Pull Up, Powered by Patreon, Uplifts BIPOC Creators

By Gabrielle Pharms | April 21, 2022

The creative economy has experienced explosive growth and potential opportunities. Yet, while this exciting development is taking place, BIPOC creators are paid a third less (29%) than their white counterparts, according to a 2021 study conducted by MSL. However, Pull Up, powered by Patreon, launched today, aims to bridge this gap. The new initiative and creative community – conceptualized by creators of color for creators of color – will provide resources at any stage of their journey, including access to capital, content, and community to help them build sustainable and profitable businesses.

See more: Harlem’s Fashion Row Founder Brandice Daniel On the Importance of Knowing Your Why

Hewan Abebe, the head of creator initiatives at Patreon, spearheads this new effort. Though working in tech, Abebe tells EDITION she’s “first and foremost a creator.” After spending most of her career as a singer-songwriter and working with musicians over the last decade, she noticed the challenges every creator of color encounters. “There is wildly different access to tools, networks, and exposure that Black and brown creators rarely have the benefit of when compared to our white peers. When you add all of that up, it’s often the determining factor in who will and won’t be ‘successful,’” Abebe says. “Understanding and overcoming these challenges is what equipped me to serve creators in the Creator Success function at Patreon. From there, I got the opportunity to design a different way of amplifying creators with Pull Up and further apply that approach as the Head of Creator Initiatives.”

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Pictured above: Team of experts helps RT TV build a chart-topping podcast.

Committed to amplifying the voices, art, and creations of creators of color while also addressing challenges head-on, Abebe and the Pull Up team look forward to paying it forward. She adds, “We often joke that we wish Pull Up was around when we were just getting started in our creative careers.” The team behind Pull Up curated a group of creative partners to launch the program. By providing inspiration and mentorship, these creative partners are “pulling up” other creators in the community.

Abebe states, “Pull Up is a ‘generative ecosystem,’ where creators of color can learn from and grow with one another and Pull Up’s creative partners, industry leaders like Issa Rae’s HOORAE, Blair Imani, RT TV, Jade Novah, Amanda Seales' Smart Funny & Black, Tina Yu, and many more.” Moreover, Pull Up’s creative partners receive resources to rev their business growth while contributing to the success of other fellow creators – a win-win for everyone involved.

The creative partners of Pull Up include the following:

  • Issa Rae's HOORAE: Founded by Issa Rae, HOORAE is a multi-faceted media company that develops content across mediums and genres in an effort to continue to break boundaries in storytelling and representation
  • Blair Imani: Award-winning educator, author & historian of Black, Queer & Muslim identity
  • Amanda Seales' Smart Funny & Black
  • Durand Bernarr: R&B Singer, songwriter, producer, and actor
  • Jade Novah: Singer and songwriter
  • Tina Yu: Chinese born, New York-based sculptor and artist
  • RT TV: Video and podcast franchise
  • Tim Chantarangsu: Video creator, rapper, and host of the No Chaser podcast
  • Bunny Michael: A spiritual coach and multidisciplinary artist

“Our goal for Pull Up is simple: to provide creatives of color with the content, capital, and community they need to build and scale their businesses and find true success doing what they love,” Abebe says. Anyone who identifies as a creator can join the Pull Up community, whether or not you have a Patreon account. Click here to learn more and apply to join this extraordinary collective.

Photography by: Justin Bretter