Near a Decade of Innovation, Dedication, and Community: The =SPACE Journey

=SPACE FOUNDER STORY


In the heart of our journey at @EqualSpaceCo lies a celebration—a jubilation of innovation, dedication, and a spirit deeply entrenched in community values. As we stand at the threshold of a new chapter, our Co-founder @Medina invites you to join us in revisiting the inspiring narrative that encapsulates our evolution. This is more than a blog; it’s a chronicle of dreams turning into reality, a testimony to the transformative power of hard work, and a commitment to prioritizing community needs.

The Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award:
The pinnacle of our recent achievements is the honor bestowed upon us—the Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award. This recognition is not merely a feather in our cap; it is a profound affirmation of our team’s unwavering dedication to placing the community at the forefront of our mission. It speaks to the resilience born out of hard work, the transformative potential of dreams, and our steadfast commitment to uplifting the very community we serve.

=SPACE: A Sanctuary for Innovation:
For over 8 years, =SPACE has been more than just a physical space—it’s a sanctuary. A safe haven meticulously crafted for entrepreneurs, creatives, techies, and innovators to thrive. Unlike traditional coworking spaces, =SPACE is not about filling seats; it’s about fostering success and creating an environment where each individual feels seen, heard, and empowered.

A ‘Sharespace,’ Not Just a Workspace:
What sets =SPACE apart is our ethos of being a ‘sharespace.’ It goes beyond the conventional concept of a coworking space, embodying a community where success is celebrated collectively, and challenges are faced together. In a world where ‘no’ is often the prevailing response, =SPACE stands as a resounding ‘yes,’ ensuring that no one has to navigate their journey alone.

Uplifting Through Struggles:
Our commitment extends beyond the celebration of success—it involves uplifting those navigating through challenges. =SPACE stands by the side of brilliant minds, offering support and encouragement as they carve paths in industries less explored. It’s a testament to our belief that true success lies in collective growth and shared experiences.

A Heartfelt Thank You:
As we reflect on this incredible milestone, we extend our deepest gratitude to Governor Leslie Anderson and NJRA for their unwavering support. Their belief in our vision propels us forward, and we are eager to continue making a positive impact on the community we cherish.

This blog post is not just a reflection; it’s an invitation to join us in celebrating a decade of innovation, dedication, and community building. As we navigate through this journey, we invite you to be inspired and consider how you, too, can make a positive impact on your own path. Thank you for being a part of our story! 🚀 #EqualSpaceCo #CommunityFirst #InnovationJourney

Maximizing Networking Opportunities for Social-Impact Professionals: Strategies and Tools

Networking plays a crucial role in any profession, especially in the social-impact sector. Professionals in this field seek connections that bring about change. They work with diverse communities and address social, environmental, and ethical issues. Today, let’s explore the evolution of networking, its importance for social-impact professionals, and strategies and tools to maximize these opportunities.  

Networking in the Past

There was a time when networking meant physically attending events, exchanging business cards, and nurturing relationships over coffee meetings. 

People would build their networks through face-to-face interactions at conferences, workshops, and social gatherings. This approach offered a personal touch but was often limited by geography and access to events.

That’s not to say it didn’t work. After all, people are naturally social creatures. Even restrained by the limitations of geography, there were still letters and advertisements, done through radio and TV broadcasts or classifieds in the newspaper. Of course, all that hustle and bustle could lead to burnout. People who didn’t do well with crowds were basically cut off from success. Something had to change.

Networking in Today’s Digital World

With the advent of the internet and social media platforms, networking has transformed. Professionals connect online, share ideas in virtual meetings, and build relationships, completely bypassing the need to be in the same space at the same time. In fact, this is now often the norm due to how globalization has changed the face of business.

Digital networking offers a broader reach and enables professionals to engage with like-minded individuals worldwide. This modern approach creates opportunities for social-impact professionals to spread their mission further and to collaborate with others who share their values.

The Importance of Social Impact

Social impact refers to the positive change that organizations and individuals affect within a community. Professionals working in this field strive to make a difference, often focusing on personal problems such as widespread negative emotions to social issues such as poverty reduction.

Networking within this community helps in sharing knowledge, forging partnerships, and enhancing the overall impact. Collaborating with others who share similar goals multiplies the efforts, making meaningful change possible. The fact that it improves your own social and financial standing is a happy bonus.

Core Strategies

There are a lot of ways to tackle networking in today’s age, but here are two fundamentals you need to keep in mind.

Personal Branding

Developing a personal brand assists in making connections that align with your mission. Define your values, goals, and expertise. Communicate them consistently across various platforms. Your personal brand serves as a roadmap for others to understand your focus and connect with you.

