Named 2022’s Woman of the Year by USA Today, Kimberly Renee is a sought-after speaker, powerful storyteller and commentator, and internationally-awarded social activist.
She’s known for her advocacy work, uncovering hidden truths in history, and creating programs to improve the lives of those in historically marginalized communities.
In 2020, she founded the internationally award-winning plant-based national hunger relief effort Food Love by Might Be Vegan to serve those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving particular attention to needs within BIPOC communities and people under medical care.
In 2022, she was inducted into Meta’s 2022 We The Culture class.
She and her work have been featured in the New York Times, The Guardian, Marie Claire, VegNews, and Essence, to name a few.
Passionate about all things justice, intersectional environmentalism, and plant-based living, Kimberly is a multi-hyphenate creator, producer, chef, actor, and singer with a bachelor of science in marketing from HBCU North Carolina A&T State University.
Charlotte, North Carolina. Kimberly Renee, widely known as an unapologetic storyteller and award-winning changemaker linked to uncovering buried history and amplifying the work of the African diaspora, creates a permanent collection of virtual and in-person self-guided tours, “Black in Time Tours,” proudly sponsored by Black-owned, community-centered footwear brand Saysh, founded by Olympian Allyson Felix.
What inspired the start of “Black in Time Tours”?
We’re in a time where Black stories are under attack. And the organizations we trust to steward our historical legacies seem to care more about appearing favorable to local government than telling the truth.
I wanted to create a permanent free-to-access exhibition that transports audiences into the Black past, giving them a taste of the sights and sounds that once were and preserving the historical Black experience.
I wanted something no one could ban or take away from us.
What has been the biggest challenge of running a brand like “Black in Time Tours”?
Time. I would have loved to launch five tours at the same time. However, as one-person research and writing team, I’m limited in how quickly I can put together. Each experience takes three months to develop. But we’re in this for the long run.
How does “Black in Time Tours” impact its local community?
Big picture, the tours drive tourism; people want to experience the history firsthand. The tours also include local points of interest to support small businesses. Most importantly, the tours educate locals on the history buried all around them and invite them to see the spaces they pass every day in a new way. I’ve yet to meet a local who leaves without learning something new.
You recently launched your app with its first tour starting in North Carolina, can you share that experience?
It was time-consuming. Writing and researching the tour while building the app took about six months. I learned so much on this journey about my home state, including lies that were taught to me as a child. We unpack those lies in the tour.
Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 3-5 years?
We will launch at least three tours annually over the next 3-5 years. My goal is to become the destination app for historic tours.
What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs?
One of the most important skills you can learn is how to find funding for your projects. There’s money out there for creative entrepreneurs through fellowships, grants, residencies, brand partnerships, Go-Fund-Me style platforms, and more. If you’ve spent time cultivating your craft and have something to offer the world, you can get paid to do it.
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