END OF YEAR REPORT
Medina and Rafael The Founders of =SPACE
The year 2020 has pushed us in ways unimaginable; challenging and forcing us all to take stock of what is the most important to us. As the founders of =SPACE, the vision has never been clearer, we have to continue to create safe space, both in person and digitally, for our members. And not only to our members but to our community at large, who despite the obstacles continue to push through, to find wins and build their dreams. We have nothing but pride in what we have done this year; we banded together as a team, and we supported entrepreneurs and startup founders through our programming. We were able to forge new and strengthen continued partnerships with anchor corporations to expand opportunities. Our mission has never wavered-we know that our impact has and always will be about our people. So in 2020, yes we faced much, but we discovered that we are so much more. With nothing but space and opportunity,
Akosua Ayim Interim CEO =SPACE
What a year 2020 is and has been. If there’s one theme that’s shown up over and over, it’s the power of community. This year; in the midst of a pandemic, we’ve all been pushed to our limit. For entreprenuers and small business owners, this has meant pivoting and innovating in order to survive. For =SPACE, it led to a complete shift to making our yearly programming calendar digital in 3 days and finding ways to support and engage our community in meaningful ways. From co-hosting a Virtual Job Fair with Newark Alliance, to curating virtual popup shops with Makerhoods, to developing business courses and hosting webinars on grants available in the state, the execution strategy may have changed, but our mission has stayed the same: access + resources = opportunities. I am immensely proud of our small but dedicated team that works tirelessly to ensure our SPACE(r)s, event partners & attendees and the larger community have a space to work, grow and feel seen. Thank you all for your support of =SPACE, especially this year, you are what makes this place a special one. I am hopeful and excited for what 2021 will bring for all of us.
TAKE YOUR SPACE =SPACE illuminates an atmosphere of creativity with multicultural business owners. Headquartered in the City of Newark, we have been operating for six years, delivering resources, programming, and a strong network.
AMMENITIES ∙ Digital Network ∙ Food Common ∙ Conferencing ∙ Workspace
∙ Newark Fiber ∙ Access ∙ Podcast Studio ∙ Multimedia Studio
SPACER STORY Khaliah Fitchette was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, while transforming into an inspiring entrepreneur running for congress in New Jersey 10th district. She spent her early years dealing with underperforming Newark Public Schools, and later years fighting economic inequality within her neighborhood. Her vision of equality for all races, people of color, religion, and socio-economic background demonstrates her support for all things that uplift the community.
What does being a SPACE(R) mean to you? Being in Equal Space means I’m in a community of like-minded individuals who really want to work to make the world a better place.
THANK YOU DAVID OQUENDO In February 2020, EqualSpace partnered with David on a beautiful art exhibition entitled Amor Fati. AMOR FATI is the practice of loving everything that happens and seeing all circumstances as a chance to grow. Since David was diagnosed with a learning disability as a child - causing difficulty in speech, comprehension, translation, and writing, it allowed him to direct his work in order to align himself with his principles and practice of stoicism and positive affirmations. As a result, this helped him make gradual strides in his life and his battle with depression, suicidal thoughts, and disability. Since then he has created his own personal script; he calls it “Metaphrase.” David contradicts the notion of what language has to be, how language has to be used and how language has to appear. The work was created by the artist, for the artist, however it is appreciated and unraveled by the audience.
PUSHING THROUGH COVID COVID-19 forced companies to reassess their value proposition. For the coworking industry, this meant redefining what it means to have healthy and efficient working spaces.
∙ When the lockdown order came into effect, our programming turned to digital in 3 days. We averaged 3 events a week over a 6-month period, with over 40,000 streams since March.
∙ In spite of the pandemic, our partnerships continue to grow. In July, we produced a virtual job fair in collaboration with the Newark Alliance, with over 15 employers and 300 qualified candidates to get people back to work, even from home.
∙ =SPACE reopened its physical door in mid-August. The new protocols keep the safety and health standards high. Our commitment to our community throughout COVID-19 resulted in a full pipeline and a need for more space, allowing for a new addition of 6,000 square feet and 15 new suites.
