the phrase "experience local" and I think that is more true in Austin than anywhere else in the world. I truly believe whether you're black or white, male or female, straight or gay, that if you embrace the local sentiment and surroundings in Austin the city will give you almost everything you'd want in a city and a place to call home and grow a business."

Natasha Harper-Madison

Natasha Harper-Madison

CO-FOUNDER, THE FLORAL ENGAGEMENT, SUSTAINABLE FLOWER EVANGELIST


“I enjoy the overall disposition of Austinites most. The Vibe Austin and it's residents generally have appeals to me. My Austin experience has been an experiment in self awareness and development. I left for college assuming the world was my oyster and my options were unlimited for my landing pad. After a brief visit in the Summer of 2000 I realized if there were a single city I would like to call home it's Austin. This is the place I wanted to raise my children and create my legacy. This is the city I wanted to give my civic contributions, build an empire and enthusiastically engage in my community.”

Joyce McDonald

Joyce McDonald

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR & CO-FOUNDER, FRAMEWORKS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

"Austin is a great place to live and thrive."

Leon "DJ Hella Yella" O'Neal

Leon "DJ Hella Yella" O'Neal

DJ, MUSIC CONNOISSEUR

“I started my career in Austin that has taken me to places I never would have imagined as an ambassador of Austin's Hip-Hop community. I'm excited to see what Austin's constant growth has in store for the future."

 

Brenda Burt

Brenda Burt

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN/CIVIC LEADER

"I have enjoyed Austin tremendously. I was hired at UT and met some great people who turned me on to just about everything. There was a vibrant Black social scene and a great place to raise children. I remember going to Phases (club); Aquafest (Black night) and parties every weekend sponsored by Black people. We joined a Black church; participated in Juneteenth; joined organizations like Jack & Jill, NAACP, Austin Area Heritage Council, AKA, Sorority, Inc; frequented East Austin for events; utilized Black businesses. The MLK march and celebration; HTU; Urban League are also cornerstones for Austin. The students who have been a part of my life here in Austin have made it worthwhile. I love Austin for affording me the opportunity to meet some awesome people!"

Dorian Layssard

Dorian Layssard

CAPOEIRISTA, FOUNDER, PROJECT ABUNDANT LIFE

"As founder of Project Abundant Life Non-Profit Organization, Free Angola Capoeira Society and the Orun Center of Cultural Arts, I pray that Organizations focusing on Art and the Humanities may continue to receive the support of the city of Austin. I am honored to be able to lend my hands to support the upliftment of the African American community through African Tradition And Culture. May we continue to illuminate the black experience and the richness of its Ancestral way of life."

Terry Pierre

Terry Pierre

PUBLISHER, THE AUSTIN SOCIALITE, LLC

"I love that Austin is small, but growing exponentially. There are endless opportunities, as no particular industry is completed saturated. I love that Austin is a town for young professionals to grow both socially and in a family setting. I graduated at The University of Texas, so I bleed orange."

"I'm looking forward to the black community uniting and producing an established sense of identity. The Chamber is doing a great job of assisting with this continual challenge."

Adrian Neely

Adrian Neely

COMMUNITY ACTIVIST/OWNER, TRIAD BUILDING MAINTENANCE AND C&D RECYCLING

“I wanted learn about other things, not just Black culture and Austin gave me that experience. I have the ability to participate in a diverse pool of cultures. I met my wife during my college years at Huston-Tillotson and we are happily married today. The staff and students at HT also helped nurture me. I like the music and art scene in Austin but I’ve always enjoyed the quietness of the city most."

Jaylin Lane

Jaylin Lane

DANCER/STUDENT, DEL VALLE HIGH SCHOOL

"The best things about living in Austin is the diversity not only in different  cultures and food but in the possibilities of doing what you love no matter how 'weird' and be successful."

Chaka and Qi Dada RaS (Riders Against the Storm)

Chaka and Qi Dada RaS (Riders Against the Storm)

HUSBAND & WIFE HIP-HOP DUO, AWARD-WINNING PERFORMING ARTISTS

Husband & Wife Hip-Hop Duo, Award-winning Performing Artists

"Austin, like anywhere else, is what you make it. We love Austin because we have been able to establish a community here that centers around healing, music and art."

Marc Ott

Marc Ott

CITY MANAGER, CITY OF AUSTIN

Ashton Cumberbatch, Jr.

Ashton Cumberbatch, Jr.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SETON FOUNDATION/SETON HEALTHCARE FAMILY

"After much prayer, I moved to Austin in 1979 with my new bride to attend law school at The University of Texas at Austin. A big change for a native New Yorker and a New England educated young man, but we believed God sent us to Austin. 36 years later you can see it pays off to listen and trust God. Over the years I've seen Austin change tremendously in size, demographics and otherwise, but I've seen first hand the power of civic engagement and community commitment for the common good. I've been immeasurably blessed to be a part of some of these great efforts and conversations to add to the vitality and experience of Austin for all. My wife and I are now fortunate to see our native bred, now grown, four children find their role in the community conversation, and it's such a blessing to see them impact Austin in their own ways."

 

Vince, Candice & Jordan Young

Vince, Candice & Jordan Young

VINCE YOUNG, ENTREPRENEUR, VINCE YOUNG STEAKHOUSE/DEVELOPMENT OFFICER FOR PROGRAM RELATIONS, UT-AUSTIN DDCE/FORMER NFL PLAYER

CANDICE S. YOUNG, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF CONSTITUENT RELATIONS/BOARD MEMBER, UT ELEMENTARY/ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER, FEARLESS LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

JORDAN YOUNG, PRE-K STUDENT, UT ELEMENTARY

"Our family has had tremendous experiences living in Austin. Much has changed since we studied here 10 years ago. Such progress has been made in this city and there is no sign of slowing down. It is exciting to see the opportunities that continue to arise and to be a part of that change. Austin has proven to be a great place for family, career advancement, business development, entrepreneurial cultivation, cultural engagement, community growth, delectable food and an unsurpassed quality of life. We most enjoy the changing landscape of the state capitol and our place within that change."

  The #IAMBLACKAUSTIN Campaign is sponsored by the City of Austin, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Google Fiber and Bank of America.  

The #IAMBLACKAUSTIN Campaign is sponsored by the City of Austin, the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau, Google Fiber and Bank of America.