Celebrate Black History Month Through Art at Greystar

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Written by Cameo Davis
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Edited by Sarah Claire Eleazer
Talent and Culture February 1, 2024

As we honor Black History Month, we're turning a spotlight on the talented individuals across Greystar. Our team members excel not only as professionals but also as gifted artists, investing time in various passions beyond the workplace. 

Read more to learn the stories behind their talents and the important role art plays in their lives: 


Keyana Willis – Talent Acquisition Coordinator  


"I love completing different types of crafts and DIY projects. The importance of giving homemade gifts lies in the added thoughtfulness from the effort, time, and originality invested. Growing up, I wasn't exposed to many hobbies, as it wasn't the norm for my family. However, as an adult, I realized the importance of not letting work dominate my life, leading me to discover my passion for DIY and crafting." 


Kenneth Fishe – Talent Acquisition Manager  

“As I grew older, my passion for music, both instrumental and vocal, deepened. This journey led me to Winston-Salem State University, a Historically Black University (HBCU), where I became a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America. While the fraternity itself is not historically black, it has actively worked to establish chapters at HBCUs, MSIs (Minority Serving Institutions), and predominantly white universities.” 


Kiera Brown – Regional Marketing Associate  


"While my primary role is as a Regional Marketing Associate at Greystar, I also indulge in a lesser-known talent, digital storytelling. I thrive on discovering creative inspiration from various sources to craft unique brand stories through content creation. My passion for art, graphic design, and photography seamlessly translates into digital storytelling, allowing me to naturally bring these elements together to create compelling narratives for brands."  


Ryan Taborn - Leasing Manager  

“Art is peaceful, inspiring, and emotional. It takes dedication, skill, and natural ability to turn an idea, item, or sound into a piece of art. For me, I love cooking. It can be hard for others to understand just how artistic you can be with food; from the way you plate it to the preparation. The reason I keep cooking is that I come from a big family, and it's what brings us together and keeps us close. I'm proud to say I make the best wings in the WORLD!” 


Bakiaimani Morgan – Resident Services Coordinator  

“I have always been captivated by the beauty of language. My love for words has been a driving force in cultivating my skills in both writing and singing. The enchanting marriage of spoken words to melodies holds a special place in my heart, making it a natural progression for me to immerse myself in these art forms. Growing up in an African American household, I was exposed to rich traditions and expressions within the arts that heavily influenced my artistic inclinations.” 


Valentin Martinez – Leasing Professional  

“Growing up, my interest in music and instruments was just a small flame. After moving to Brookshire, I was introduced to the world of black music culture and genres. That spark transformed into a blazing passion. In high school, I joined the marching band and got to experience opportunities beyond my wildest dreams, from dancing at the Super Bowl in 2021 to auditioning for Drumline Live and being a part of the Houston Texans Deep Steel Thunder band. The influence of black culture and music has shaped my life's melody. It's not just about playing notes; it's about passing on a legacy deeply rooted in the soul-stirring rhythms and narratives woven into the fabric of who I am.” 


Christina Gonzalez – Assistant Community Manager  


“I fell in love with art through music and spoken word. I have always enjoyed writing and won many competitions for poetry in my youth. My mother used to read a lot of poetry to me as a child, and I became obsessed with listening to Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, and even Tupac Shakur. From Def Poetry Jam to Brave New Voices, I was hooked on watching artists like Kanye West, Erykah Badu, and Mos Def perform. There is something about the way words dance together to form a visual that may be perceived differently based on personal experience!” 


Kailani Rhyss – Leasing Professional  


“My art is a source of peace and calm in the world. Seeing tangible changes from my actions and watching them visibly improve over time brings me joy. My entire family are artists, and I find a sense of belonging among them and other artists in my community. Pottery is a very big part of my cultural background, for many it's how they survived - whether it meant that they could eat because they're able to store food or that they could make a living by selling their artwork. For me, art is vital like breathing, and it opens doors that are closed to my mind from day to day.” 


Let’s continue to celebrate, uplift, and amplify the voices of Black artists not just this month but throughout the year. 


Learn more about the unique talents, experiences, and individuals across our organization by checking out our other articles on the Greystar blogTake a moment to read the stories told through last year’s "What brings you joy?" campaign.

Follow along as we celebrate Black History and the Arts on social: Instagram | X | Facebook | LinkedIn 


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