For nearly three years, a group of people and organizations have rallied to celebrate innovative, creative and racially diverse business owners who persevered through the pandemic and a long overdue racial reckoning. The origin of that effort was the “We Are One Marin” campaign, a collaboration including the Marin Council of Chambers’ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force, the Marin Independent Journal and with support from the Marin Community Foundation.
The campaign, whose ‘s mission has been to identify ways to promote social equity in business and in community. It kicked off as a series of ads promoting the opportunity to celebrate our BIPOC-owned businesses, with spotlights on a number of Mill Valley and Marin City businesses and organizations, including Denzel Allen‘s Strength Den MV strength training facility, Marin Conservatory of Dance co-owners Melinda and Leliani Neal, Mojo Dojo Karate owner James Henry, Play Marin founder Paul Austin, Felecia Gaston‘s Performing Stars and MC Arts & Culture, the multi-faceted gallery space run by Oshalla Diana Marcus, Marin City Arts and Culture director.
The campaign expanded in 2021 to include the We Are One Marin Podcast, which has invited the business owners from those ads to participate in a podcast discussion – one where you’ve heard deeper storytelling about the merchants of Marin. Hosted by Stephanie Plante and Kalina Cloud, this podcast is a place to explore the way Marin works.
Now the IJ has been given the green light to continue into its third year effective Nov. 1, following a commitment from MCF to extend its generous support for another 12 months. In addition to continuing to spotlight racially diverse businesses, the initiative is expanding to also include businesses owned by people with disabilities and those owned by veterans.
Click on the images below to listen to a trio of podcasts focused on Mill Valley Chamber members from Marin City. Each organization is steeped in the history and foundation of Marin City’s vitality and importance – past, present and future.