The importance of personal branding is incredibly important in today’s digital landscape. There are a lot of faces out there, and it’s hard to remember all of them. It’s inevitable that you’ll get lost in the shuffle. A strong and recognizable brand for yourself is the key to ensuring you stay relevant.

Building Relationships

Building strong relationships requires time and effort. Engage with others by commenting on their content, sharing insights, and offering support. Relationships in the digital age need nurturing, so take the time to understand others’ work and align your collaboration efforts.

Social media platforms are fantastic spaces to connect and share your message. Use LinkedIn for professional networking, Twitter for quick updates, and Facebook for community engagement. Tailor your content to the platform and audience to make meaningful connections.

Tools

Social Media

LinkedIn goes beyond being a resume holder by allowing professionals to showcase expertise, engage in relevant groups, and share content. Active participation in groups and consistent updates make meaningful connections and reinforce your status in the social-impact field.

Of course, that’s not the only place to build professional connections. Any social media platform is great for making connections, so long s you know where to look. Keep careful attention to hashtags and keywords relevant to your niche. These will most often have the people you want to be working with.

Online Meetings

Zoom and Microsoft Teams have become central to virtual meetings and webinars, offering customized features and interactive elements that make online engagement lively. The ability to record meetings and enforce strong security measures adds to their appeal.

Meanwhile, tools like Slack and Asana foster collaboration across geographical locations. Asana’s project management capabilities and Slack’s communication channels simplify remote teamwork. Integrations with other tools enhance efficiency and accessibility. These virtual conference rooms are the heart of many online asynchronous businesses. 

Final Thoughts

The world of networking has evolved, and so have the opportunities for social-impact professionals. Leveraging both traditional face-to-face interactions and digital platforms will create a balanced approach to networking. The strategies and tools discussed in this article offer a guide to maximizing networking opportunities. 

With the right approach, social-impact professionals will find connections that not only further their individual goals but also contribute to creating a more equitable and sustainable world. By embracing these methods, you’ll be better positioned to make the meaningful connections necessary to drive positive change.

Juneteenth Celebration Guide

RECOGNITION • RESTORATION • JUSTICE

JUNETEETH EVENTS

JUNETEETH RECIPES

SUPPORT AND DONATE

Happy Juneteenth!

The =SPACE TEAM
To learn more about =SPACE, visit our home page

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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Ayana Iman Hosting Women-In-Novation

Ayana Iman is a native of Trenton, NJ and proud New Jersey resident. In 2016, she launched her career as a Public Speaker and Certified Professional Life Coach, focusing on personal development, storytelling, and transformation, which allowed her to directly impact client’s lives as an accountability partner. Ayana received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Journalism at Kean University and her Masters in Strategic Organizational Communication at Rutgers University.

Ayana is also the Chief Communications Officer of #AuthenticConvos, an inclusive experience that fervently promotes face-to-face thought-provoking dialogue within diverse communities across the country and seeks to have a profound global impact on the way we engage with one another. She understands the importance of interpersonal communication, and the need for healthy dialogue that extends beyond the digital realm. This platform has allowed her to facilitate community engagement, offer a platform to other speakers and vendors, and give attendees the opportunity to gain professional insight from thought leaders.

To order your ticket for Women-In-Novation:

RSVP HERE

Redefine the ‘Grind’ With Mindfulness

“All work without no play makes Jack a dull boy…”

May is National Mental Health month and it’s important to highlight the fixation with “the grind,” as well as how it affects people across all industries. The obsession, more times than not, attributes to mental instability through stress and fatigue and can often leave us dependent on outside resources to either escape the overwhelm or simply stay awake to push ourselves more.

In lieu of this, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and workplaces alike are turning to more mindful business practices. Although mindfulness isn’t new, it is becoming a more intricate part of the corporate cultures across the nation. CEOs recognize creating mindful organizations are more lucrative to the bottom line and reduce turnover.

It’s a dream to love what you do and mindful business practices assist in manifesting this dream.

Make mindfulness a skill

Social Media leads the charge with giving people a bird’s eye view of what appears to be hyper-focused work habits and the “glow-up.” However, is pushing the message of the “grind” lucrative to our overall well-being? Does the inundate of quotes and memes designed to encourage living one’s best life work for or against the masses?

