My name is Ousmane Sarr, founder and operator of Urban DiverCity/DC and African Bad Gyals which I created on July 31, 2017 at the age of 19.
The rich culture of Africa and the powerful African and African descent women who surrounded me inspired me to create my brand. I was born and raised in the US by an Afro-American/Black mother and a Senegalese/West-African father who encouraged me to attend high school in Dakar, Senegal to better understand my roots, culture, language, history and people.
I attended IQRA Bilingual Academy which is a school founded by my mother. It was the first Islamic-centered international school in West-Africa to achieve American accreditation by the Middle States Association. I witnessed first-hand the strength and determination of black businesswomen through my mother. I have also seen how difficult it was for her to gain the trust, support, and encouragement for her mission because of the amount of criticism and disapproval she got from teachers, parents and even students just because of her appearance and how she is perceived as a woman of color running her school as principal. I as her son and a student at her school heard, seen, and stood up against the discriminating remarks of my principal whether it be jokingly or not. African/African descent women unfortunately have a disadvantage in the business world for they must deal with institutional sexism and racism in their own country and around the world.
My experience in Senegal opened my eyes to the beauty, power and growth of African women. Upon returning to the US for college, I realized that the media does not capture the true essence of African descent women’s entrepreneurial accomplishments and growth either as they should (like my mother). They are often overlooked, looked down upon and not valued for what they are worth. With that thought in mind, I took change into my own hands. I wanted to make a platform and clothing line that would advocate, broadcast, empower and embrace these women on a global scale. Urban DiverCity is the clothing line. African Bad Gyals is that platform.
Urban- urban culture, (the culture of towns and cities)
DiverCity- (diversity and inclusion advocated through urban/city/town styled clothing)
Mission: Urban DiverCity's goal is to have us embrace the beauty & power of African/African-Descent women through urban tailored clothing and designs that showcase diversity & inclusion.
African- African/African-DescentBad- Powerful, Fierce
Gyals- Afro-Caribbean way of saying girls
Mission: African Bad Gyals is a social media platform with the purpose of fostering a society that acknowledges the beauty and power of, as well as promote businesses owned by, African women and women of African descent.
My businesses coexist for my large platform, @Africanbadgyals(with over 63 thousand followers on IG), is my audience for Urban DiverCity and they both share similar missions.