Rashaad Lambert

Rashaad Lambert is the founder of For(bes) The Culture, an initiative of CultureMakers Inc & Forbes Media. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Two years after two Philly-area natives created a network for young professionals of color, it’s now becoming an official partner of Forbes.

Their network, called For(bes) The Culture, has a goal to support a more diverse and inclusive community of leaders.

Rashaad Lambert and Vinasia Miles met when they attended the 2017 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston. They decided to host a meet-up with other young professionals of color at a restaurant. Originally, 30 people RSVP’d, but within a few hours, nearly 400 people showed up.

“It was to gather them to have a very focused discussion,” Lambert said. “We laugh. We cry, but it was really to take information back to their communities, because they were leaders in their respective industries.”

That’s how For(bes) The Culture was born.

Lambert, a Philly native, has spent the last ten years in marketing and philanthropy helping entrepreneurs and nonprofits grow their businesses. Miles, who is from Coatesville, has experience with brand strategy and public relations.

The turnout at the meetup showed them just how many young professionals of color, like them, were also looking for a community.

“The members started to just connect on their own,” Lambert said. “They formed new businesses. They merged new businesses. They quit their job and joined members’ businesses. There was a lot of scholarship opportunities and grant opportunities and these things kind of stayed within the group.

“Things that we would never have known about because traditionally these opportunities are not given to people of color.”

“It’s a place of home and people can be themselves,” Miles said. “They don’t have to fit into a mold.”

Now, the For(bes) The Culture network has more than 3,000 global members. Groups host game nights and panel discussions, family-style dinners, and even yacht parties.

Lambert says the next goal is to increase membership and diversify representation at the 2019 Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit this October.

— (WHYY)

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