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Nipseys Around The World: Johnny Bailey

By DeAnna Taylor

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This week’s Nipsey Around the World is Mr. Johnny Bailey. As a native of Petersburg, Virginia, Johnny used sports as a means to change the narrative that society had written for him. He was raised by his grandmother, who did her best to provide for him on a fixed income.

Johnny became a 4-sport athlete which earned him a scholarship to Hampton University, and most recently earned him a spot in his high school’s Hall of Fame.

He started his career working for an NFL Agency and Nike, Inc. in Washington, D.C. While sports were his first love, Johnny found his real calling with ShineHard Family, a nonprofit dedicated to closing the racial wealth gap.

Photo courtesy of Johnny Bailey

Related: Nipsey’s Around The World: Bobby Miles

We spoke with Johnny about the work he is doing with ShineHard Family and what “the marathon continues” means to him.

Travel Noire: Why is is important for you to give back?

Johnny: Our sons and daughters will have to live in a world that we created. Giving back offers the next generation a head start in life with more resources to push culture forward, to push humanity forward, and change the world as we know it for the better. When it comes to giving back, I believe the best place to start is by being who you needed when you were younger.

Photo courtesy of Johnny Bailey

TN: Tell us how you’re doing that?

Johnny: For centuries there have been systemic barriers put in place to oppress people of color in America. A compound effect of violence and discrimination on our community has created a disparity of wealth.
Wealth comes in different forms; money, mentors, access, and information. I started the ShineHard Foundation to close the racial wealth gap.

Through my organization we have created multiple platforms that aim to foster economic empowerment in our community. At our annual ShineHard Summit in DC, we transfer knowledge from one generation to the next. Providing access to a blueprint for financial success, and intentionally connecting minority business leaders to foster economic empowerment.

Photo courtesy of Johnny Bailey

TN: What does “The Marathon Continues” mean to you?

Johnny: I did not need to know Nipsey personally to identify with his goals. As a black man and father, I couldn’t help but share the heartbreak that we all experienced from his passing.  

To me, “The Marathon Continues” means success is not a destination, it’s a journey. When you live a life of great purpose, you get to where you are because it’s on the way to where you’re going. You retire out when you die out. Economics is the same way. Generational Wealth is a marathon and a relay. It’s our responsibility to carry the baton as far as humanly possible and then when we “pass” we are hopefully handing down a legacy of abundance to our next of kin or those in our community.

Photo courtesy of Johnny Bailey

TN: What has been your memorable moment so far?

Johnny: My most memorable moment of my life was becoming a father. My daughter has helped me see the world from a whole new perspective. She gives me a purpose that is greater than myself.  
Becoming a father took my sense of urgency to another level. I had to seriously assess what I had to my name and what she would have to her name if anything was to ever happen to me. I can visibly see the next runner in my life’s relay and the figurative “baton” has become realer than ever before.

Photo courtesy of Johnny Bailey

TN: Where can we find you online?

Johnny: You can find me on Instagram @1JohnnyBailey and follow our work in the community at @ShineHardFam and ShineHardFamily.org.

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DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.

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