Skandalaris Center

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Black Futures Makes History: A New Beginning

Zoe Al-Tawiti (LA'24)
March 24, 2022

Last week, a small but mighty group of Black WashU entrepreneurs across multiple schools gathered in the Skandalaris Center to discuss the state of Black entrepreneurship within WashU. I had the pleasure of attending and found the encouragement and support motivating and liberating.

As a group, we discussed how Skandalaris can be better equipped to mentor and support its Black students in their ventures.  The meetup was led by Najjuwah Walden (SW ’23) a third-year doctoral student specializing in women’s health and the founder of her own startup, and Cyril Loum, Assistant Director of Venture Development in the Skandalaris Center. During the meeting, we made introductions and expressed our desires for Skandalaris and our place in the center. In the midst of us voicing how we can better advocate for each other on our startups or potential ones, I found the space inviting and empowering. Marking the start of what will be recurring meetings, we established our goals and created a game plan for our future meetups.

“The purpose of this meeting is to develop a community among Black student entrepreneurs on campus and discuss our shared goals for navigating entrepreneurship on campus”, quotes Najjuwah; and thus plants the seed that the group cannot wait to see grow and expand into successful startups and entrepreneur relations.

Black Futures hopes to build on that momentum with our next meeting scheduled for early April. The meetup is open to all Black entrepreneurs, we hope to see you there!

For more information on getting involved with Black Futures, contact Cyril Loum from the Skandalaris Center at