#20SDS gives black millennials space

Whitney Daniel, founder of 20 Something Doin' Something

#20SDS gives black millennials space
August 02
10:14 2018

For the past three summers, entrepreneurs, artists and other creatives in the Triad area have come together to celebrate black art, fashion, music, culture during the 20 Something Doin’ Something (#20SDS) event in Winston-Salem.

The brainchild of the event, city native and Parkland High School graduate Whitney Daniel, said #20SDS began as an opportunity to cultivate space for black millennials, entrepreneurs, artists and other individuals in the area to network and meet likeminded people.

Daniel said, when she returned to the city after finishing undergrad at Meredith College in Raleigh, she realized that despite the many changes around town, there still wasn’t many places for black millennials to go and have a good time. She said it’s frustrating when you come from a place where African-Americans are hosting their own art exhibits and music festivals and then you come back to your hometown and that’s not the case. 

“I know if I’m a creative and I feel this way and I want to do these different things, how are other people feeling, so that’s actually what made me start it,” continued Daniel. “… 20 Something Doin’ Something is a way to change the social landscape and support each other. If you support these photographers and these fashion designers, then they’re able to flourish in their hometown and they don’t have to leave.

“That’s really what it is with 20 Something Doin’ Something, it’s taking all these different talents who aren’t getting noticed and giving them a space to showcase their talents.” 

The first #20SDS event was held at the Delurk Art Gallery and featured a fashion show, and showcased several local clothing brands, nonprofits and artists. Daniel said with the first event she just wanted to gain support, and that’s exactly what she did. Each year since the first #20SDS in 2015, the event has grown tremendously, and this year it’s expected to be bigger than ever.

“With the first one, I wanted people to get this attitude of support. Just saying come out support these people. Support these brands because to me on the backend, if we support each other, that’s how we change the social landscape,” said Daniel. “That’s how we change the black economy. That’s how jobs are created.”

Daniel said each year she tries to add something new to the event. She said although she had high expectations when she started the event, she is surprised to see how the event has grown.

#20SDS is scheduled for Aug. 10-12 at various locations in downtown Winston-Salem. For a complete list of events and to purchase tickets visit

This year, over three consecutive days, #20SDS attendees can expect panel discussions, live podcast tapings, art installations, interactive games, live music performances and much more. Essentially, the event has something for everyone regardless of age.

“It’s for everybody. I want 30-somethings to come. I want people who are younger than 20-something to come. It’s so you can support basically the future,” said Daniel when discussing #20SDS. “Because if you support these 20-somethings who have these ideas, imagine what it could bring to Winston.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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