MEET THE LA COLLECTIVE
Navigating through their impressive careers has taught this group of women/femmes how to create safe spaces where womxn can thrive.
The Los Angeles cohort of Jordan Women Collective - among cohorts from major cities such as New York, Chicago and Paris – met last month for a weekend retreat in Utah to tap into how they can improve their communities and outline how Jordan Brand can advocate and support.
Laci Jordan: Multidisciplinary Artist
Dimplez Ijeoma: Music Executive
Charamon Hunter: Designer
Monica Kran: Media Strategist
Alexis Quintero: Creative
Briana King: Skateboarder
Naja Crawford: Multi-Modality Creative Healer
Jourdan Kadow: Stylist
The New York Cohort held a weekend retreat late last month to delve into how to impact their local community, while revisiting how the Jordan Brand has impacted their lives over the years.
"I want people to remember me as someone who spoke up for what is right," said cohort member Jourdan Kadow. "I want to be a voice for women who do not always feel comfortable giving their opinions in a male-dominated world. The best gift you can give somebody is a safe space to be themselves."
Cohort member Naja Crawford said her path is by leading by example.
"I support womxn to thrive by being an example through my own life and daily practices," she said. "I know that being a great leader is first being a student, so I am constantly uplifted by the wild passion, creativity, and hustle of the womxn around me."
In this career stage, cohort member Dimplez Ijeoma said she had to become who she needed when she was younger.
"When I first started working in music, I didn't see anyone who looked like me," she said. "It took me years before I got a response from someone who was even willing to give me the time of day."
Ijeoma shared that she currently participates in three mentorship programs: Femme It Forward, GRAMMY U, and Power2Inspire. "I let mentees ask questions and just really be the resource that I didn't have when I was first starting out," she said.
Each shared a deep desire to help the next generation.
"I really live by lifting as you climb…" said cohort member Laci Jordan. "I didn't have a lot of resources when it came to an art career. When I got into my career, I did a lot of cold emailing, calling people, just trying to build my network and a lot of those attempts fell on deaf ears. So, I know how it feels to not have those answers and not have people and not have community."
Allyship was also a central theme of the weekend retreat.
"When I think of that word, I just think of being a friend. I think of being there for someone and coming together to help one another," said cohort member Alexis Quintero.
"For me, allyship for women means sisterhood," said Charamon Hunter. "Building relationships and making an impact while advocating for one another. Women are powerful and so much more powerful together."
The goal of allyship is to bring everyone together and uplift the marginalized voices, according to cohort member Monica Kran.
"It's very important for us to have allyship (and real action) from men. They often are in different rooms than us so they have the power to change things. Allyship from the opposite sex hits different when they actually care about women and speak up when we aren't present."
Monica Kran also referenced Michael Jordan as one of the people who had created space for women.
"(Jordan) highlights and emphasizes women in the WNBA and all women in sports, not just for his daughters but for other women in the world. We need them to set the standard for giving women the same power and opportunities they have."
Aligned with the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend, the group had an exclusive experience all sneakerheads can envy. They toured the Vivint Arena–the historic site of Michael Jordan's infamous 'flu game,' with historical anecdotes from the original flu game announcer, Dan Roberts.
The women/femmes also participated in an open run, led by Minnesota Lynx's own, Aerial Powers, and had a photoshoot surrounded by mountains sporting the Jordan Women's 'Cozy Girl' collection.
They indulged in a bespoke and intimate experience at Auberge Blue Sky Resort. The activities included a fireside chat with the notable Beth Gibbs, a dedicated advocate for women in sneaker and streetwear culture, and a mindfulness session with George Mumford, a mindfulness and performance expert, who was Phil Jackson's secret weapon to winning 8 championships.
Written by Tierra Smith