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Tommy Johnson Is Flipping The Script On Tokenization

Have you ever been identified as the token [fill in your most visible identity] representative?

Perhaps someone asked you, as the only Black person in the room, what the group can do to make people of color feel more included. Or maybe someone invited you into a committee to offer your perspective as Queer, Latina or differently abled.

Even if you haven’t experienced this yourself, you’ve definitely seen it on TV, in movies, and in other media. The token minority is a well-known and tired trope.

Being identified as the “token” is not flattering or empowering. It reduces a person to a single aspect of their identity and completely ignores their unique contributions.

Now, in the age of the blockchain, tokenizing has taken on a whole new meaning. And Tommy Johnson, Chief Education Officer at Made With Black Culture, is leveraging it to change the game for Black creators.

I sat down with Johnson at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to learn more about his nonprofit, Originals Nation, and their first incubated enterprise, Made With Black Culture.


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