Updated: Jun 12
(Image: Left, ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 14: Actress/tv personality Phaedra Parks attends "Covenant" Atlanta screening at Silverspot Cinema on October 14, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images). Right, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Sesali Bowen attends 2nd Annual Freeform Summit at Goya Studios on March 27, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
Today, BLK, the largest dating and lifestyle app for Black singles, announced the inaugural members of the BLK Advocacy Council. A first-of-its-kind committee for the brand, the BLK Advocacy Council will provide advice and recommendations that support BLK’s mission of creating meaningful connections for Black singles and supporting causes that are important to members of the app. The mission of the BLK Advocacy Council is to bring raw perspective and critical strategic thinking around current topics of cultural importance to aid BLK’s commitment to make a positive impact on society for today’s and future generations. The council will address issues relevant to the Black community that pushes culture forward, by building an inviting, inclusive and welcoming community. The BLK Advocacy Council Members will meet periodically throughout the year to advise BLK on:
Causes and organizations the brand can amplify via its platform
Mobilizing the BLK user base to drive positive change.
How BLK can take action to best impact the Black community.
“In order for our brand to give visibility to pillars that unite the BLK community in business, lifestyle, and relationships, it’s essential that we bring in a diverse set of unique perspectives and lived experiences from opinion leaders and innovators in the Black community,” said Jonathan Kirkland, Head of Brand and Marketing for BLK. “Our new BLK Advocacy Council, which is made up of some of the foremost leaders in the Black community, will provide culturally relevant insight and advice to strengthen and reinforce our work in the community.” The six inaugural members of the BLK Advocacy Council come from a wide range of backgrounds including academia, activism, business, entertainment, financial services, technology, and feminism. Advocacy Council members share a common experience and working knowledge of the cultural implications that impact the Black community, as well as a deep commitment to pushing Black culture forward. BLK Advocacy Council Members:
Phaedra Parks, Attorney/Law Firm Owner, TV Personality, Entrepreneur, and Social Activist: Phaedra Parks is the true definition of a Renaissance Woman. She is a successful attorney, businesswoman, author, mortician, television personality, motivational speaker, social activist, and mother of two sons. A passionate social activist, Parks is a tireless advocate for African-American boys. Through her nonprofit organization Phaedra Foundation she works with communities nationwide on the importance of positive male role models in the lives of black boys.
Sesali Bowen, Author, Media Personality and Cultural Commentator: Sesali Bowen is a multifaceted author, media personality, and cultural commentator. She is the author of the acclaimed 2021 memoir/manifesto, Bad Fat Black Girl: Notes From A Trap Feminist and the creator, producer, and co-host of Purse First, the only podcast exclusively about female and queer rap. After pivoting from an early career in political advocacy, Sesali stepped into the media world in 2016 and didn’t look back.
Cedric J. Rogers, Co-Founder and CEO of Culture Genesis, Inc: Cedric J. Rogers is a legacy entrepreneur, investor, and technologist. He was born into a family of passionate entrepreneurs and has founded successful companies. Cedric is Co-Founder and CEO of Culture Genesis Inc, a media-tech company in Los Angeles, CA remixing digital technology for authentic urban culture and entertainment. Culture Genesis owns and operates All Def Digital and is now the largest Black-owned digital media publisher and network with a community of over 20 million.
Geoff Edwards, Creative Leader at GALE: Geoff is an Emmy nominated Creative Leader who drives a unified vision for creativity, diversity, and innovation at GALE. In just two years, he helped rebrand the organization while winning key new business accounts: NBA, H&R Block, and MilkPEP’s Iconic ‘got milk?’. Prior to that, he was Executive Creative Director at Apple, where he was responsible for managing all global communications for the launch of Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Pay, Apple Card, and Apple AirPods Pro.
Krystal Garner, Executive Entertainment Strategist: For a decade, Krystal Garner has proven she’s a woman of immeasurable talent. From actor, model, on-air personality, marketer, event manager, philanthropist, and consummate basketball hoopster, she embodies what it truly means to be a woman in charge of her own narrative. Krystal exploded onto the scene on Season 1’s “The Grand Hustle” with T.I. on BET where she won the title of “Grand Hustler” after competing against other entertainment aficionados.
Ryan Wilson, Co-Founder and CEO of The Gathering Spot: Ryan Wilson is the co-founder and CEO of The Gathering Spot, a private membership network that serves as a hub for collaboration, connections, and experiences; the Chief Community Officer of Greenwood, a digital banking services platform for Black and minority individuals and businesses; and a principal at A3C Conference and Festival. Ryan and his business partner opened The Gathering Spot in Atlanta in 2016 and have since expanded nationally.