Listen in from yourfavorite podcast spots or read the full transcript (pt 1) or full transcript (pt 2)  here.


juneteenth 2023 
flashback episodeS from JUNE 2020


In honor of Juneteenth and the 3rd anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, we thought we’d do something a little different this month. Back in June 2020, we did two episodes with black men and black women founders, capturing their raw thoughts, emotions, and insights at the time. These were two of our most popular episodes of all time. And the sentiments shared, and vulnerability shared are as powerful today as they were then.

Part I: with me moderating a panel of black men founders:
Kahlil Ashanti, Bara Cola, AK Ikwuakor, and Claudius Mbemba

Part II: where we were honored to have Dr. Ivor Horn step in as guest host, moderating a panel of black women founders:
Helen Adeosun, Stella Ashaolu, Cherae Robinson, and Ashlee Wisdom

In some ways, that time in 2020 was a catalyst for progress. Unfortunately though – with an extended pandemic, a tough economy, and frankly the passage of time – we have not seen enough continued focus, and a loss of priority. One thing that history teaches us…its that where society’s gaze lands, progress and achievement follow. The founders from these episodes certainly show a representative slice of the founder journey. Some have startups that are prospering with investment capital. Some have pivoted. And some have sunset. But all of these founders are still wise and fierce leaders today.


…the 400 year mark is not insignificant in this great awakening happening 
~ Cherae Robinson


In these episodes the round tables discussed:

  • How it feels to be a black man in America (June 2020)
  • How it feels to be a black woman in America (June 2020)
  • What it’s like to be a black entrepreneur in the midst of two American crises
  • What steps are they taking, in light of the protests, George Floyd, and their own mental health
  • Moving between exhausted and determined
  • Honoring the moment: with voice, intention, and self-care
  • The desire to reach back and lift up
  • Recommendations for others, including allies
  • How office hours are a poor substitute for a check


“…it’s true that this has been happening, but the difference is it’s being filmed.
~ Bara Cola

“…we can be working on our own success so that we can be the funders of people who look like us in the future
~ Stella Ashaolu


Reader References: 


“It’s been an exhausting last couple days. As a black man, it’s kind of numbing to have to experience this over and over again… 
~ Claudius Mbemba


“What can we do as black founders to make ourselves available to each other whether it’s time, talent, or treasure?
~ Helen Adeoson