A Message Of Solidarity & Call To Action From Our Founder

To Our Community:

The current uprisings and rebellions (I refuse to call them riots) reflect the long-overdue need to address the murders of our black brothers and sisters at the hands of law enforcement which have resulted in many lives lost over decades to violence and systemic oppression. 

Our community has been traumatized day by day with the loss of so many to the brutality and corruption of those in law enforcement who fail to see us as people. The collective loss has been so uncomprehending as to not only insight an outpouring of pain, but to cause us to choke on it. 

Our people are enraged and overwhelmed by it all. Some protests have shifted into violence, and “A riot is the language of the unheard.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in his speech “The Other America.” An observed moment in that speech is his question posed after it: “What is it that America has failed to hear?”

Day after day, body after body, video after horrible video, and ultimately name after name, it has become evident that law enforcement does not consider some of us to even be human. We are beyond tired of the names we have repeated over and over again, the names of our people who have closed their eyes while being brutalized and never reopened them. It has become our living legacy to carry on for them, to honor their memories, and to right the wrongs done to them. We have to speak and rally and take to the streets to cause change. Today and tomorrow we have to overturn this system. 

This is all I can offer to you as you process the pain. I ask that you focus the intention to creating change. Build organizations, create safe spaces, become our politicians and advocates. Write and tell our stories. Unite and gather into a collective might that will take on the White House. We must carry on in the name of so many lost because we are all that can one day prevent the next atrocity from happening. 

Today I walked with my people. I chanted, and I raged inside. That is what we have to do across the nation. It is a mourning of all we have endured and an outpouring of pain after there will come a great collective clarity.

We have to clearly remember how we have risen above time and time again. My fam, I want you to pour this into a movement. Look to Black Lives Matter. Join your local NAACP and Colors For Change.  Let us back our leading voices like Tamika D. Mallory and Colin Kaepernick or donate to Reclaim the Block, Black Visions Collective or the Louisville Bail Fund. I want to walk away from today with the feeling that tomorrow we will turn to each other and help our brothers and sisters. 

You are powerful. You can turn your rage and pain into change. 

I am with you, the entire =SPACE family is with you. Take care and take action. 

Citi Medina, Co-founder of =SPACE

TAKE ACTION WITH US AND ACTIVELY MAKE CHANGE IN NEWARK

HELP US ESTABLISH A CITIZENS POLICE REVIEW BOARD:

Step 1: Call 609-815-2955

Step 2: Press 1 for English/Press 2 for Spanish

Step 3: Press 3

Step 4: Let it ring

Step 5: If someone picks up or if you get a voicemail

“Hello my name is ________ & I demand that the Supreme Court uphold the appeals court decision for NEWARK to establish the police review board. Thank you”

If you wanna practice your Spanish ?

“Hola. Mi nombre es _______ y hoy exijo que la corte Suprema confirme la decisión de la Corte de Apelaciones de que NEWARK pueda establecer la Junta de Revisión Policíal. Gracias”

#TuneInThursdays with ENK MUZIK

=SPACE & Newark Downtown District have collaborated to provide a phenomenal experience for our community members. #tuneinthursdays was created to not only spotlight our amazingly talented local artists but to also bring a moment of cheer, glee, and great tunes to everyone who participates.

ABOUT THE PERFORMER

ENK Muzik, Erica Nicole Kearney, is an artist, a soulful singer, songwriter, and an impactful teacher. She started singing at the age of 3 years old in her childhood church, Lily of the Valley Baptist Church. After singing for some years with her church choir, she gained the confidence to start singing background and sometimes lead for her brother’s group. Erica is has been working on her solo career as a singer, songwriter, and musician. She has auditioned for The Voice and was blessed to be able to make it to the final pre-audition level.

Erica started her teaching career in 2011 at One Step Ahead Performing Art School as a performing arts teacher. She encouraged and developed the children’s creative musical talents from preschool to Kindergarten. As Erica began to develop as a music teacher, she decided to join the YMCA Newark & Vicinity to be a Music Specialist. There she would impact the lives of many children and youth in the Newark and Jersey City community.

