Shanique Yates

AFROTECH STAFF

Shanique Yates

Shanique Liz Yates is an Atlanta-based journalist and content creator with a passion for storytelling on a range of topics that include business, culture, entertainment, and news. Her work can be found across platforms like aspireTV, REVOLT, BAUCE, and more!

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Giannis Antetokounmpo Recalls Walking Away From An Adidas Deal That Didn't Fulfill Its Terms To Sign His Brother Thanasis Too

The Antetokounmpo family doesn’t play when it comes to their own. Nike has been a long supporter of Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family since the very beginning of his career in 2013, and it’s also what encouraged the NBA superstar to pass on another endorsement deal with one of the athletic apparel company’s competitors. According to Bleacher Report, during an appearance on the “Thanalysis Show,” Antetokounmpo recalled the moment he decided to walk away from a deal at Adidas because he was in a position where he needed to help support his family. After an initial offer featuring a deal for both Giannis and his brother Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Adidas backtracked on the plan, prompting Giannis to turn down the proposal. “[An Adidas representative] brought the contract and put it in front of me, and I’m like, ‘Okay great, where is my brother’s?’” Antetokounmpo explained, per Bleacher Report. “And he was like, ‘We’re not going to sign your brother’s today. You’re going to sign yours,...

Shanique Yates

Apr 19, 2024

Richelieu Dennis’ Sundial Media Group, Which Is Home To Essence, Afropunk, And More, Acquires Refinery29

Sundial Media Group is adding another media conglomerate to its portfolio. According to a news release shared with AFROTECH™, Richelieu Dennis’ Sundial Media Group (SMG) has officially acquired Refinery29 (R29), a creative digital media and entertainment platform focusing on multigenerational women. The company previously belonged to the Vice Media umbrella. “We’re very excited about the expansive ecosystem we’re building at Sundial Media Group. R29 is an incredible brand with a phenomenal team that will play an important role in reimagining how media serves the need for connection, culture, and commerce in these distinct, but complementary communities of the New General Market,” said Dennis in a press statement. In addition to the acquisition, it has also been announced that Cory Haik will serve as R29 CEO and the company will operate as a standalone business within SMG. “We’ve been admiring the work of this R29 team for a while, and we’re excited to see what they will now do...

Shanique Yates

Apr 19, 2024

In 3 Years Since Joining The Utah Jazz Ownership Group, Dwyane Wade Has Watched Its Valuation Go From $1.75B To $3.46B

Never underestimate the power of a good hobby! Following his retirement from the NBA, Dwyane Wade, like many greats who have since left the league, picked up a new golfing habit, which ultimately led him to become a minority owner in the NBA team Utah Jazz. According to Boardroom, the move made in 2021 by Wade continues to get better with time. When he initially joined the ownership group, the former Miami Heat star saw the team at a valuation of $1.75 billion. Today that number has increased to $3.46 billion, per an April 16 Instagram post by Boardroom. “If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore,” said Wade on social media at the time of the deal. “Second act activated.”   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Boardroom (@boardroom) The Sporting News reports that the deal was made possible thanks to a friendship between the majority owner, Ryan Smith, and Wade that began on the golf course. Smith, a billionaire whose fortune was...

Shanique Yates

Apr 18, 2024

UNC System Board Of Governors' Committee Approves A Policy That Would Essentially Eliminate DEI Jobs At Public Universities Across North Carolina

A new move made by a group of education officials in North Carolina has the power to do a state-wide sweep of programs committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at public universities. According to The News & Observer, the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors’ University Governance Committee has approved “a policy that repeals the university system’s existing policy and regulation on diversity and inclusion.” The move will reportedly disband laws in place requiring all 17 public campuses within the state of North Carolina to employ diversity officers as well as drive efforts toward a common goal of fulfilling diversity-related measures. A University of North Carolina System Board of Governors committee voted in favor of policy that would eliminate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion jobs at NC public universities. There was no discussion. https://t.co/9xQvXJFFG8 — philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 18, 2024 Per the Raleigh, NC-based outlet, the committee held...

Shanique Yates

Apr 18, 2024

McKinley Thompson Jr. Broke Barriers And Developed Concepts That Led To The Bronco, Mustang And More At Ford Motor Co.

From the time he was a kid, McKinley Thompson Jr. was never afraid to chase his dreams, and now everyone has him to thank for the Ford Bronco that the culture grew to know and love. Thanks to Thompson’s imagination and skill, he made history as the first Black designer to be hired by Ford Motor Co., and his first assignment consisted of working at Ford’s advanced design studio in Dearborn, MI, per the Ford media website. His love for cars first began around age 12 when he spotted a silver-gray DeSoto Airflow in Queens, NY, the neighborhood where he was raised. “It just so happened that the clouds opened up for the sunshine to come through,” Thompson recalled in a 2001 interview that was documented by The Henry Ford. “It lit that car up like a searchlight. I was never so impressed with anything in all my life. I knew that’s what I wanted to do – I wanted to be an automobile designer.” While serving as an Army Signal Corps in World War II, Thompson learned drafting and began work as...

