COSIGN Magazine

BLK Lens: A Curation to Spotlight Professionals in the Black Community

FEBRUARY 26th 12p.m. -5 p.m. | Soulful Tacos, 3355 E. Trinity Mills Rd Suite 100, Dallas, Texas 75287. 

RSVP at THEBLKMRKTDALLAS.com

The BLK Lens is the first of five events of The BLK MRKT Dallas, created by Candice Booker, owner and founder of fashion/apparel company Elle Reaux. The BLK MRKT Dallas is a series of curated events (and a non-profit organization) to spotlight entrepreneurs and civil activism in the black community, but is open to all that support the advancement of black people and their upward mobility.

The five monthly curations begin in Black History Month and run through Juneteenth, each time partnering with either a charity or community organization. BLK Lens, the first iteration of the series, spotlights professionals through the event’s four experiences; an educational experience featuring speakers from various entities including non-profits and business organizations, a breakout networking session, a photography session offering attendees professional headshots, and a mixer to close. Booker is also building what she calls The BLK Pages, a Dallas/Ft. Worth area black business directory, and will use BLK Market Dallas to continue expanding it.

The inspiration to create this series came from Booker’s own experience attempting to get government funds in 2020 for Elle Reaux. Although she applied for 47 grants intended to assist small business owners impacted by the pandemic, and she was approved for none. Her mistrust of Corporate America’s diversity, inclusion and equity posturing also played a key role in the development of The BLK MRKT, as she recognized that there are still barriers to attaining resources, regardless of what big companies taut as their initiatives’ results. “I wanted to foster an environment where we can build our own community of resources,” Booker says. “Whether that be networking opportunities, agencies coming out to give educational summits or speaking engagements telling people how they can get access to resources, and magnifying the community organizations that are going on right now; people who already have their feet on the ground, making an impact in the areas that we so desperately need.”

Soulful Tacos is a Hip-Hop themed taco restaurant

The eventual goal of The BLK MRKT Dallas is to expand to other cities (Houston and New Orleans have been floated as early targets), and grow the network beyond just North Texas. “Our goal is to get sponsors and partners to join this movement, to help us elevate this, and we can only do this by funds,” she says. “If we want to have these resources out there for people … the whole point of doing it, it needs to be free. We need to provide these people resources for free and the only way we can do that is coming together as a collective.”

To keep up with all of The BLK MRKT Dallas events, check out THEBLKMRKTDALLAS.com and we’ll see you at the next #EventWeCOSIGN.

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