About the Panel Discussion

Today, more than 80% of millennials and more would rather invest in experiences and events over material possessions, correlating their fulfilment from events to a greater sense of happiness. Yet, a scroll down the roster for most entertainment companies and event planning firms show mostly white teams designing experiences for a white target audience. So where does that leave the happiness and fulfillment of millions of black and brown Americans?

In this intimate discussion you will hear from San Diego thought leaders and experience architects who committed to centering diverse audiences from the beginning. We will explore what an equity-based approach to event design looks like, what is the impact of redesigning how space is held and how giving ownership to designers who create space equitably changes a culture of happiness, grows the economy, and strengthens a community.

Discussion Participants

Loren Cobbs

Loren is a Culture Curator, Brand Specialist, and Diversity & Inclusion Champion. As the founder of CRATE Agency, which houses the brands SD Melanin and Culture Plus Cuisine, Loren has designed over 150 events serving 15,000+ diverse professionals.

Erwin Hines

Erwin is an award-winning Creative Director and Designer who has helped build brand platforms for companies like Google and Beats By Dre and is now also focused on creating spaces that foster conversation and empathy. Erwin has co-founded a number of brands centering diverse voices and perspectives including Open Gym SD and Experience Crafted.

Jessie Medina

Jessie is a Social Entrepreneur and Founder of FEMX, a platform that builds empowering and diverse spaces and resources for women to thrive, including inclusive events, community service, safe spaces, and authentic connections. The FEMX portfolio includes a feminine coworking and event space for #fempreneurs, an annual summit, podcast and more.

Ramel Wallace

Ramel is a San Diego born & bred Innovator, Hip Hop Specialist and CEO of The Holyfield, a creative agency dedicated to community artists and educators, focusing on the artistic and personal development of members through media. Ramel serves as an Artist to Entrepreneur Digital Course Mentor at thChrch, is on the board at the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art, and is the community manager at BAM Communications.

About SD Melanin

At SD Melanin, we are culture curators committed to creating experiences and events that center young, Black professionals and other POC. We are the largest community of our kind in San Diego, serving more than 10,000 members. Our mission is to recreate the entertainment, hospitality, and creative landscape to one that truly welcomes and serves people of color as the prototype versus as a by-product.

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