The Launch of CCBD


The excitement rippled throughout Philadelphia!

Approximately 50 friends, family members, and business associates attended The Franklin Towers Rooftop to celebrate the “official” launch of Cultural Connections by Design (CCBD). The concept of “launch” is somewhat binary. To many, it may seem as though we went from “not being” to “being” overnight. However, in the words of Steve Jobs “…if you really look closely, most overnight successes took a really long time.” This statement encapsulates our story–an instant success of a long journey.

CCBD began in 2014 with a call to present on equity and diversity to undergraduate students at the College of Music, Florida State University. I developed two teaching tools (i.e., games) to simplify the complexity of teaching race, gender, sex, etc. (read “How it began” here). Over the next couple of years, invitations yielded from more than 35 colleges and universities across the country by word of mouth as there was no website, business cards, nor marketing materials. In the spring of 2018, we worked with some of our first corporate clients including Chorus America, Whole 30®, and DOMO. As opportunities continued to snowball, it became apparent that we needed to formalize our work into an official company.

In addition to the launch party on August 6, we also hosted our first leadership board meeting and a three-day instructor training retreat to train instructors to implement the proprietary diversity teaching tools for when CCBD provide professional development to academic institutions, healthcare organizations, and corporations.

Using a highly selective process, Cohort 1 hailed from across the country–from Boston to Florida, Utah to Missouri, Texas to Washington, and many places in-between. We’re excited about our great team of inaugural instructors: Tonya Butler, Dr. Saran Donahoo, Dr. Sommer Forrester, Dr. Donalyn Heise, Jermaine Jones, Feleti Matagi, Tasha M. Myers, Claustina Mahon-Reynolds, Portia Saulabiu, and Dr. Fred Spano.

As you can see, CCBD is off to a great start!! Although the launch party is our featured event to date, it is only the beginning!