Black men don't just set trends.
They shape culture.
What will you create?


Movember is building a collective of inspirational digital creators who will motivate young Black men across the nation to step into their human potential, take good care of themselves, and thrive.

The Movember Rooted and Rising Collective 2021 consists of 10 brilliant emerging digital creators who are elevating their businesses, nurturing their well-being, and creating content that inspires young Black men to live happier, healthier, longer lives.

instagram icon @rootedandrisingcollective



Photo of Benjamin Abiola


Benjamin Abiola

instagram icontiktok icon

Benjamin Abiola is a multi-hyphenate creator based in Los Angeles, CA. Ben co-directed and wrote his first short film 'The Break In' under his production company Don't Wait Create. Ben has since written, directed, and starred in many award-winning films like: 'The Spot Is Mine', 'The Ticket', and 'December 21st'. Don’t Wait Create is a digital production company that independently challenges the status quo. In lieu of waiting on industry validation, the company writes and produces original content (films, commercials, and sketches) while collaborating with artists on both sides of the lens to produce high-quality, reel-worthy content.

Photo of Princeton Brown


Princeton Brown

instagram iconyoutube icon

Princeton Brown is an award-winning music producer, songwriter, audio engineer, and recording artist. He has worked with Grammy-winning recording artists as well as won awards for soundtrack film productions. Princeton is also an educator teaching skills in music production and business for music creatives. As a full-time working music creative, he strives to give back to the community through educational content on social media and YouTube. Princeton is a firm believer that the power of sound and music can bring peace and healing to the world, for music is the language we all speak.

Photo of Richard Cannon


Richard Cannon

instagram icontiktok icon

Richard Cannon was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. He graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and TechnicalState University with a degree in Journalism. During his time in school, he started creating content for social media and upon graduation relocated to Los Angeles, CA to pursue a career in the film industry. He has produced over 500 pieces of original work and founded his own production company, Booming Productions. Cannon's content consists of dramedy and special effects. His message to the world is to "believe in your creativity."

Photo of Justin Coleman


Justin Coleman

instagram icontiktok icon

Quiet during the day, quite loud after work, Justin Coleman is a content creator with a passion for knowledge, comedy, and horror. From Los Angeles, CA, Justin has always been intrigued by writing and directing movies and taught himself how to use various video editing so ware to make his own content to share. Justin found success in creating videos on TikTok centered around short comedy sketches based on random facts found online, leading to several sponsored deals and promotions. As someone who values mental wellbeing, Justin’s ultimate goal is to create content that relieves stress by building a sustainable brand and career out of producing comedy and horror content.

Photo of Vaughn Dabney


Vaughn Dabney

instagram icon

Vaughn Dabney is a best-selling author and so ware engineer of 14 years. Vaughn has made recent headlines by living in a tiny home he built inside a delivery truck. His home, which is powered by solar panels and includes a kitchen, full bathroom, and a Murphy bed, has been featured on NBC's "Today Show" and "Open House". Vaughn's latest company, Unoma Haus was launched in September 2020 which designs and builds high-quality, solar-powered van conversions for people to rent and live in. The company's focus is on community and building cities and hubs based on regenerative building, experiential living, and the human connection.

Photo of Xavier D'Leau


Xavier D'Leau

instagram iconyoutube icon

Xavier D'Leau is a blogger, vlogger, social commentator, and digital content creator living in Los Angeles, CA. He writes about the everyday musings of what it is to be a Black male in a large city at Xavier takes his social commentary to his Spotify Partner podcast, Jade + XD. He’s also a multi-award-winning producer for the second season of the web series Quarter Century and a featured speaker at the 2015 TEDx Conference.

Photo of Jesse Martin


Jesse Martin

instagram icontiktok icon

Jesse is a writer, producer, and actor with credits ranging from comedy to drama on multiple award-winning projects. Currently, a staff writer on Richard Jefferson's 'The Sports Gap', Jesse also has a body of accomplished original work such as the film 'Blind Currency', the co-written film 'Black Theory', and original TV pilot 'Columbia'. Jesse performs stand-up comedy around LA and NYC, having hosted and performed at shows with comedians and writers from 'Comedy Central', 'Conan', 'The Daily Show', and more. As an actor, Jesse is SAG-Eligible and has appeared in multiple Co-Star roles on Investigation Discovery, the feature film 'The Fearless Two', and commercial advertisements for GQ, Uber Eats, and Degree for Men among others.

Photo of Alonzo Russel


Alonzo Russel

instagram icontiktok iconyoutube icon

Alonzo is a small-town boy with a voice that can move the world. As an America’s Got Talent semi-finalist, Alonzo was the first lead singer to be approved to sing on the '4 U' Prince Tour. In the Fall of 2020, Alonzo debuted 'Sexin’ You' at #21 on iTunes, which went on to become his first Grammy contending single. In 2021, Alonzo released his debut album “Enough” reaching #14 on the iTunes Rock charts. With a background that includes four sold-out tours across Asia and singing background vocals for Christina Aguilera, Alonzo continues to push the boundaries of the independent artist. Powerful, determined, and fearless, he is a singer, songwriter, dancer, and unmatched performer.