Mindfulness Consultant, Clarissa Romero works with educational institutions and workplaces promoting the importance of mindfulness. When asked about harnessing mindfulness as a workplace skill, she had this to offer:

When unhappiness or stress projects a shadow in your work or personal life, mindfulness allows you to observe your thoughts and reactions without taking them in or personally. In essence, mindfulness allows you to catch negative thought patterns before they drag you down, Clarisa explained. It begins the process of putting you back in control of your life.

Though urban vernacular defines “the grind” as working tirelessly to achieve a goal, it’s removed from placing us in control of customizing our grind and is only shaped around the blueprint from others who precede us. This also doesn’t account for being present in the moment. The grind constantly urges us to work until the wheels fall off, burn the midnight oil, and join the #teamnosleep tribe but if we’re grinding so hard, when do we take the time to be grateful for how far we’ve come?

Be mindful of the food on your table

Mental health amid the grind expands to what we place in our bodies. Diet and exercise are key elements to implementing mindfulness as a skill and practice. Serial Entrepreneur Neil Grimmer took his passion for business and health and merged them together to create Habit—a company which designs personalized lifestyle changes to achieve long-term health.

Grimmer was inspired to create Habit from helping his wife recover from breast cancer, as well as, transforming his own health. In designing the ecosystem for Habit, Grimmer took account of how nutrition played an intricate role with work-life balance or the lack thereof. We get so caught up in the grind, we often forget to eat and when we do, the options chosen aren’t the greatest. Grimmer recognized this routine and made the shift.

“What I did adopt right away, and I adopted this from my wife, was mindfulness and gratitude,” says Grimmer. He recognized the mental shift to how he approached life was necessary for the success of his new lifestyle through nutrition but in business overall. Grimmer notes, “Whether I’m sitting with my team, whether I’m negotiating a deal or whatever it may be, it’s being absolutely in the moment. It’s recognizing the voices that go through your head, the distractions that come in, and not being moved by them, but rather letting them pass in and out of consciousness.

This prompted Grimmer to implement mindful nutrition which asserts it’s not just what you eat but your mental state when you eat and while you’re eating that matters.

It’s time we redefine the grind.

Many of us are enamored by Will Smith’s Instagram but what we miss is that he’s living his best life. He’s aware and present in each moment. Who’s to say that the grind has to be absent of this? Mindfulness isn’t exclusive to spirituals and the like, it’s a universal practice which can be applied across every aspect of our lives. It’s time we develop a “mindful grind.”

Share your thoughts below and be sure to #takeyourspace!

Why You Should Become A Traveling Entrepreneur

Many people become entrepreneurs to pursue freedom. Freedom to create their schedules based on when they want to work, in work ethic, in strategy, and at times, in location. There are a variety of careers that lucrative and easy to do from home. But, what if your home could be anywhere with a strong wifi connection and a bed. The possibilities are endless! Working as a content creator, web designer, creative strategist, accountant, digital marketer and public relations expert, travel expert, consultant, life coach, or tech support assistant allows you to make a profit without having to stay in an office building. Careers like these are commonly sought out by those who enjoy traveling and expanding their knowledge of the world.

Why work for a big corporation with the normal and old-aged hierarchy of power when you can make your own decisions, be your own boss, and still enjoy a nice sunset in Jamaica? As a traveling entrepreneur, you can take your business from San Diego, California to Seoul, South Korea. Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the world’s economy. In a recent survey by Financial Times, 59% of entrepreneurs around the world said they expected to increase their workforce in 2016. Entrepreneurship is the engine for economic growth! So, I bet you’re asking now, why should you become a traveling entrepreneur?  Well, because you can.

You can live a comfortable life and be your own boss. So, take that idea that you have and go for it. Do you enjoy blogging & food? Become a ghostwriter for food bloggers. Book a trip to France, home to some of the best restaurants in the world. You can do anything you put your mind to because your talent can take you farther. Take the next step, your FUTURE awaits!

If you don’t know what your dream job is yet, you’re probably a multipotentialite.

Everyone has been asked, what do you want to be when you grow up? When you’re young you don’t have a problem answering the question because you say anything that comes to your mind. Once you’re older you begin to feel more and more pressure to have an answer to the question. You begin to have anxiety because you’re still trying to figure out your dream career is at 25 years old.

If you’re still trying to decide what you want to be, you’re probably a multipotentialite. What is a multipotentialite? It describes someone with many interest and creativity who doesn’t know how to combine their interests. Being a multipotentialite comes with advantages like an idea synthesis, combining two or more fields together to creating something new at the intersection; Rapid learning, not being afraid to take on new challenges; and adaptability, the ability to change into whatever you need to be in any given situation.

Learn more about multipotentialites through Emilie Wapnick’s inspirational TED Talk below: