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Meet Ian Eddy of Black Men’s Collective

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ian Eddy.

Ian, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Back in 2017, a close friend of mine invited me to an annual dinner that he hosts to speak to Black Men about issues that specifically affect the African-American community (i.e., education, incarceration rates, school to prison pipeline, investing in the community/ownership, health, spirituality, marriage/relationships, credit/finance, entrepreneurship, mentorship, etc.). Toward the end of the event, he asked everyone in the group to create something similar within their own networks. I worked with a close friend of mine Kyle Webb (CFO of Webb Family Enterprises and CEO of CEEM {The Cooperate Economic Empowerment Movement} to put together a group of community stakeholders within Los Angeles and we created an entity called the Black Men’s Collective in 2017.

The group now has 140 members and hosts dinner and events quarterly each year. The BMC also has an investment arm where members have the opportunity to invest in business and ideas collectively or as an individual. We currently have chapters in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New York. The overall purpose of the BMC is to create a sense of community within a city that is spread out and stratified by race and economic status and to create a network of positive role models for young men throughout the city. Our membership has men who represent the following professional fields: education, medicine, law, finance, business, engineering, clergy and science.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It was tough to get the guys to meet consistently until we put a membership model in place. Each member pays annual dues which are used to set up events, outings, and activities. In addition, it has been tough to get all of these busy men together to have uninterrupted conversations which is why we only meet quarterly.

Please tell us about Black Men’s Collective.
We function as an investment club and we specialize in supporting and financing Black owned businesses inside and outside of Los Angeles. What sets us apart is that we work on building trust first and foremost which lends itself to open dialogue and authentic relationship building. Also, each conversation is loosely scripted so the conversations are not rigid and forced. We all sit in a circle and use a style of conversation in which everyone who is present has an opportunity to speak and participate. We use talking pieces and visuals to stimulate a rich conversation amongst members. Also, we allow business to pitch their ideas to us and we offer guidance and sometimes financial support to new and current entrepreneurs.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, I would add have added an arm for ladies that works with the collective. The separate nature of the members lends itself to authenticity but there are projects where we need all hands on deck. I’ve had several requests to add on a Black Women’s Collective that would partner with the Black Men’s Collective.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.blkmenscollective.com
  • Email: blkcollectivela@gmail.com
  • Instagram: blkmenscollective
  • Facebook: @Blackmenscollective

Image Credit:
Black Men’s Collective, Los Angeles

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Meet Downtown LA Series Sponsor:

Michelle FRECKLES Labelle: I am a writer. My inspiration when I write is my life. God gave me a complex life – mixed with pain & struggle, but he also added beauty, grace, & talents that I could use to improve my life and the life of others. I have 2 published books available for purchase on my website right now. One of the biggest ways to support me is to order my books. I am also available to perform my Spoken Word at events. People can email me at infodafreckledpoet@gmail.com to discuss fees. I have performed at dialogues between prominent public figures, such as Dr. Cornel West. I have also performed at hair shows, school events, business events, etc. People also pay me to create videos with myself vibing to their latest music.

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