Erica loves impacting and changing the lives of others with her voice, songs, and words. She has a passion for empowering and encouraging our youth and also helping them to find their own voice in their own creative way. She hopes that she will be able to make a difference and be a positive influence on all of the lives she touches through her music.

#TuneInThursdays with Janetza Miranda

=SPACE & Newark Downtown District have collaborated to provide a phenomenal experience for our community members. #tuneinthursdays was created to not only spotlight our amazingly talented local artists but to also bring a moment of cheer, glee, and great tunes to everyone who participates.

ABOUT THE PERFORMER

Hailing from Newark, NJ Janétza Miranda’s work is inspired by her Puerto Rican roots, her voice projecting a vibrant range of colours inspired by the sounds of Jazz, Blues, Boleros, Plena y Bomba, & Flamenco.

Janétza fuses the music that inspires her; her favourite songs of today and the past. You can find her performing on her classical Spanish guitar, mixing covers and originals.

She has appeared on NBC’s “The Voice”, performed in the Americando Expo in Milan, Italy & continues to tour around the world.

Mindful Movement: Live Yoga & Meditation Class

A webisode for ANYONE who needs a meditative break!

You may have spent most of your days working endlessly, unable to go out and release some stress, or just in need of a moment of solace. We want to provide you with an amazing experience that allows you to learn more about meditation, and yoga, allowing you to integrate this into your life.

Join us as we collaborate with I’m So Yoga this Friday to give you a great start to your day!

Mindful Movements with I’m So Yoga is a perfect way to increase your productivity and improve your studying, experience working from home, or anything else.

This is your opportunity to try yoga and learn about how you can take it to the next level. (Beginner Friendly)

ABOUT THE PARTNER

Newark First Fridays Starts May 3

=SPACE Partners With NFF To Offer Free Coworking & Other Interactive Activities

RSVP FOR FREE COWORKING OPPORTUNITY HERE

Each month, Newark First Fridays (NFF) showcases emerging artists, makers, artisan food vendors, musicians, and uniquely talented street performers. Seeking to empower equitable business and exposure to Newark as a complete city.

=SPACE will be participating in NFF and offering free space, along with fun interactive experiences. Check out our IG page for more real-time updates! Find out more on the NFF website! 

Here are a few other venues that will also be participating:

Brick City Comedy Revue: 8pm – 10pm

     Join them for the Brick City Comedy Revue hosted by Justin Williams-May 3rd is the 5th anniversary of the show, got Newark’s own Lucas Brothers headlining!

 Newark First Fridays Bike Tour: 6:15pm – 8pm

     Led by Girls on Bikes + Brick City Bike Collective, the bike tour will meet at 5:30 PM and takeoff at 6:15 PM beginning at the Southern Plaza of Military Park (intersection of Broad Street & Park Place).

     Save the date(s); explore select Official Stops monthly and have a good time riding around the city of Newark! Bike rentals provided by Newark Community Cycling Collective

Burger Walla: 11am – 6pm

     Seeks to be a part of the fabric of the city and the neighborhood we are continuing to build. It is about being a cool spot with fresh and tasty food.

Women-In-Novation RECAP

Women-In-Novtion was a major success. We had over 100 attendees with varying ages, genders, and professions. We are proud of all of the hard work that the EQUASPACE team put into this production!

There were so many powerful and awe-inspiring moments that created a wonderful and supportive energy. All of the speakers’ positive advice and vocalized dedication to equity and inclusion were welcomed messages to all attendees. 

The moderator of the panel of phenoms, Natasha Rogers, asked thought-provoking questions, promoting the panelists to talk about raising the bar and dedication to endless excellence. The younger students in the audience, especially took their words and advice to heart. 

Breakout speakers Lindsey Holmes & Cy Lauz focused on the hard-hitting realities of this imperfect world, with not just constructive viewpoints, but also solutions for audience members to take heed and use in their daily lives. They spoke of humanism, diversity in thought & culture, and how both play an important part in the evolution of our global society.