Shanique Yates

Apr 17, 2024

With Over 100 Patents, 74 Of Them Being Created While At Disney, Future Maker And Inventor Lanny Smoot Is Shaping A Better Tomorrow

With more than 100 patents under his belt, Lanny Smoot has never been afraid to take his imagination to the next level. As a Disney Research Fellow, Smoot is in a position where he has access to a different type of freedom — one that helps him explore different concepts and bring them to life. As previously reported by AFROTECH™, Smoot was inducted into the 2024 National Inventors Hall of Fame. He’s also the first Disney Imagineer to receive the honor and the second in the company, aside from Walt Disney himself. “To be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame means that you’ve made inventions that have changed the world in some sense, right? And it’s a great honor,” he told AFROTECH™ from his Walt Disney office in Los Angeles during an event to unveil the latest Disney Imagineer contributions, including the all-new Princess Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Animatronics.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Disney Parks (@disneyparks) “I didn’t know when the induction...

Shanique Yates

Apr 12, 2024

Duke University Has Officially Ended Its Full-Ride Scholarship For Black Students In Need Of Financial Assistance

Duke University is the latest higher educational institute to make changes following the 2023 Supreme Court ruling that ended affirmative action in admissions. According to its student publication The Chronicle, the North Carolina college has officially discontinued its Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholarship Program. Since its inception in 1979, the merit scholarship was created for Black undergraduates, some of whom were required to demonstrate the need for financial assistance. It covered the cost of full tuition as well as room and board for those who were selected to be a part of the program. Duke University announced it is ending a full-ride scholarship program for Black students in the wake of the Supreme Court’s affirmative action ruling https://t.co/dNK2Rst99y — philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 12, 2024 “It is very much disheartening to hear that this program that opened the door for me to come to Duke is now being closed essentially, even though it will take on a new form,”...

Shanique Yates

Apr 12, 2024

How The McBride Sisters Are 'Changing The Perception Of Wine Being Elitist And Exclusive'

Robin and Andrea McBride have done what most would consider unimaginable within the wine industry, but for them, like most big moments in their lives… every step of the process has been pretty kismet, according to Robin. In 2005, the McBride sisters started their wine journey when they began importing grapes from New Zealand (called Aotearoa by the indigenous Maori people) . By 2009, they began to cultivate juices together, and before they knew it, in 2017, the sisters began producing wine straight from their respective homes in Monterey, CA, and New Zealand under the McBride Sisters Collection label that they are known for today. When recalling what makes her most proud of this journey, Robin honed in on their initial vision and mission for entering the wine industry, and that was “changing the perception of wine being elitist and exclusive.”

Shanique Yates

Apr 11, 2024

Westbound Announces $100M Fund To Be Used To Support Black, Latin And Diversity-Driven Startups

Something new is on the horizon when it comes to investing in companies that are often overlooked and underserved, and these Black founders are helping to lead the charge. According to Forbes , Westbound Equity Partners, a venture capitalist firm spearheaded by former nonprofit director Sean Mendy is on a mission to pour millions into companies led by Black, Latin, and diversity-driven founders. “We aren’t investing in underrepresented founders as this altruistic thing,” Mendy told the outlet. “This fund is about investing in the best companies and performance. Explicit impact is what we’re doing on the foundation side.” Since its inception in 2019, the firm formerly known as Concrete Rose Capital has managed to invest in over 40 startups as well as tap into what Mendy says is “the diversity opportunity,” which provides capital to underrepresented founders, especially Black and Latino companies. What’s more, there is a key focus on startups with goals of serving their communities....

Shanique Yates

Apr 11, 2024

Here's Why Dame Dash's Ownership In Roc-A-Fella Could Be Up For Grabs Within 6 Months

Damon Dash’s shares in record label Roc-A-Fella Records may soon be no more. According to a report by Rolling Stone, despite his estranged relationship with fellow Roc-A-Fella owners — music mogul Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Kareem “Biggs” Burke — all have remained connected to the label on paper. However, this could all change soon. The latest development in ownership occurred in February 2024 when “a New York judge ordered Roc-A-Fella Inc. to deliver Dash’s company shares to the US Marshals to satisfy a $823,000 judgment from movie producer Josh Webber and Muddy Water Films.” The judgement was the result of a 2019 lawsuit against Dash led by Webber and the production company, accusing him of defamation and copyright infringement related to the movie, “Dear Frank,” according to Rolling Stone. Dash had been fired as its director and allegedly attempted to sell the movie on his own under a new title, “The List.” Manhattan lawyer Richard Roth of The Roth Law Firm stated that the most...

