Pharrell Williams founded Black Ambition, an equity-focused initiative that aims to level the uneven playing fields across industries and shine light on Black and Latinx students and entrepreneurs from historically Black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. Taking its support to new heights, the nonprofit organization has teamed up with luxury fashion house Chanel for the launch of a two-part mentorship program, designed with supporting new talent in mind, BAZAAR.com can exclusively reveal.
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Through mentorships, workshops, and an A-list panel of experts lending their knowledge, the collaboration’s twofold program is meant to set up Black Ambition participants for ample success, while also bringing the musician’s long-standing relationship with the storied maison as a brand ambassador to a new level.
The first leg of the program includes an intimate Women Who Lead discussion, during which seasoned professionals will offer the proverbial new class career guidance and industry insight. It will be moderated by BAZAAR’s editor in chief, Samira Nasr, with actor and Pattern Beauty founder Tracee Ellis Ross, Medley cofounder Edith Cooper, Good American founder Emma Grede, and Imaginary Ventures cofounder and partner Natalie Massenet. The goal is for semifinalists to begin building a community on which they can grow their businesses.
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Following the virtual panel is a series of engaging workshops to teach the prize finalists valuable business-building skills, curated to each of their personal needs. This second pillar will also cover key points and practices necessary for launching and maintaining a brand. In other words, the program is meant to serve as an incubator for emerging talent, giving them everything they need to blossom into successful and established companies or individuals.
“To the Black Ambition community and future entrepreneurs, I can say that to each and every one of them that I know there’s enough space in the world for them,” Nasr says to the select group of rising innovators. “Occupy space. You have come this far. Trust that there is space for you and don’t back down from your dreams.”
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US