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Tom Tom Speaker Newsletter, Vol. 4

The Tom Tom Speaker Newsletter: Star-Spangled Edition!

This Fourth of July week, we bring you a wide variety of speaker scoop, with Tom Tom alums breaking down barriers in the beauty world, pushing for digital justice on the Senate floor, and projecting the labor landscape of the future. We hope you have a safe and happy Independence Day!


Speaker Spotlights

At 25, Nancy Twine was the youngest African-American to launch a line for Sephora. Now, her company Briogeo is the megaretailer’s fastest-growing haircare brand.

Twine recently appeared on Who What Wear’s Second Life podcast to discuss how she went from making beauty products with her grandmother in their West Virginia kitchen to scoring $35 million in revenue last year alone, with projections to double that in 2019.

“The current conversation pushes us to perceive diversity and inclusion as lack. I propose we rewrite the narrative of human symphony.”

Design luminary Pamela Abalu offered thoughts on a new conceptual framework for conservations about diversity and inclusion in an essay on Fast Company.

Mayor Levar Stoney announced the renaming of a historic thoroughfare in Richmond, Virginia after Arthur Ashe, a Richmond native and the first African-American man to win a singles title at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian Open. The New York Times weighed in on this decision for the former capital of the Confederacy and its implications on national conversations about race and public memory.

Bradford and Bryan Manning, the sibling team behind Two Blind Brothers, was spotlighted by CBSN for their groundbreaking work in fashion and philanthropy. From using their cheeks to identify soft fabrics to embroidering braille into shirt hems, the Charlottesville natives are rewriting the rules of getting dressed for visually-impaired individuals everywhere. (Plus, 100% of proceeds generated from the sale of their Ellen-Degeneres-approved products go toward retinal research!)


But wait—there’s more!

Steven Hawkins of the Marijuana Policy Project described the U.S. House of Representatives’ recent vote in favor of an amendment that would prohibit federal intervention in state-run legal cannabis programs as “the most significant step Congress has ever taken toward ending federal marijuana prohibition.”

In Virginia legalization news, Attorney General Mark Herring’s recent op-ed supporting decriminalization and legal recreational use “really moves this important issue to the frontburner of Virginia politics,” state NORML chapter Executive Director Jenn Michelle Pedini told the Washington Post.

U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) announced a proposal requiring Facebook, Google, Amazon and other tech companies to disclose the value of their users’ data.

In the most recent episode of The Energy Gang Podcast, industry superstar and show cohost Katherine Hamilton dug into the future of geothermal and expounded the government’s plans to finally explore its untapped potential.

What are the blue-collar jobs of the future? Generate Capital co-founder Jigar Shah posits that perhaps we should be talking about “green collar” jobs—a new category of labor emerging from infrastructure jobs tied to renewable energy initiatives.

Zola CEO Shan-Lyn Ma sat down with Forbes alongside beauty mogul Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills to discuss what it takes to start a billion-dollar business.

Cause-based nano influencer platform PurPics, one of the finalists in our 2019 American Evolution Innovators Cup, recently announced the completion of a $750K pre-seen round, bringing a total funding raise to just over $1 million.

Visual and performing artist Vanessa German is displaying work at a new exhibition hosted by the Ford Foundation in New York City. The show is meant to highlight the meaning of “Radical Love.” For German, such love requires “deep listening … to be in an active, living, loving relationship with our wholeness.”


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Before You Go…

Get a dose of inspiration from 2018 keynote speakers Bradford and Bryan Manning of Two Blind Brothers, who discuss overcoming adversity and basing a business on the desire to inspire change.



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