A Modest Ambition to Change the World: Morgan DeBaun Tells Her Story
The collective events of 2020 have led us to a unique place in history. Acknowledging this moment in time, Morgan DeBaun, CEO of Blavity Inc., says women- and minority-owned businesses, in particular, have never been at a more propitious jumping-off place.
Blavity’s mission is “to inform, entertain and engage communities of color.” Its name – a combination of Black and gravity – occurred to DeBaun one day, while lunching with friends as a student at Washington University, in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. DeBaun, together with co-partners Aaron Samuels and Jeff Nelson, today lead a staff of 54 and work with an estimated 100 contractors. And they’re just six years in.
It would not be an exaggeration to call the barely 30-year-old DeBaun a visionary. She is also tough as nails and wise beyond her years.
“2020 was difficult,” DeBaun admitted. “It still is difficult. But I think our community feels closer together than we did before because we have been reminded of our sameness. The pain that we feel is universal. A lot of us felt frustrated during the summer of 2020 by the realities – the lack of justice for Black people in this country – not just on the police brutality front, but also the disparities in our healthcare system and treatments, and protection of frontline workers.”
“I believe that we are all coming out of this a little bruised, but more aware, and that makes me feel hopeful that we can continue to push for change. I also believe, as a community, we now have a foundation for conversation – or a lot of conversations – that we’ve been trying to have for generations. That’s an opportunity for change. While it’s been difficult, I’m grateful for this moment. It will help accelerate a more progressive future,” DeBaun added…
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