Millennials are the most diverse generation in history. According to the White House Millennial Report, 40 percent of millennials are people of color. Blavity, a media startup founded by Morgan Debaun, is hoping to give a voice to this generation.
Debaun was inspired to create Blavity after feeling misrepresented and left out of mainstream media. “I got tired of consuming all this content which did not speak to the issues me and my friends were facing. Blavity is for millennials who are not represented by mainstream media.”
Debaun started the company by curating video newsletters, but after realizing the Blavity blog received more traffic, she began to focus on written content. Now, the site features exclusive articles on race and identity, news, and social issues.
Started in the midst of social media movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, Debaun saw that “coverage was happening live on Twitter and would take days to come out on news sites.”
Her solution with Blavity is to produce immediate content written by millennials of color facing the same issues they’re writing about. She says the site is receiving nearly 1 million visits per month. Many of their articles have gone viral such as “21 Things Black Men Don’t Hear Often Enough” and “19 Things Little Black Girls Don’t Hear Often Enough.” The company is only seven people, but they are managing over 40 writers producing content on their site.
Debaun’s future plans for Blavity go beyond the written content. “Blavity is ultimately a tech lifestyle brand. We create content and experiences on and offline targeting underrepresented millennials.”
Offline, Blavity produces merchandise and hosts gatherings around large events like the Essence Festival and Afropunk. Next year, the company will launch an iOS app to further build community through connecting the conversations people are having online. The app will help their readers share content, as well as suggest people to follow based on various issues or events.
Blavity isn’t funded yet, but Debaun is beginning to look for investors. Currently, their revenue stream is advertising, events and clothing merchandise.
“Blavity to me is an ecosystem,” Debaun says. “In the next five years we’ll come up with a variety of products and services, whether it’s apps or experiences, that cater to this audience that no one is paying attention to — these 40 percent of millennials that are always online and have their own unique set of problems.”