New Platform Akina is Boosting Black Women’s Success with AI and Community

By Jordi Lippe-McGraw Jordi Lippe-McGraw has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on March 21, 2024

In a world that often overlooks the unique needs and experiences of Black women, a groundbreaking network named Akina has emerged, pledging to be a beacon of empowerment, connection, and resources like AI. Launched with the promise of unlocking unparalleled access to leaders, social connections, vetted resources, and professional opportunities, Akina represents a pioneering step forward in the realm of community-as-a-service platforms. With the support of key partners like Official Black Wall Street, Akina stands out as not just a platform but a movement aimed at fostering sisterhood and providing the tools for Black female entrepreneurs, professionals, mothers, and more to thrive.

Originating from a deep desire to create a dedicated space for Black women to share their personal journeys, connect with those who resonate with their experiences, and learn from experts who truly understand their cultural context, Akina was born out of necessity. The platform’s name, which translates to “strong family bond” in Swahili, encapsulates its mission to empower Black women through vibrant community connections, a curated media hub, and access to leading experts’ vetted resources. This holistic support aims to nurture both personal and professional growth within a safe, inclusive, and empowering community.

Leigh Higginbotham Butler, the CEO and founder of Akina, expressed her motivation, stating, “The algorithms of existing networks and online communities weren’t serving women like me. Akina is revolutionizing how Black women are connected and resourced by providing an intersection between technology and community.” This sentiment reflects the gap in existing platforms to offer a space that truly uplifts Black women, making the launch of Akina a significant milestone for the 22 million Black women across the U.S.

The significance of Akina is further highlighted by its impressive growth. The community expanded over 900% from its private to public beta, attracting thousands of women across 15 countries. This growth underscores the platform’s appeal and the pressing need for such a space among Black women globally.

At the heart of Akina’s mission is the concept of Community-as-a-Service (CaaS). This novel approach leverages culturally competent AI and machine learning technology to bring together experts and organizations. This innovative method ensures that every member of the Akina community feels embraced, seen, heard, and supported, breaking barriers and valuing individual experiences.

Akina’s comprehensive platform offers a range of services tailored specifically to Black women, including community events, monthly coaching, and access to a culturally competent AI guide, Akina Connect. This guide plays a critical role in ensuring that the platform does not inadvertently perpetuate biases or discrimination, recommending app features and resources that align with each member’s cultural background, beliefs, and values.

The platform’s partnerships with organizations like Official Black Wall Street and Mae Health enrich the Akina experience, providing members with access to tools and resources needed to elevate. Mandy Bowman, Founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street, emphasized the importance of this collaboration, stating, “This partnership is not just about business; it’s about building an ecosystem where Black women-owned ventures can flourish.”

Looking ahead, Akina aims to continue expanding its impact, offering more than just a platform but a movement towards greater representation, equity, and solidarity among Black women. With its vision firmly set on empowering Black women to thrive in all aspects of life, Akina is poised to make a significant impact on the U.S. and beyond, ensuring that Black women’s voices are heard, their experiences valued, and their potential unleashed.

By Jordi Lippe-McGraw Jordi Lippe-McGraw has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Jordi Lippe-McGraw is a News Columnist at Grit Daily. A multi-faceted NYC-based journalist, her work on topics from travel to finance have been featured in the New York Times, WSJ Magazine, TODAY, Conde Nast Traveler, and she has appeared on TODAY and MSNBC for her expertise. Jordi has also traveled to more than 30 countries on all 7 continents and is a certified coach teaching people how to leave the 9-to-5 behind.

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