The Wellness House experience at the ESSENCE Culture Festival 2022 saw Vanessa Crafts, Head of Content Partnerships at TikTok, lead an insightful conversation with two creators whose social content encourages viewers to prioritize wellness, self-care and general well-being. The host, media personality and entrepreneur joined her to dive into the subject. Morgan Lynzi and licensed advisor and entrepreneur Shani Tran.
Opening the discussion while introducing the two panelists, Craft spoke briefly about his role at TikTok and his commitment to uplifting black content creators.
“In my role, my goal is to support the TikTok community, especially the black community on the platform through fashion, beauty, lifestyle, entertainment and sports. I really enjoy helping black creators build their brand and develop their strategy. Black creators, as you know, are at the heart of the platform, and the internet…and pretty much everything else, right? Let’s be realistic. I love how we drive culture in such an imaginative way.
Crediting TikTok with providing a platform to grow as she shifted her career focus slightly, Morgan explained how her job as an entertainment host quickly made her realize that the most impactful conversations in which she participated were those that took place off-camera. and centered around things like mental health and personal wellness journeys.
“I really believe – and I think it’s evident in everything I do, especially on TikTok – that having a really good time and feeling nurtured and connected isn’t mutually exclusive in moving culture forward,” she said. “So the pandemic happened, live events were a ‘no’ and TikTok became the platform where I was able to collect everything I love and introduce it to a whole new audience and find a any other community.”
For Shani, her journey to becoming a mental health counselor was twofold. She spoke candidly about how her own disheartening experience of connecting with a white therapist after having suicidal thoughts as a young student is what led her to pursue a career in the field and later create content. about black mental health on TikTok.
“Honestly for me, my healing came from doing the thing I needed for myself,” she said. “And TikTok started during the pandemic and the first [song I came across] I was “bored at home and I’m bored at home”, and I was like, “Okay, I can do a fun little clip for this”, ….and, down. From there I continued to create mental health content and it was really important that I speak to my community.
To hear the conversation in full, watch the video above. For more on everything you missed at ESSENCE Culture Festival 2022, visit our official video content hub HERE