Keynote Speaker, Aisha Glover, spoke on the importance of recognizing positive mental health and reliability. She received such high praise for her motivating and relatable rhetoric.

This event was not only a success because of the phenomenal attendees and speakers, but also because of our sponsors. We want to give a special thanks to the Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (GNEC), Newark Downtown District (NDD), and most gratefully, the Grammy Museum. This event would not have been as spectacular as it was without any of them and we are so proud to have them as all-star supporters of our business and entrepreneurial community.

Women’s Cypher Podcast: NON-CORPORATE GIRLS & =SPACE

Women’s History Month this year has really been one for the books and to top it off The NonCorporate Girls partnered with =Space  for an all women round table talk. We delved into topics such as competition vs collaboration, how to quiet the voice of fear and what does it look like to support your network. NCG was joined by Vicky Llerena , Akosua Ayim, and Tamara Williams, who all lead impactful lives in very different ways. In listening to the stories of each we also shed light on all our commonalities as women entrepreneurs and business owners. Listen in to this episode for a refreshing perspective on what we all deal with at one point or another. An often great reminder  of a women’s worth, especially in a collective of like-determined sheroes!

Click the link below to tune in on this dope podcast episode!

NCG Ep. 64 – Women’s Cypher Podcast: https://www.noncorporategirls.com/podcast 

 About The Speakers:

Vicky Llerena

Vicky is the CEO of Social Vibes Media, a digital marketing agency focused on helping professionals, real estate game-changers, and small businesses rebrand & increase their digital presence. Her workshops focus on digital lead generation campaigns, social media branding, & female entrepreneurship. Oh, and she happens to be Latina.

She brings with her over ten years of experience having worked at Univision WXTV-41 and PRNewswire. Vicky was named Top 25 Brand Builder by Leading Women Entrepreneur in 2017. She works with organizations, such as Rising Tide Capital, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ, FOWNDERS, and Small Business Development Center to teach entrepreneurs how to obtain online customers through social media. Vicky was featured in NJBiz, Huffington Post, CEO Blog Nation, and many more media outlets.

 

Akosua Ayim

A 2016 MBA graduate of University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, Akosua specializes in branding & strategy and especially thrives in the cross-section between corporate and creativity.

After four years in investment banking at J.P. Morgan gaining experience in financial analysis, account management, process improvements and derivatives, acquiring an MBA enhanced her strategic thinking and management skills. Working post-MBA with Adludio, the London-based programmatic adtech start-up, has given international experience in strategic branding and partnerships. Akosua is well-known for efficiently providing sustainable, unique solutions and providing highly rated client service to a wide variety of clientele. She has since worked with household names such as Black Girls Rock! and Travel Noire. Akosua should most certainly be in your “people you need to watch” list.
 
 
Tamara Williams
 
As the founder and president of Soulective Group aka SoulCulture Fest, Tamara had the opportunity to manage multiple events, budgets, deadlines, schedules, and programs for a very diverse demographic. She currently spearheads a variety of events including SoulCulture Fest, with over 4000 festival goers. As an artist, Tamara brings a creative and fresh approach to events for an innovative experience.
 
 
Non-Corporate Girls
 
Non-Corporate Girls LLC is a podcast and creative agency platform. Through the agency portal, NCG Creative, we provide services in content strategy and visual storytelling in the lifestyle, beauty and fashion spaces. The Non-Corporate Girls podcast is a media vertical where we speak on advice, tips and overall resources to help those trying to figure out their passions and in turn, help shape their brands.
 
Being Non-Corporate does not mean being against Corporate America. Non-Corporate is a state of mind that evolves when you realize you are being limited in reaching your full potential, which means it is time to start betting on yourself to take the next steps in propelling your career. Embracing a Non-Corporate attitude we aim to introduce a community where the creators, the doers, and the believers can unite.

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Tanisha Best

Exhibiton: Newark Swimming Pools
 @Tbest25_

What is the Genisis of your work? 