Photo of Dennis Williams II


Dennis Williams II

instagram iconlinkedin icon

Dennis Williams II is a writer and director who first studied theatre as a playwright in college before getting his first gig as a comedy writer for 'Funny or Die'. Currently, a staff writer on Richard Jefferson's 'The Sports Gap', Dennis’s credentials include creating an award-winning short, 'Note to Self', creating, writing, and directing the comedy 'Payroll', writing and directing 'Clout'. He was chosen as a LinkedIn Top Voice in both 2016 and 2017, and was 1 of 8 fellows accepted into Vanishing Angle’s 'Short to Feature Lab'. Dennis has been recognized for his unique story of overcoming homelessness and is now mostly focused on the pre-production of his feature film Unicorn.

Photo of Bradford Wilson


Bradford Wilson

instagram icontiktok icon

Bradford Wilson is an award-winning actor, filmmaker and former college golfer. Focusing on his love of golf, he shares his unique perspective on social media to bring conversations such as Blackness in golf and diversity and inclusion in golf, mental health, and much more to the forefront. Bradford co-created a podcast, 'Group Golf Therapy', where interviews are conducted with current and former professional golfers and golf industry professionals, not about how well they play, but about how they are doing. As a prominent golf personality and host, Bradford’s sights are set on turning 'The Bradford Wilson Golf Show' into a digital series.


Movember Rooted and Rising is an 11-week creative training program that brings together a collective of emerging creators and is working with them to provide tailored support for each participant's creative, business, and personal goals.

The creators are being supported in:

  • Defining and building their creative brand

  • Navigating digital platforms to their advantage

  • Growing their audiences and engaging them more deeply

  • Preparing themselves for professional representation

  • Advancing their content development and creation

  • Sustainably monetizing their creative output

Growing a business is only part of being a successful creative. Creators thrive by also taking good care of themselves, giving back to their community, and looking out for those coming up behind them.

The program also provides:

  • Tools to thrive personally and professionally while managing the stresses of growing a creative business.

  • Storytelling approaches to encourage wellbeing practices within their audiences

  • In the tradition of griots and bards, ways to harness the power of their creativity for positive social impact.

All participants receive a stipend of $5,000.



The program is closed for applications for 2021, but if you would be interested in applying in 2022, follow our Instagram account for the latest information.

instagram icon @rootedandrisingcollective

We are looking for emerging Black male digital creators in the LA area – individuals who have moderate experience and need some support to rise to the next level. You can be any kind of creator or creative hyphenate (musician, influencer, comic, dancer, etc.) across any genre (entertainment, pop culture, lifestyle, documentary). Your work just needs to focus on digital platforms – (TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, etc.).

We need to know you’re great at engaging your audience, so we’re looking for creators who have at least 20k followers across their channels – and no more than 200k on any one channel. We want to build a community of creators who are at similar professional stages so they can learn as much from each other as they will from the experts leading the program.

Social impact is at the core of this program, so we also need people who have the ambition to make a difference – who strive for personal success, but also want to create positive social change in the community around them.



How long is the program?
- The current program is running for three months starting September 1st

Who should apply to this?
- See above for details on the creators we are looking to join the collective.

Will it cost me money?
- No. It will only cost you time, full participation, and commitment to the process.
- You will receive a $5,000 stipend for successful participation.

What do I need to do in return for this support?
- We need creators who will commit to the full 11-week program and will approach each session with positive energy and openness to learn.
- With the goal of helping young Black men across the nation thrive, each participant will create 2-3 pieces of content. The content will share some of the mental wellbeing techniques and approaches they learn during the program with their audiences.

Who will I be learning from?
- There will be a range of creative industry experts who will be leading each of the workshops. The program overall is being overseen by two world-leading experts in digital creativity and mental well-being for Black men:



Chris Denson

Chris Denson is an award-winning innovation advocate, marketer, host, and humour-inspired content creator. As both a storyteller and practitioner, he is an expert at uncovering unique business insights, cultural touchpoints, technological applications, imaginative thinking, and the emotional intelligence required to bring groundbreaking ideas to life. From Fortune 50 brands to startups to government entities, he has applied his expertise to help individuals and organizations increase their innovation potential. He is the author of the 2018 Amazon #1 bestseller, "Crushing the Box: 10 Essential Rules for Breaking Essential Rules," creator and host of the Innovation Crush podcast series, and currently serves as the first-ever US Director of Innovation at MullenLowe, an award-winning IPG creative agency.


Dr. Derek Griffith, PhD

Dr. Derek M. Griffith is a Founding Co-Director of the Racial Justice Institute at Georgetown University, Founder and Director of the Center for Men’s Health Equity, and Professor of Health Systems Administration and Oncology. Trained in psychology and public health, Dr. Griffith’s program of research focuses on developing strategies to achieve racial, ethnic and gender equity in health. He has particular expertise in considering the role of structural racism as a determinant of health. Dr. Griffith also specializes in multi-level interventions to improve Black and Latinx men’s health and well-being that use an intersectional approach and consider biological, psychological, and social factors.

The Rooted and Rising Collective is being offered by Movember in partnership with SecondMuse.

SecondMuse is an impact and innovation company that builds resilient economies by supporting entrepreneurs and the ecosystems around them. They do this by designing, developing, and implementing a mix of innovation programming and investing capital. From Singapore to San Francisco, SecondMuse programs define inspiring visions, build lasting businesses, and unite people across the globe. Over the last decade, they’ve designed and implemented programs on 7 continents with 600+ organizations such as NASA, The World Bank, and Nike. To find out more about how SecondMuse is positively shaping the world, visit