Shanique Yates

Apr 10, 2024

Sean 'Diddy' Combs Sells All Shares In Revolt, But The New Owner Of The Company Remains A Mystery

While Sean “Diddy” Combs has sold all shares in Revolt, speculation remains about the company’s new mystery buyer. In a previous report shared by AFROTECH™, the transaction, which is said to be “amicable and has left everyone happy,” still does not disclose who the new company owner is or the deal’s value. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Revolt launched in 2013 and was created as a first-of-its-kind channel in the cable television network space. The company honed in on how millennials, also known as the generation of “cord-cutters,” were disrupting how music and entertainment were consumed. “You have more and more bands and artists going across the whole ecosystem. Music is very healthy,” Keith Clinkscales, who helped launch Vibe magazine and former Revolt chief executive officer (CEO), told the outlet in 2013. He added, “To have a place that can be the center of that, we would like to earn that position by reaching our fans well. We have to have good access and engage with the artists,...

Shanique Yates

Mar 29, 2024

Diddy Sells All Shares In Revolt, New Owner Remains Anonymous But Reportedly Has 'A Deep Passion For Black Culture'

Months after music executive Sean “Diddy” Combs announced that he was stepping down as chairman of Revolt TV, a music-oriented digital cable television network, the company has been sold to an anonymous buyer. According to TMZ, the Hip-Hop mogul sold all his shares in the company he founded in 2013 alongside Andy Schuon. However, the person who made the purchase as well as the transaction amount remain unknown. The outlet’s sources reveal that the purchaser is said to “share a deep passion for Black culture.” Moreover, a formal introduction of the television network’s new owner is set to be revealed in the next few weeks. While Diddy’s last order of business with the company is selling it, sources say that it is “an amicable deal” and that “everyone’s happy,” per the outlet. As previously reported by Variety, the rapper and record producer launched Revolt TV from the childhood home of his friend and former Bad Boy Records artist, the late great Notorious B.I.G., or simply Biggie....

Shanique Yates

Mar 27, 2024

How Lara Adekoya's Pandemic Hobby Bloomed Into A Brick-And-Mortar Bakery In A Historically Black LA Neighborhood

What started as a hobby during the pandemic quickly launched Lara Adekoya into entrepreneurship, selling cookies to consumers in Los Angeles, CA, including some of Hollywood’s hottest stars, including Issa Rae, Lena Waithe and others. Today, Adekoya is taking things one step further by launching her very first brick-and-mortar for Fleurs et Sel. “I’m really happy and I’m just ready,” Adekoya told AFROTECH™. “I feel like I’ve been ready to make this jump or transition for a while. As you know, it’s not something that’s happened overnight.” In a previous interview with Adekoya,  AFROTECH™ learned the backstory to how she launched her business, which has grown rapidly over roughly four years. Fast-forward to the present day, she says there wasn’t a specific incident that encouraged her to open a bakery, but it will be in a historically Black and brown neighborhood in Los Angeles. “I’m opening in West Adams, which is a historically Black and brown neighborhood in LA that has been...

Shanique Yates

Mar 22, 2024

Allen Iverson Had To ‘Learn The Hard Way’ Due To Not Having A Plan After Retirement — ‘I Never Had A Blueprint, I’d Be Lying If I Acted Like I Had A Plan'

Allen Iverson is a cultural icon, and the influence that he’s had on the NBA still rings true today, but his moves outside of the game are just as impactful. Nicknamed “The Answer” for his ability to deliver on the court, the Virginia native says his decision to take his talents and skills to the next level to provide for his loved ones was a no-brainer, but it did come at a cost. “When you love the people that you love, you act accordingly,” he told AFROTECH™ during an interview. “You react off of what makes your heart beat. Business-wise, it’s not the best thing in the world to do. It took me a long time to implement the word ‘no’ into my vocabulary. It has its ups and downs, but, to me, I don’t know about anybody else. There’s really no blueprint to how you do it. I just think you let God handle it.” As someone who has never shied away from being himself, Iverson appreciates partnering with brands that don’t attempt to change him. Moreover, it’s been his recipe for success since...

Shanique Yates

Mar 21, 2024

How Emeline King Made History As Ford Motor Company's First Black Woman Car Designer And Became The Interior Designer For The 1994 Ford Mustang

Meet Emeline King, the woman who developed the interior design of one of America’s most beloved cars. According to the Ford Performance blog, after 80 years of business, Ford Motor Company hired its first Black female car designer, Emeline King, who would soon help the company develop the concept that led to the interior design of the 1994 Ford Mustang. Her father, Earnest O. King Sr. — a Ford Motor Company fabrication specialist — introduced Emeline King to the brand at a very young age. Ultimately, Emeline King “fell in love with the 1968 Ford Mustang” after taking a trip with her father to the auto show; as they say, the rest was history.   View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Something Black Made ® (@somethingblackmade) “I loved to play with toy cars when I was a child. It was an insult to give me a doll,” said King to Ford. King was raised in Detroit, MI, the place dubbed the Motor City for its role in the Industrial Revolution and home to many of the automotive...

Shanique Yates

Mar 20, 2024