By Elevate Dayton's Publisher, Nate Dillard
In March of 2020 when the COVID-19 Pandemic started many entrepreneurs nationwide were left with the realization that things as we knew it would never be the same for America’s economy. As the Co-founder and Publisher of Elevate Dayton and a Veteran-Minority serial Entrepreneur myself I knew that in order to survive the pandemic both of my companies, Elevate Dayton and LunarX Agency must focus on driving massive innovative change within our mission, objectives and operations.
During our journey of overcoming and adapting to the pandemic’s new normal, we made some breakthrough innovations to both Elevate Dayton & LunarX's unique business models. We also shifted our core team's principal focus to be better aligned with finding unique ways to drive editorial and digital solutions that will help empower the growth of our fellow multicultural entrepreneurs, nonprofit changemakers, and economic stakeholders within the Dayton community.
Elevate Dayton’s 2021 Editorial Breakthrough
In order to best represent the Dayton Community’s voice during these trying times the Elevate Dayton team joined forces with its first investors to accelerate and scale operations. The investors are the Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association (MMCA) based in Washington, D.C. The MMCA is a growing group of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) media stakeholders unifying to help fix the media diversity problem. The key pillars of their efforts revolve around building coalitions, awareness and advocacy, constructive engagement, stakeholder assistance and honoring BIPOC media excellence.
Elevate Dayton is the MMCA’s first cohort in its BIPOC media incubator program. The program’s goal is to help BIPOC publishers become self-sustaining and scalable while accelerating their impact. During the incubator Elevate Dayton had a chance to launch a one of a kind digital community software platform, powered by QmeLocal. We also gained valuable advisement from one of the world’s leading media change organizations, Innovation Media Consulting group. The Innovation Media team helped us see that in order to drive more impact we needed to change our business and editorial models from solely covering trending stories. We are now instead focused on driving 12 editorial months of meaningful research and investigative editorial journalism.
During each month we plan to lead intentional deep dives into topics that specifically affect Dayton’s underserved communities. We’ll focus on subjects like food access, entrepreneurial empowerment, healthcare access, women’s empowerment, employment and labor equity, to name a few. Also at the end of each intentional editorial campaign month we plan to hold a dynamic community conversation event where we’ll have real leaders and community members engaging in panel, town hall, and keynote discussions around the topics that affect real Daytonians and Americans daily.
COVID Can’t Stop Us: January 2022 Editorial Campaign
To kick off 2022, our first topic and editorial campaign will focus on how BIPOC, veteran and women-led businesses and nonprofits in the Dayton area have been affected by the pandemic and what they’re doing to rebound. National statistics show that BIPOC, veteran and women-led businesses and nonprofits have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, but how have they been affected at the local level in Dayton? Elevate Dayton will use a combination of coverage leading into a multi-panel discussion with local businesses and nonprofits to find out how these communities have been impacted.
In order to also drive further support and growth to Dayton’s entrepreneurs we will also be announcing some exciting strategic alliances with our partners at the Dayton Business Center, several of Dayton’s economic development organizations, and some other entrepreneurship focused Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI).
With COVID-19 Omicron Variant causing a surge breaking national records at least four times this past week for its seven-day average of new daily Covid-19 cases, reporting an all-time high of more than 386,000 new daily infections. Our staff at Elevate Dayton has decided to kick off the year with our 2022 Campaign Journalism Editorial focused on honoring and empowering the voices of the Dayton multicultural Entrepreneur community.
At Elevate Dayton we believe that if we lead the charge in helping real Daytonians work together to share their experiences, resources, and solutions through our digital platforms then maybe we can make a difference. We also feel that the unpredictability, volatility, and health risks associated with COVID-19 cannot and will not deter our Dayton Entrepreneurial Ecosystem’s resilience. We are “Dayton Strong” and Elevate Dayton hopes to showcase that strength during our first 2022 campaign journalism month.