Red Bull Amaphiko is thrilled to host the debut US Academy in Baltimore from August 11-20. Selected initiatives address disparate issues including female empowerment and food deserts, using everything from yoga to youth-curated art stores to create solutions. These entrepreneurs come from all over the country and have demonstrated leadership, creativity, and impressive hustle to give back to their communities in a significant and positive way.
Next month we will showcase stories and updates from the Academy as our entrepreneurs connect, collaborate, and empower themselves and their organizations.
Amanda Brinkman is the founder of Shrill Society an online platform that makes and sells responsibly produced goods for and by women. Their products are created in ethical working conditions, which means no sweatshops, domestic production, and recyclable shipping materials. Their mission is to expand women’s significant contributions to our shared history and shape how young women tell their stories in the future.
Amy Kaherl is the founder of Detroit SOUP, a micro-grant dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in Detroit. While they eat, attendees listen to presentations about social impact initiatives. Then they vote on which project they think will benefit the city most and their donations get pooled together and given to one initiative. Winners come back to a future SOUP dinner to report their project’s progress.
As of 2016, SOUP events have hosted over 150 dinners, and raised $130,000 that has gone directly to community projects.
Brittany Young is the founder of B-360, a community partnership dedicated to changing the perception of engineers and dirt bike riders by creating an avenue for students to learn about science, tech and engineering.
B-360 uses dirt bike culture as a platform to repair and build relationships in the community, uncover new and different career opportunities, give and enhance career skills, advocate, provide safe spaces, and leverage the STEM gap and uniting all of Baltimore in a safe and fun way.
Just Speak advocates for survivors of child sexual abuse, creating a safe space for Detroit youth aged 5-18 with holistic prevention and intervention programming. Their trained advocates offer crisis counselling and go into spaces including schools, court rooms and anywhere a child might need support. Their three programmes offer social and emotional skills, differentiated around age and need – as well as teaching other professionals how to best communicate to children and young people.
C. Harvey is the founder of Baltimore’s Gifted, an organization that seeks to address the exploitation of black youth artists by nonprofits, predominately white institutions and by youth unemployment.
The platform allows young people to showcase and sell their original visual art as well as art-derived apparel and reproductions while learning career skills in a real-world setting – and artists keep 80% of the net profits.
Chad Cherry is a chef and founder of Refresh Live, focused on developing community education and empowerment programs to combat food disparity, address food deserts, and bring a farm-to-table and organic lifestyle to income-challenged areas.
Through a combination of education, lifestyle, and delicious food services, his goal is to change people’s relationship, knowledge, and experiences around food.
Changa Bell is the founder of The Black Male Yoga Initiative. They provide training, information, workshops, and retreats to help Black men of all ages to become aware, engaged and empowered in mindfulness, meditation and yoga to ‘heal themselves and their communities’.
A need for sustainable affordable transportation is something that transcends economic boundaries and provides common ground for all. Jon Dengler is the founder of Well Built Bikes, a bike shop that provides access to affordable bikes and workshops, ranging from repairs to safety.
By accessing bikes that would have been considered garbage, as well as donations from supportive neighbors, Well Built Bikes ensures that all people who need a bike are able to own one.
Marisa Hamamato is the founder of Infinite Flow, an organization whose mission is to mass market inclusion through dance and innovation. They are also America’s first professional wheelchair ballroom dance company.
Infinite Flow is dedicated to increasing access to quality dance instruction for people with disabilities in inclusive environments and building a world-class professional dance company, which includes dancers with and without disabilities as a vehicle to break stereotypes and perceived barriers.
Matthew Kincaid is the founder of Overcoming Racism, an organization that seeks to build more equitable institutions, through comprehensive race and equity training.
With a primary focus on education, Overcoming Racism equips educators with the tools to build culturally responsive schools and classrooms, that promote the development of the next generation of anti-racist agents of change.
Eli Erlick is the co-founder of Trans Student Educational Resources, a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment.
Walker Marsh is the farmer and founder of Tha Flower Factory, who repurposed an empty half acre lot located in the Broadway East neighborhood of Baltimore, MD. The mission is to grow high-quality sustainable flowers and herbs, promote green entrepreneurship, be a steward for the environment, provide experience-based training to others and raise the consciousness of the community.
Muhammad Najeeullah is the founder of The Pop Up Robot Gaming Grounds (PURGG), an interactive robotic gaming system designed to engage and introduce the youth of Baltimore to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics – or STEAM–related education, careers and entrepreneurs.
Dominic Nell runs City Weeds in Baltimore. Dominic convinced local corner stores and liquor stores to stock his $5 bags of microgreens as a way of bringing healthy food to the people, and to change the narrative around nutrition.
Alli Moran is the founder of Wakpá Wašté Scholars Alliance. She believes that education matters, especially on her Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation. She provides mentors for high school youth, creating routes into university and college.