The origin of puddles started in 2011 while living on NYC. I was in Harlem and literally looked down and saw an image reflected in water. For me the instant fascination became my personal challenge of seeing my environment from a different angle. The idea of city pools formed and literally took on a life of its own. My personal connection with pools is deeper as I formally don’t know how to swim but I love being in water. In a way these puddles have transformed into alternate views of landscapes for me. Also the perspective changes according to the weather, so it’s very dependent on environmental conditions. I’ve recently been focusing on capturing Newark and my goal is to share the views.

What message do you want to convey to other women artist ?

I want to convey that we’re truly magical beings and that we’re capable of not only creating life but inspiring lives. I’m inspired by the strength, endurance and resilience of so many women that if I can give back an ounce of inspiration that is given to me on a daily basis then I will feel as though I’m earning my residency on this earth.

What does women history month mean to you?

It’s means everything in terms of representation and honoring women of all walks of life. It’s a chance to give thanks and show appreciation by showcasing and sharing the stories that are part of not only this county but at the heart of the world. As I get older I fall more in love with my womanhood and admire the fierceness in other women. Also I’m genuinely rooting for all women to have the ultimate glow up and take their rightful place at the table!

Is there a woman artist or entrepreneur you look up to or inspires you ?

There are so many, but if I had to choose one visible artist it would be Issa Rae. What she created was genius and for the first time I related to a character who wasn’t afraid to be awkward and insecure. She’s taken so many risks in a time where our beauty as black women still isn’t embraced by mainstream but I admire her focus and drive to write black women into cable television and on magazine covers.

What is something you want someone to know about newark ?

Newark is one of the oldest cities in America and there’s so much history. I would want them to know that Newark is the birthplace to a lot of amazing and influential residents and those who move here ultimately always develop a soft place in their heart for this city.

Tell me a beautiful Newark memory that is important to you !

It would have to be my grandmothers being next door neighbors. That’s how my mother and my father met each other. My favorite memory would be on that very street too. It would be being taught how to ride a bike by one grandmother and having cookouts on the back deck with my other grandmother. I feel it forever connects me to Newark.

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AI, Business, and Its Impact on Human Currency

EqualSpace AI

 An Op-Ed Piece by Keishawn

I, Robot, Detroit: Become Human and Wall-E all taught us the frail balance between man and machine. Although, looking back, technology such as: the print and press, pulley and the wheel portrayed the gaping margin of ability which separates us. Staring these comparisons in the face, mankind still finds ways to incorporate our gift from the universe into our everyday lives, our most present example being the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business.

Defined as the ability for a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior, the roles given to them have been quite remedial in a sense. To name a few, personalization, filtering, and certain customer service tasks have been popular among most. But what does it this mean to us, why should we care if businesses use AI? Well for starters it could be the end of your current job, or the start of your new career.

Imagine never having to clean your house again. Dust no longer lingers on the floor. Dishes always sparkling and your laundry (oh boy the laundry) the absence of stains replaced by crisp folds. What would you do with your spare time? How would your life change if one of your most remedial tasks simply vanished?

In business, the practicality of AI is almost comparable to the internet itself. Many business owners, whether small or sizable, find a lot more possibilities within the workplace when their most menial tasks are automated. The feeling is indescribable when answering calls turns into investing or categorizing files transforms into brainstorming, even filtering content turns into innovating. AI can even put business owners in a positive financial position. The average business spends around 10%-40% of their gross income on paying employees. Realistically speaking, the AI doesn’t need to eat, sleep or take vacation days; however, is the 40% profit boost really worth it?

Endless job searches, cut throat interviews, and the unrivaled determination of others in the workplace. Ever since our first job we’ve done nothing but compete. Countless hours spent stressing over how to answer self-incriminating questions and how to maintain the job you’ve loosely managed to secure. The stress of competition never left or revealed the slightest bit of leeway. Accompanied by the dreaded feeling of “Lazy Morning” in which you’d do anything to save you from leaving the comfort of your bed.

