Featured Yelitsa Jean-Charles keynote speaker healthy roots entrepreneurship diversity inclusion
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Traveling From

Detroit, MI, USA

Tags: Activism / Diversity & Inclusion / Entrepreneurship / Social Change & Issues / Startup / The Arts & Design


Yelitsa Jean-Charles never had a doll that looked like her growing up. The one time her parents gave her a black doll, she burst into tears because it wasn’t the “pretty one”. Since then, Yelitsa has made it her goal to make sure that no other children feel the way she did about her own appearance growing.

While in her Junior year studying Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design, Yelitsa redesigned the fairy tale Character Rapunzel as a brown girl with beautiful kinky hair. After speaking with classmates and friends. she saw the opportunity to address the demonstrated need for more diverse toys and representation in children’s publishing.

With a grant from Brown University Social Innovation Fellowship, support from the RISD E’Ship Program, Masschallenge Accelerator program and 674 dedicated Kickstarter backers, Healthy Roots was born.

Yelitsa has gone from not knowing how to do her own hair at the age 21 to teaching young girls all about their own.

Since starting Healthy Roots in 2015, Yelitsa has graduated from RISD with a BFA in Illustration and a concentration in Gender, Race & Sexuality. She was most recently recognized on Essence’s 2017 50 Founders to Watch list and won the Startup Stampede as well as the New Voices Fund Pitch competition.


How Black Girl Magic Can Change the World

Yelitsa looks to the options society provides to girls of color and considers a more diverse & inclusive future powered by women entrepreneurs.

Yelitsa Jean-Charles can speak to topics around entrepreneurship, art & design, culture competency, diversity & inclusion, and social justice.



“If ANYBODY is gonna oppress and mistreat black and brown people, it’s gonna be US!” - the USA

My friend and I were not 30 secs out of our car on the street before a whole pack of men circled us and badgered us for our numbers.

Sometimes I truly just feel sorry for men that act like this.

Utterly embarrassing. For them.

someone on here said something like "people don't get more conservative as they age, rich conservatives just outlive poor radicals" and i haven't stopped thinking about it since

If I'm being honest, the only reason a husband seems appealing is finally being able to buy house and having a permanent living situation so I no longer have to live with people who are . . . I have nothing nice to say.

Cleaning is all fun and games until I see a spider. Nope nope nope.

But the question remains, does wearing makeup during the day age you period?

These boys so blessed that Russell is saved or it would be ova.

Real hot girl business moves. Eeeeehhhhh.

THIS is what Beyoncé meant when she said brown skin girl!!!

I don't know what's going on but I haven't had a break out or seriously bad pimple in a month.