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Content creator Kalen Allen shares most outlandish vaccine claim

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Photo courtesy of Ad Council

Kalen Allen is an award-nominated actor, producer, singer, and television personality at just 25 years old. First making his mark in his “Kalen Reacts” videos, he was discovered in 2018 by Ellen DeGeneres and secured a content-creating role, but his creative work didn’t stop there. Allen joins Health IQ to discuss vaccinations and the hesitancy of the Black community towards getting them.

What’s your recipe for protecting yourself as you move through this pandemic?
I am fully vaccinated, [and the] vaccine is very much just like a flu vaccine. Understand that it does not mean that you won’t still get COVID, but it will make sure that you are able to survive COVID just like any other immunization. Personally, I still carry around my mask. [Though] I will say that I feel a little bit safer knowing that the vaccine is out and that people have been getting vaccinated.

How have you stayed up to date and informed yourself?
I definitely do my own research, and I do my own work for myself to understand the vaccine. And I understand the hesitation, especially when we talk about things such as the Tuskegee project and the HIV/AIDS epidemic and how that was handled by the government. I try to do my best and advocate for other people and make sure that they try and learn for themselves, instead of relying on social media, ads, or different publications to tell you what’s best for you.

What is the most outlandish thing you heard was going to happen if you got the vaccine?
I had this conversation the other day [with someone], they said they got in a car, a car-sharing service. And the driver told him that they were not getting the vaccine, because it turns people into frogs. That is probably the most insane thing that I’ve ever heard.

For those young people who are really looking to get their break, how can they actually build a career in the business today and build their brands?
As a young child, I always put myself in places and situations and made friends with the people that knew what I wanted my life to be. And I would create that energy in that space around me. Also, everything that I do is done with purpose and intention. There’s a lot of people that have aspirations but don’t necessarily do anything to get them to that point because they think it should just happen. Nothing that I did happened overnight. A lot of the time it happened behind the scenes.

Watch the complete interview here.

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CEO Watchen Nyanue helps Black women navigate corporate ladder success

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Watchen Nyanue is a strategic marketing and business development executive from Liberia, who resides in Chicago. She is the founder and CEO of I Choose the Ladder — a career development agency that helps corporations develop and retain their high-performing Black female talent through professional development workshops, curated events, and digital resources.

Prior to founding I Choose the Ladder, Nyanue was the senior vice president of marketing partnerships for the WNBA, Chicago Sky.

Rolling out’s Business Exchange spoke with Nyanue about her upcoming annual summit, The Climb — a full-day career summit that is designed to address the unique career advancement challenges that Black women face in the workplace.

Watch the entire interview to hear more from this dynamic business strategy leader and learn more about the annual conference.

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Detroit artist Domonick Lemonious uses sign language to create art

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Photo courtesy of Dominick Lemonious

Dominick Lemonious is a Detroit-based artist specializing in the expression of hands. Lemonious enjoys creating art around expressing positive affirmations through sign language and color for collectors to visualize daily. He practices with mediums of charcoal pencil, acrylic paint and oil paint on canvas.

Lemonious’ art will be featured in the Art Extravaganza in Southfield, Michigan, from Sept. 18-26, 2021. The Art Extravaganza has become a much-anticipated annual event that attracts emerging and established metropolitan Detroit artists. The event includes a virtual and live auction and a complimentary educational workshop targeting new and inexperienced collectors who want to understand how art can enhance their net worth.

We gathered a few responses from Lemonious to get an understanding of his inspiration.

What are three of the best things about being a creative?

The three best things about being an artist are creative freedom of expression, learning about the history of art, and being a part of the creative movement currently happening in the city of Detroit today.

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Jonathan Harris expresses Black pain and love through art

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Photo courtesy of Kristen Lynnae

Jonathan Harris is a visual artist born and raised in the city of Detroit. After attending The Detroit School for the Fine and Performing Arts, he attended Henry Ford Community College and Oakland University. There he majored in graphic design and minored in studio art. Although Harris is experienced in digital arts and advertising, fine arts is where his heart lies. Acrylic paint, oil paint, pen and charcoal, are among his mediums of choice when creating.

Harris’ work is emotive and mostly focuses on current events and the African American experience. Bringing awareness to social and world issues, in addition to instilling pride into the Black community, are goals that he strives to accomplish through his art and curating work. He has publicly presented work during special programs at the Detroit Institute of Arts, local gallery exhibits, the Canvas Pontiac showcase, for the city of Detroit, and at Beacon Park during the “Bonded” exhibit, which he curated along with other artists.

Harris shared his “why” with rolling out. 

When did you become interested in art?

I became interested in art at a very young age. I would draw during church or class. At Burton elementary I was part of the Gifted and Talented Art Club and participated in other art programs as well. Drawing was a passion for me, it was a big part of my life, even as a kid.

Read more after the jump.

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