Who knew we were competing with ourselves!

All things considered, what are the chances of getting our name tag on a cubicle when there’s opposition that never sleeps, eats, or even flinches at reoccurring late nights. If we as a species can’t out work a print and press? How do we begin to oppose Siri and Cortana? Luckily, for every dark, there’s a light and for every machine there’s a technician.

Since these machines take on so many tasks at once, non-stop, they almost have little choice but to demand an overseer due to unforeseen discrepancies and flaws. Messiah’s such as IT professionals and System Admins give all of us hope that we are still worth something in the eyes of an electronic future. AIs may even prove beneficial, in the end, to entry level employees because it forces us to gain new and relevant set of skills we can use for the betterment of our own futures; while also making the future of our customers even brighter.

EqualSpace AI

As a regular consumer of Amazon, T-Mobile and Coldstone, I believe I wield a certain appreciation for an organized workplace that works quickly with little friction. I, personally, fear late night troubleshooting or ice cream cravings because people tend to have lives that the need to get back to towards the end of the day. In the near future, AIs may make that after hours scoop of ecstacy possible. However, under all the convenience of instant gratification, humans are naturally social animals and a comforting voice behind our phone screens may be all we need after a stressfully competitive day. This AI thing may be a bit uncomfortable or it could the start of something amazing, I’m not sure. What I do know is, however it ends up let’s just hope our frail balance is kept.

I, Robot taught me all too well.

Content Continues to Reign Supreme: Lessons and Reflections from the E3 Gaming Expo

E3 Gaming Expo

Earlier this month, the ever so anticipated gaming expo, labeled E3, took place in Los Angeles, California. Top companies in the industry came together to host this event for the gaming community and announce upcoming products, projects and services still in development. Opportunities for marketing and funding for these businesses are plentiful; however success not guaranteed for all with regard to recruiting new and veteran gamers.

In an ever changing and exponentially growing field, the amount of approaches toward their target audience is basically infinite for any given company. For example, Bethesda and Sony both left E3 with a variety of different outcomes, primarily due to contrasts in their presentations. Bethesda took a quality product approach, while Sony, a suspense intensive approach.

Microsoft E3 Gaming Expo
photo credit: Windows Central

In the aftermath, both yielded polar opposite; yet, beneficial results. Ironically, Sony’s conference was underwhelming. Despite the history and contribution to the gaming community, their portion of E3  left more to be desired. They led each upcoming game trailer with a live culture associated instrumental conceived a mist of silence that fell heavily amongst the crowd. The attempt to build suspense through audio was an amazing idea with profound musical choices that told a captivating story.However, no one was ready for what came next.

The games that were shown were somewhat repetitive or just not good. Elements that did garner a rise from the crowd was specific to a portion of the gaming community who have already pledged their allegiance to preceding storylines. An ideal example would be the difference in the reaction to The Last of Us 2 and Death Stranding. Although, Sony understood the power of suspense and harnessed it well, they left out the actual content people wanted to be excited for in the first place.

Fallout 76 Station. photo credit: Josh Miller for CNET

On the other end of E3, in its earlier stages, Bethesda took the stage only armed with confidence and quality and left with much more of using suspense as a vessel for their games. Bethesda took it upon themselves to bluntly showcase what they were working on and the crowd had absolutely no problem with it. They developed content fans have been actually wanting for years such as: The Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout 76. This display of “gamer loyalty” provided Bethesda with a fanbase wielding the devotion of true Spartans. By focusing on the content and allowing the suspense to manifest on its own, Bethesda gave their audience little time to wither with fresh and genuine responses. Feedback to a service based business is one of the most important “currencies” one could ever receive.

However, reflecting back on this event, we can ascertain feedback is not only a reassuring war cry but also, in some cases, humiliating silent stares. With regard to business metrics, we can determine the value in our next presentations and ask ourselves, “is this pointless suspense or exciting content,” to not only accept the feedback we need but also the type we desire.