Imani Ellis Is Making Space for Creatives of Color 

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Imani Ellis has always been creative—as a child, she wanted to pursue her passion for dance and become a ballerina. But she never imagined she would end up as vice president of unscripted entertainment publicity at NBCUniversal, or that her “side job” would be founding CultureCon, a three-city networking event for Black and brown creatives. 

After years of searching for networking communities where she felt comfortable and understood, Ellis decided it was time to create the space herself. “For a good period of time, I was waiting for someone to create CultureCon and then I would go to it,” she tells Glamour. “I was hopping around different networking events that I just didn’t feel like I could be myself there. I remember President Obama making a speech and saying, ‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.’ It was like a light bulb went off in my head, and I’m like, Wow, I’ve been waiting for someone to come along and create this brave space—am I supposed to be that person? Sometimes you spend a little bit of time running away from it because you’re just so sure that someone else is gonna do it.”

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