Ignite Technology and Innovation’s mission is to create equitable wealth and a shared prosperity in under-resourced communities. We develop affordable, accessible coworking spaces enriched with classes and programs. Our programs inspire, encourage, nurture and grow the untapped ideas of underrepresented entrepreneurs by providing local access to technology, resources, mentorship and strategic connections to potential partners and investors.
In furtherance of our mission we work with people and create events that are in alignment with the impact we seek to make. Dr. King said “Nobody’s Free Until Everybody is Free”. We want to support businesses on the path to economic empowerment and freedom!
Our newest space, Momentum Coffee, hosted a Vendor Empowerment Expo Pop-Up Shop on Saturday, June 19, 2021, from 9 AM to 3 PM. In honor of Juneteenth, small, local businesses showcased their items for sale at 2119 State Street, South Loop location in Chicago, Illinois. Momentum Coffee was also a part of the 1st Agape Art Walk 2021 which started with a Juneteenth kick off and runs until June 30, 2021. Featuring amazing artists from Chicago representing their truth and culture. The art walk is organized by Agape Creative Boutique & Agape Collective which Unifies Chicago Black Artists, Business, and Community Leaders to Bring Alignment and Celebration.
For Momentum Coffee the day exceeded our expectations. People came out to the event to commemorate the day by shopping small, and local on this special day. Tracy Powell, co-founder of Momentum Coffee, “It is important to support, empower, and collaborate with other small businesses. We created an environment for many businesses to thrive. We are proud of how it turned out.”
The Impact – Vendor Partner POV
The New Rich (TNR) Instagram
This past weekend, we had the opportunity and pleasure to host a pop up shop at our favorite spot in the city, Momentum Coffee. This pop up, a special curated Juneteenth event allowed us to get back outside in the city for the first time since the pre-pandemic days. There is nothing like getting outside and touching the people that have been supporters, and adding new members to our community.
This was the single biggest day for TNR and we are so glad we were able to do it ON Juneteenth, ALONGSIDE other black-owned businesses, and AT a black owned establishment. This is the energy we needed to start the summer and it just goes to show you that we are always better when we come together. Huge shout out to Momentum Coffee Chicago and All Butterd Up for the opportunity! All items sold at the pop up shop have been added to our site for purchase for those that could not attend. #empoweringcommunity #juneteenth
Detoxx Products Instagram
Y’all, I was so busy today I didn’t even get any footage of my table and new BODY DETOXX products that launched on this beautiful #Juneteenth! I had a record number of sales, I’m so proud of myself!!! The only picture I snagged was of me and my sweet pea @erimeii ! Thank you for coming because it means so much to see a familiar face(s) after meeting and talking to so many strangers💛
Vendor Empowerment in Action
We were so pleased to host the following vendors
All Butter’d Up – Luxury Whipped Shea Butter
The New Rich – Lifestyle Brand
Mogul Nation – Agape Collective
Detoxx Life – Natural health and beauty products
Pamoja Experience – Food
Eyebar Optics – Luxury Concierge Optometry
Nzuri – Candles
Scented by Si – Candles
Exotic Scents of Mind – Skincare – Soaps, Bath salts, Shea butter, Deodorant
GreatNezz Apparel/MBM – Tees
Little Girl Gang – Books, Wine, Candles
Only One Boutique – Leather and Denim garments and accessories
Ody’s One of Kind – Jewelry
Nhyira Clothing – African Attire
Why is matters?
Momentum Coffee is helping other small businesses stay afloat through the power of the community. “What we know is that a strong community matters,” Nikki Bravo says, “And [by] us being part of this community, empowering the community… is what we’re here to do. On Juneteenth, our event showcased not only Momentum Coffee but the power of the collective! We could not be more excited by the success the vendors had at our location!”
What is Juneteenth?
Besides uplifting small businesses, the expo aims to highlight the history of Juneteenth and its importance to the black community. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger and his federal troops rode into Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of slavery through the Emancipation of Proclamation, signed nearly two and a half years prior. A year later, emancipated slaves commenced a celebration of their liberty by playing music, cooking food, and attending prayer services. The celebration became widespread as descendants of slaves migrated from the South and moved around the United States over the last 150 years. As a result, Juneteenth (a fusion of “June Nineteenth”) has become a state holiday in 47 states. In support of Juneteenth becoming a national holiday, the black community started an online petition with over one million signatures. Besides signing the petition, other great ways to celebrate the holiday include attending barbeques, going to marches or rallies, visiting museums and historical sites, and of course, buying from black-owned businesses. Those opting to celebrate indoors can post about the holiday on social media, attend seminars, consume black entertainment, and donate to black organizations.
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