We had the good fortune of connecting with Guildia Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Guildia, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The name Brothers and Briefcases came to me in a dream. At the moment, I didn’t know what it meant. This was April 2016. I wrote it down on a piece of paper and placed it inside of a book. That same year I noticed that my anxiety was being heightened due to all of the police brutality and the death of countless black men just like what we are going through now back then it was Philando Castile while we were recovering from Alton Sterlin and the countless black men life cut short at the hands of the police. I knew I couldn’t live like this and I wanted to do something about it. I wanted to highlight Black men in a positive way. I wanted the world to see Black men through my eyes. I wanted them to see them as humans! I called a close friend of mine and I told her I wanted to have an event highlighting Black men from different walks of life. June 2017, I had the 1st Brothers and Briefcases event, now we have a total of 27 alumni.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Brothers and Briefcases is a national professional development initiative, connecting ambitious men of color. Our curated panel discussions take place in various cities throughout the U.S. and cover an array of hot topics centered around race, career, mental health, and current events. I am proud of the fact that we have created a safe space for Black and Brown men, a space where they create brotherhood. I am a Black woman born in Guatemala to Garifuna parents who created a platform for Black and Brown Men. That’s what sets me apart.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Calle Ocho Central Park Harlem Haberdashery Bronx Native I mean so many things to do in NYC. I am drawing a blank.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh man, first I’ll like to give a massive shout out to the almighty for giving me the name in a dream, second my dad for always being such a great example, third my friend Kamilah for being up late night and listening to my vision and lastly to the eight men who believed in the platform and decided to be apart of the first event! (Christopher D, Carlton M, Devan D, Curtis Q, Michael S, Pervis T, Tim G and Kells B).

Website: www.brothersandbriefcases.com
Instagram: Brothersandbriefcases
Facebook: Brothers&briefcases

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