The EBONY Power Talks was designed to inspire and awaken the greatness within our community as we honor our history and anticipate our future as African Americans. The curated series—led by game-changers in their respective fields who have consistently challenged the status quo—feature in-depth discussions highlighting topics such as innovation, small Black businesses, identity, Black women as business leaders, and more.

For the “Innovation” discussion, sponsored by Cadillac, panelists Joi Brown and Isaac Hayes III joined moderator Jeff Johnson. Brown, a former Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand Partnerships at Atlantic Records and founder of Culture Creators, spoke about the necessity of controlling the narratives of our culture that’s often co-opted by power structures outside of the culture.

“It’s not just about investing money which you see a lot of corporations do,“ she said. “It’s about investing the time and giving people access. It’s about creating a pipeline of access.”

Hayes III, son of the funk/soul legend Isaac Hayes and CEO of Fanbase, reiterated the need for Black creatives to monetize their content and understand the business of social media.

“Fanbase offers democratization to distribution which most platforms appear to have but really don’t,” he argued. “If you understand how social media platforms work, giving visibility to every single user is something that goes against the business.”