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Category2018

A MEME or a Movement

By: Atika Aliyah

Since September 5, 2018, social media feeds and timelines have been filled with various black and white close-ups of our favorite entertainers, athletes, and politicians, illustrating quotes or sayings these individuals have said, or would say. All of which are parodies playing off of the ad Nike released featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

 

 

The Internet has been undefeated yet again, as they have taken the attitude and tone of the ad and ran with it. Though the MEMEs provide some comic relief to the more serious issues at hand as it pertains to Kaepernick’s activism and resistance. One may pose the question, is this a new trend? To go against the grain and entertain controversy, using it as a vehicle, in this case, to spread awareness and spark conversation on the racial tensions in this country. And if so, does social media have something to do with this new direction?

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It is clear and evident that Nike was taking a risk using Kaepernick as the face for their brand. The release of the ad initially called for a boycott by those who did not support Nike’s decision and the company’s stock took a hit. However, once the smoke cleared and the memes went viral it was later followed by record-setting highs for the Nike Company on Wall Street. Nike was criticized and then praised for their “bad publicity.” But it was publicity nonetheless, and the MEMEs, along with the retweeting and reposting had more to do with it than you think. According to Apex Marketing Group, Nike received more than $43 million worth of media exposure.

Needless to say, the support for Colin Kaepernick by Nike is a great look for the culture. People of color can wear and support the brand with pride and honor. Nike now fits in with the best of them, like rappers J. Cole and Meek Mill who are using their platforms to bring attention to police brutality, criminal justice reform, and many other issues that face black and brown communities in America. Bleacher Report revealed that Meek Mill who is not only a rapper but also an advocate and victim of a corrupt justice system will be releasing a song on his new album that will be about Colin Kaepernick’s story.

 

 

 

Keedie’s Corner Company Review: Nerv

By: Keidra Ponder

As an avid supporter of Atlanta Indie Market I come across many great finds, but I was in awe when I met Dr. Michael Jiang. He was so calm, even cool under the Atlanta sun as shoppers filled the atmosphere. He introduced me to a new supplement that supports mental clarity. When I heard those words my eyes lit up! I have the hardest time staying focused and retaining thoughts. I am one of those people who make to do list just to finish a to do list. The product has zero calories, is caffeine free, and naturally flavored. I love healthy drinks so I was obliged to try it out.

I had a kickball game that I wanted to be ready to play and that’s exactly what I was. The shot didn’t make me feel jittery at all, it made me the polar opposite. I felt at ease as if I could see things in a different light. I felt light on my feet and my head was clear as well. I was able to focus on one task at a time as I picked the most important one to focus on. We had a good game that day and I was still happy even though we lost. Needless to say I am a firm believer in Nerv and I would recommend any and everyone to try it. I had a chance to ask Dr. Michael Jiang a few questions to get a better understanding of Nerv and the science behind it.


Dr. Jiang when and where was Nerv started?

We were founded in 2017. We launched our product in Feb 2018. Started in my kitchen with the formulation and testing. Took it to Emory for focus groups with students. Crowdfunded on Indiegogo and will be launching all across the country at CVS in two weeks!

So what was the vision behind Nerv?

Nerv is all about helping our customers be their best selves and we do that by supporting and destigmatizing the sense of the overwhelming overload we feel day to day. We provide products that help balance brain chemistry so that people can de-stress and re-focus.

What are some of the struggles you have had to overcome to be able to make Nerv a retail product?

The drink market is highly competitive and retail is a difficult space to start in. Fortunately, we have been able to overcome both by differentiating our product from what people are used to seeing and finding shelf space in gyms, pharmacies, and university campuses.

What are some of your highlighted achievements?

We find our greatest satisfaction in hearing from our happy customers that Nerv has been able to help them in their lives and made them happier. Nerv was completely crowdfunded. We have won multiple pitch competitions. Within 6 months of launch, we will be retailing all across the US at CVS!

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Dr. Jiang what is the current status of your company?

We are currently looking to expand our retail reach to more locations. However, anyone anywhere can always find us on the web at www.getnerv.com. We are also seeking investment to fuel our expansion.

Where do you see yourself taking your company in the future?

Nerv’s mission is to provide access to innovative products that help people be their best selves. Right now, we feel stress and anxiety are major problems holding people back from reaching their potential so our product provides an accessible solution. We also aim to provide expert opinion, discussion, and engagement with the community on matters of the brain and mental health at the Nerv Center: https://www.getnerv.com/blogs/nerv-center

What are some unknown facts about your Nerv?

Nerv started because Dr. Michael Jiang wanted to help formulate a solution to help his friends and family de-stress and re-focus. That ultimately resulted in the production of Nerv and made him an accidental entrepreneur when it turned out lots of people needed his solution!

Where did you receive your education? What was your field of study?

I got my bachelors in Neuroscience from Furman University and my Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University. My research focused on translational solutions for neurodegenerative diseases and the treatment of stress and anxiety.

Dr. Jiang where were you born? Give us some background on you as an individual.

I was born in a very normal and poor family from Inner Mongolia. My parents shared $25 a week in salary and we have no car, only bicycles. In 1994, immigration to New Zealand opened up and my parents became the first people in their families to leave China. On my first day of school, I didn’t know any English so I had to improvise sign language to ask to use the bathroom. I got my name because the only Western person my mom knew of at the time was Michael Jackson. I attended elementary school in New Zealand and went to high school in Australia. My family currently resides in Sydney, Australia. I came to the USA on a full scholarship to study Neuroscience at Furman University and I just graduated with my Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2017.

Who are some of your influences in business and in life?

I wouldn’t be able to be where I am today without the help of my parents Andy and Susan, my loving wife MC, and my partners Holly Ash and Graeme Warring.

Do you have any words of encouragement for our readers?

It is hard to set yourself on a journey when you only look at the destination and see that is so far away and the way is so unclear. Instead, just start and soon when you look back you will see how far you have come.

Do you have any networking partners you want to mention?

I would like to thank the Robin Harpak and the Emory Alumni Network, Emory University, CVS, and Rangeme.

 

If you would like more information about Nerv follow the links below:

Community revival, just in time for the back to school season.

 

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Parents if you’re looking for a positive back to school gathering then this is it! The community revival is hosted by the PPG Pastor Prayer Gathering Group, Black Alliance Group and Associate & Leaders. The revival will be a 3-day event beginning on August 1st until August 3rd. The group will unite together for youth prayer at 6:00 PM and the Community Revival will begin at 7:00 PM.

Everyone is welcome to come in unity to pray for our youth before they return back to school. The Panel will speak on matters regarding domestic violence, crime and other issues happening in urban communities. They are already getting a great response from the communities and many members have sent their commitment stating they will be a part of the event.

Minister Sammy L. Jackson states, “People are asking for these types of events here and in other cities. The time is now, we need this in our communities. We are working on our tour and are currently accepting request from individuals who want to have a revival in their community. God has a lot to share with his people who have ears to hear his voice.”

By: Keidra Ponder