11 Black Creators and Activists You Should Know About

This week we made the decision to stop our regular posting schedule on social media and our blog in order to Amplify Black voices. Every day we have shared different individuals from different disciplines including fashion, art, activism, creativity, and beauty. We want to spotlight a handful of these incredibly talented people here on our blog. Click here to view all of the creators we’ve spotlighted. Be sure to comment on any of our posts and tag other black voices that should be amplified.

To learn more about the decision behind the initiative, click here.

Yasin Osman

Yasin Osman is an award winning Toronto-based photographer and cartoonist. He is also the founder of Shoot for Peace - a photography program whose mission is to build meaningful relationships with youth through art as well as empowering at-risk youth to become leaders of their communities. Shoot for Peace also partnered with The Creator Class to give kids their very own DSLR cameras. In addition to his work with the youth, Yasin has worked with brands such as Nike, Redbull, the Toronto Raptors as well as being a contributor to MacLeans Magazine and VICE. Yasin also submits a weekly cartoon to The New Yorker Magazine.

Sarah Jama

Sarah Jama is a community organizer from Hamilton.She co-founded the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO). Her experiences in life have fostered interests and a passion for community engagement, disability justice, and activism.

She currently works at the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion as an Outreach Coordinator and is also a Community Engagement Liaison to Councillor Matthew Green. In addition, she acts as a consultant, and is currently working with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board to create anti-racism training and peer support based curriculum for students at the school board.

Spencer Badu

Spencer Badu is a fashion photographer and the designer behind the brand S.P. Badu. S.P. Badu is an eponymous, gender neutral label that aims to challenge public perceptions of beauty and gender norms through a uniform that incorporates masculine and feminine elements, and propose new cuts, proportions, and colors.

Coach Nash

Coach Nash is a calisthenics athlete who posts outdoor workouts around Toronto on his Instagram and YouTube Channel.Through his outdoor calisthenic sessions he’s teaching his followers how they can ditch the gym and use free outdoors equipment to get in better shape and become stronger.

Andrew Miller

You might recognize Andrew Miller from his time on Big Brother Canada Season 6. The Scarborough native co-founded the not for profit organization One More Wear Foundation. One Wear Foundation accepts donated clothing for youth and young adults who are struggling with poverty in the Greater Toronto Area. The organization has fashion consultants to help the youth not only look impressive but feel confident that they can find employment and pursue their goals. In addition to helping underprivileged youth and young adults dress their best, they also provide meaningful job-training seminars and career building workshops.

Segen Misghina

Segen Misghina is a beauty creator with over 35,000 subscribers on YouTube and 24,000 followers on Instagram. Through her content, Segen shares videos on natural hair and skin treatments, and easy makeup tutorials for beginners. Since starting her channel two years ago, Segen has amassed over 1,500,000 million views and now posts videos three times a week on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

Fatima Caser

Fatima Caser is a beauty content creator from Toronto, Ontario. Through her content she shares bits and pieces of her life, beauty and fashion. Through her consistent content on Instagram, Fatima has grown her community to over 28,000 people.

Sheldon Sebastian

Brampton-native Sheldon Sebastian is a hip-hop recording artist whose music is a blend of infectious instrumentals and clever wordplay. After spending time with local rap groups, Sebastian decided to strike out on his own in 2018 releasing his first single “Bank”. Since then Sebastian has continued to release music and today has over 20,000 monthly listeners on his Spotify. In addition to his pursuit of music, he is a streamer on Twitch, streaming his gameplay on Call of Duty and Apex Legends. He’s also a co-host on the Random Order podcast, a podcast with over 85,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Janaya Future Khan

Janaya Future Khan is a storyteller, activist and futurist. A co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada, Future has become a leading voice in the global crusade demanding social transformation, justice, and equality and currently serves as the International Ambassador for Black Lives Matter.

Gordon Shadrach

Born in 1966, Gordon is a painter who didn’t start painting until 2013. Today, he paints in oil and acrylic on wood and has exhibited in solo and group art shows in Canada and the United States.

Gordon’s community engagement includes working with Toronto’s Nia Centre for the Arts as a  creative consultant for their Left of Centre artist incubation project. He is also working with Dr. Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstill, Dean of Design at OCADU, as a team member to develop and implement the Black Youth Design Initiative (BYDI) which aims to engage Black youth by decolonizing design and addressing the systemic anti-Black racism that impedes Black communities from pursuing education in design.  

Rachel Cargle

Rachel Cargle is an Akron, Ohio born public academic, writer, and lecturer. Her activist and academic work are rooted in providing intellectual discourse, tools, and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood. Her social media platforms engage a community of over 1.8 million through which Rachel guides conversations, encourages critical thinking and nurtures meaningful engagement with people all over the world.

Only a Few

These are only a few of the black voices we have spotlighted this week. It’s not possible for us to highlight every single one so share with us people we have missed. You can tag us on Instagram at @Surfforbrands, Twitter at @Surfforbrands, or LinkedIn at Surf.

As our CEO, Swish Goswami said, “we want to do our part in not just being a part of the conversation but continuing it. We want to appreciate the unique challenges black creators, artists and entrepreneurs go through in mastering their craft and making the world a better place. Their stories are inspiring and worth sharing.”