Neon By GLAAD Releases Four-part “Changemakers” Video Series, Spotlighting Black LGBTQ Small Business Owners

The series, presented by Ally, launches today with a new episode to premiere each month through December

The series premiere, released today exclusively via The Advocate, spotlights Kingsley Gbadegesin and his brand K.NGSLEY, a Black-owned brand birthed from the vibrancy and community of activism and the club scene

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today launched “Changemakers,” a 4-part video series spotlighting Black LGBTQ small business owners and their impact within their local communities before and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The series, presented by Ally, will be available to watch on GLAAD’s YouTube and social media accounts, with the first episode premiering today exclusively via The Advocate. A new episode will launch each month through December 2021.

The series premiere, released today, spotlights Kingsley Gbadegesin, a first-generation Nigerian-American and a New York–based creator working to advance liberation for the Black community, the queer community, and people of color. Kingsley is the founder and creator behind K.NGSLEY, a Black-owned brand aiming to reclaim and redefine the Black, queer, femme body and to create the tangible, direct support communities need today.

K.NGSLEY is currently available online at k.ngsley.com and stocked at Nordstrom, Fred Segal, and launches in new doors this Fall. Learn more about K.NGSLEY here.

The “Changemakers” series is produced by NEON, GLAAD’s ongoing digital content series that aims to increase the visibility of Black LGBTQ people. NEON leverages the power of storytelling and GLAAD’s platform to create multi-dimensional, accurate portraits of the Black LGBTQ experience. In a series of intimate interviews, the new “Changemakers” series aims to amplify the stories of local heroes, and send messages of support and inspiration to LGBTQ and Black-owned small businesses.

Ally is donating $10,000 to each “Changemaker” business ($40,000 total) to empower them to continue making positive change through their business into their communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Black communities and businesses across the United States. In creating this project, I wanted to spotlight how brands can show up for Black LGBTQ small businesses owners in authentic and meaningful ways,” said Abdool Corlette, GLAAD’s Creative Director and co-founder of NEON. “In addition to Ally’s financial contributions to these four small businesses, this series helps to elevate the stories of the incredible people behind these change-making businesses, allowing viewers to connect and learn about the challenges and triumphs of being a small business owner during these unprecedented times.”

“We’re excited to work with GLAAD on this project that shines a light on the important contributions these Black LGBTQ business owners made in the face of a global pandemic and will continue to do in years to come,” said Reggie Willis, chief diversity officer at Ally. “The Changemakers video series fosters an inclusive environment that celebrates peoples’ differences, which is something we encourage with our teammates at Ally every day.”
 
NEON launched in February 2020 with its ongoing Black history legacy series, showcasing current Black LGBTQ leaders from multiple disciplines as they pay homage to groundbreaking Black figures of the past. Shortly after the launch, NEON inserted LGBTQ issues into the conversation on the red carpet of the 51st NAACP Image Awards, specifically asking celebrities about Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union’s support for their transgender daughter Zaya. Since then, NEON has also produced its “Black Queer Love Stories” video series, which premiered in The Advocate

NEON also conducts weekly interviews on Instagram with Black LGBTQ creatives across a variety of industries to speak about the importance of Black LGBTQ visibility and representation. Notable interviews over the past year include TS Madison, Shea Coulee, Kalen Allen, George M. Johnson, Tia Kofi, and more.

About Ally Financial:

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY) is a digital financial services company committed to its promise to “Do It Right” for its consumer, commercial and corporate customers. Ally is composed of an industry-leading independent auto finance and insurance operation, an award-winning digital direct bank (Ally Bank, Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender, which offers mortgage lending, point-of-sale personal lending, and a variety of deposit and other banking products), a corporate finance business for equity sponsors and middle-market companies, and securities brokerage and investment advisory services. A relentless ally for all things money, Ally helps people save well and earn well, so they can spend for what matters. For more information, please visit www.ally.com and follow @allyfinancial.

About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za Instagram: instagram.com/andrewgerm_za IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/