The total amount of streams for our 2020 virtual events
Diversity Innovation Town Hall signups
Hosted events this year
Virtual Career Fair signups
THANK YOU TO OUR AMBASSADORS
ALEXANDRA BERNARD-SIMMONS AUTHOR, SPEAKER & FOUNDER OF THINK LIKE A BOSS NJ
Born and raised in Newark, Livingston Steele graduated Arts High School as an instrumental major. He then went to and graduated from University of New Haven with a B.A. in Music Business, minor in Communications TV and Film in 2012 and MBA in Marketing in 2014. Steele started his acting career as a supporting actor in an award winning independent film Savior in 2015. Livingston is also the creator and director of the web series The Theory Of Brick City Music, which showcases independent artists of all forms from the city of Newark as they deal with the challenges of being an artist of their specific craft. Steele recently founded Artillery Cannon, which is a multipurpose creative agency crafted to give artists the tools to organically develop their brand, marketing style and artistry for longevity ultimately creating loose cannons in the industry.
Viewed the 7th Annual (1st Virtual) NDD Tree Lighting
Organizations and businesses partnered with
of our 2020 programming was free
People liked, commented, and shared our vitrual events
The Founder and CEO of Think Like A Boss considers herself a professional dream chaser. Alexandra Bernard-Simmons has mastered both the business and creative world as a succesful entrepreneur, author, and entertainer. With her background as a choreographer and overall entertainer, Alexandra has worked with MTV, VH1, BET, Comcast Cable, TRU TV, ABC, and A&E Network to name a few, and she had a role in The A Step Up dance movie trilogy. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also opened and shared the stage with legends like Bobbie Brown, Biz Markie, Doug-e Fresh, Slick Rick, Naughty by Nature, Mr. Vegas, shot videos with French Montana, and interviewed countless celebrities like Lance Gross, Busta Rhymes, Lamman Rucker, Tobias Truvillian, Yandy Smith, and more!
LIVINGSTON STEELE ACTOR, FILMMAKER
Erick Argueta is a marketing strategist, photographer, and thought leader. The skills he developed from working for Electrify Media Inc., as a social media strategist, allowed him to perfect his craft and become a superb entrepreneur. Argueta founded TravelNYC, a leading source for discovering the best things to do around NYC. They curate photography that displays the beauty that NYC has to offer; famous landmarks as well as artistic shots off the beaten path. Erickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is to develop a platform that enhances the human experience through the use of marketing and interactive connections.
We were able to host and collaborate with speakers from around the country and across industries - from Grammy-award winning artist Kevin Olusola to founders of million dollar startups like Calvin Quallis of Scotch Porter. Thank you to all of our 2020 programming partners
ERICK ARGUETA MARKETING STRATEGIST, PHOTOGRAPHER, THOUGHT LEADER
EQUAL SPACE MEANS A PLACE WHERE I CAN HAVE LASER FOCUS, WHERE I CAN BOOST MY CREATIVITY AND PRODUCTIVITY. AND A PLACE THAT MAKES ME FEEL AT HOME
This year =SPACE was fortunate to receive COVID-relief funds from the Creative Catalyst Fund, NJEDA and LISC. Not only did these grants assist us in weathering the storm of being a small business during the pandemic, we were able to maintain our commitment to free resource programming to the community, with over 55 programs hosted this year. The following programs this year were made possible in part by these grant funds:
3.21M Estimated Coverage Views
∙ Newark Tech Week ∙ 3-week Monetize Your Photography Course with Chantel ∙ BreakoutFest Partnership (roundtable discussion with Promise Phelon Newark Artists Gallery Showcase, Mindful Meditation with I’m So Yoga & Virtual Concert from Artillery Cannon) ∙ Breaking the Ceilings & Breaking the Barriers ∙ MasterSPACE Business Course ∙ LGBTQ+ Rights Panel
2.08K Social Shares
24 Pieces of Coverage
=SPACE IS POWERED BY MEDINA’S PASSION FOR EMPOWERING AND EQUIPPING THIS GENERATION OF OVERLOOKED AND UNDERSERVED ENTREPRENEURS, IN ADDITION TO POSITIVE REPRESENTATION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP AMONGST UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES. -AFROTECH
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