OUR FOUNDING STORY

In the summer of 2020, Shawna Young, Audrey Hipkins, Serge Himbaza, and Jerel Registre came together to form a space for members of their community to have active conversations on what it would take to build wealth for Black people.

REFLECTION

In the summer of 2020, I asked my friends Audrey Hipkins, Serge Himbaza, and Jerel Registre to work with me to create a space for members of the Black community to have active conversations on what it would take to build wealth for Black people. We kept reflecting on what true financial freedom and wealth-building should look like for Black people, and we knew we had not achieved it. Contrary to images and commentary we grew up with in the media in the 70s, ’80s, and ’90s, it was not because Black people had not worked hard enough and had fought for our freedom and the freedom of others since we they arrived in America in 1619. Our ancestors had done the work even though they had been stripped of their generational wealth and even lost their lives in the fight for more freedom for our generation. So we knew that even though the statistics on Black wealth being at $0 looked bleak, we could not give up the fight. We had to create a movement to make change for all Black people.

A SAFE-HAVEN

And so, we initiated what became known as the Onyx Sunday Sessions. What started as an intimate gathering of four friends quickly expanded to include people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to discuss crucial issues affecting the Black community. These Sunday Sessions went beyond mere meetings; they served as safe havens for having open dialogue, sharing collective wisdom. and exploring ways to build generational wealth. The Onyx community is now a thriving, intergenerational network of over 500 Black community leaders ranging from their 20s to their 70s with a common purpose: achieving true freedom for Black people through collective wealth-building endeavors.

SHARING THE ENERGY

As more experienced Onyx members shared lessons learned from their own experiences during our Sunday sessions, members who were beginning their own journeys were inspired to take action. Since then, several members have purchased their first homes, established their own businesses, and started saving and investing. After witnessing the huge impact this group had just by supporting and uplifting one another, they decided we couldn’t just keep this to themselves, it needs to be replicated across the country.

A MISSION TO EMPOWER

In 2023, the Onyx Black Wealth Collective was transformed into a nonprofit with a mission to educate and empower current and future Black leaders and changemakers with the knowledge and tools necessary to change the trajectory for Black wealth exponentially forward. We have learned that when we pursue wealth-building not just as a personal journey but as a shared responsibility, it will lead to a brighter future for all.

Shawna Young, Co-Founder

MEET THE ONYX BLACK WEALTH COLLECTIVE

TEAM + BOARD

Cambridge, MA

SHAWNA YOUNG

Co-Founder, Board Chair

Washington, DC

AUDREY HIPKINS

Co-Founder, Board Treasurer

Fulton, MD

JEREL REGISTRE

Co-Founder, Board Secretary

Las Vegas, NV

LAWRENCE BASS

Director

New York, NY

Kamille Stewart

Director

Chantilly, VA

IMANI SOWAH

Manager of Communications and Marketing

ADVISORS

Chicago, IL

KEVIN OZENNE

Advisor

Las Vegas, NV

PAULA SNEED

Advisor

Wharton, TX

REGGIE VAN LEE

Advisor