Highlighting Our Community: South Florida Represents – Ebonie Mukasa

Artists tend to gravitate towards forces that encourage collaboration and free flowing creativity. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege over the years to get to know and build a friendship with Ebonie Mukasa. First meeting her as a vendor at an arts market in Wynwood back in the day, I’m elated to see her creativity and true devotion to the community continue to grow and flourish. Ebonie has been doing some amazing things with her self-founded brand CLOAK INC for many years now; using her brand to catapult many social issues such as basic human rights and the issues of modern day sex trafficking into the limelight, to create open dialogues about the problems, with the hopes of developing solutions to end such atrocities. Check out below for more about Ebonie Mukasa.

Photo: AnthonyJordon Photography

Name Ebonie M. Mukasa
City Miami, Florida

Profession/What do you do?
Social entrepreneur

Are you originally from Miami? If not, where are you originally from?
I was born and raised here in Miami, Florida.

How long have you lived in the city?
I grew up in Miami.  After graduating high school (Coral Gables Senior High), I attended Tuskegee University in Tuskegee Alabama.  After graduating university, I relocated to Hunstville, Alabama and then shortly moved to Reidsville, North Carolina.  In the middle of all of this I met my husband, had a son and we made a decision 12 years ago to move back to my hometown, Miami.

What are you passionate about & why?
I rehearse in my mind all those things that aroused passion in me, those things that bring me the greatest joy and sorrow. I believe passion encompasses those two emotions, both exuding simultaneously. I am passion about giving voice to those who do not have one.

When I think of all of the challenges, hardships facing our world, often it is because of silent suffering. The bystander mentality is our greatest enemy.  Lack of compassion, motivation, creativity, responsibility all play a role in the impassive and heartless reactions to the needs of others reflected in our society.

I am passionate about action in voice and deed.  It’s not only enough to speak up, but those words have to be followed by intentional, consistent actions that bring about long term, long lasting change.

What do you hope to accomplish through your talents?
I hope to accomplish through my talents a legacy of “love in action”. As a mother, it is important to me that my son sees what this looks like.  A life of self importance and disregard for others is an empty, unfulfilled life. Along the way, I hope to inspire those who witness my life to be courageous and creative in how they love.

If you were a superhero, what would your super power be?
My superpower would be the ability to impart courage. I personally believe everyone is (positively) passionate about something that extends beyond their own needs or wants. Most people are upset by injustice, prejudice, but are afraid to step out of their comfort zone and do something about it.

How would/do you use your super powers to accomplish your goals?
I find that it takes courage to even dream.  Even as I rehearse ideas in my mind, I have to actively resist fear and self-doubt.  I think it’s safe to assume that I am not the only one fighting fear. I love this quote by James Neil Hollingworth who wrote under the pseudonym Ambrose Redmoon, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”

As a creative strategist I am invigorated by the challenge, but I can also be intimidated by the solution. However, as James Neil Hollingsworth stated, “there are somethings that are more important than fear”. Helping someone in need is that thing for me.

What was your most significant achievement in 2014/life?
In April 2014, my social brand CLOAK INC launched a fashionable, message based, retro graphic novel concept entitled, “SAVESEX” at CreativeMornings/Miami. The objective of this campaign is to empower private citizen and the global community at-large to see themselves as the answer to this epidemic.

An evolution to this concept, in October, we launched a teaser campaign to our upcoming 2015 campaign entitled, “I AM + HERO“, by hosting our first ever community photo shoot. We believe that it will take everyone’s participation to eradicate the plight of sex trafficking in our communities.  Each of us have a unique gift or talent (our superpowers) we can weld to end this epidemic. Learn more about this creative project at IAMHEROPROJECT.ORG.

What if anything do you hope to contribute to Miami?
I hope to be the fuel that ignites a flame of love, hope and help in the hearts of Miamiams, compelling them to be courageously creative.

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