By Edward Henderson
In the African American community, Labor Day weekend calls for a different type of ‘work’. We clock in and trade spreadsheets for dance floors, conference calls for cat calls and lunch hours for BBQ’s. But for many Black San Diegans recently locating to the city, finding holiday weekend shenanigans full of people who look like us can be the type of work we don’t want to do on this epic weekend. Loren Cobbs had a similar problem when she relocated from DC to here for work. However, she decided to do something about it.
‘San Diego Melanin’, Cobbs’ brainchild, started as a meetup group and blossomed into a vibrant mecca for young Black professionals to network, party, and connect with individuals who look like them. The group hosts monthly events ranging from brunches to trap music trivia nights. This Labor Day Weekend, San Diego Melanin is hosting multiple events to create a fun and entertaining space to spend the holiday.
The festivities begin with a rooftop brunch on Saturday, heat up with a black & white themed soiree and after party Sunday and a cookout closes things out on Monday.
“I strongly believe that people of color deserve spaces for themselves and the same things that what our white counterparts have,” said Cobbs.
The Ohio native had spent a lot of time on the east coast after her college and graduate school matriculation. Finishing with a Bachelors degree in Economics from Purdue University and her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University, Cobbs came to the west coast with a strong idea of what young Black professional communities look like.
“On the east coast, there are built in communities for young professionals of color. I couldn’t find many places to meet other young professionals like myself when I first moved here. I’ve always believed that if there isn’t something present that you want, you have to create it.”
The impetus for Cobbs’ idea came during a night out in Pacific Beach.
“I was out with some other women in the city and we went to a bar in PB. There were all kinds of people out partying and they had a DJ. We asked if we could hear Beyoncé and other artists we liked. He told us ‘we don’t play hip hop on Sundays’ citing it was a ‘management decision’. That was a tipping point for me. That’s when I decided to start curating events specifically for the Black and Brown professional community. I named the group ‘San Diego Melanin’ because I wanted to be very clear what the purpose of the group was. Not to say that others can’t come, but I wanted it to be very direct to the community to say that this was created specifically for you.”
If the photos and videos on the San Diego Melanin Instagram page are any indication, Cobbs is off to a great start in accomplishing her task. Young, vibrant and unique faces flood the page with wide smiles and exuberant spirits. They all seem glad to have found a space that caters to them specifically and puts them in the same room with interesting people to connect with.
“If you’re interested in having a good time. Stress free, drama free then come out. If you’re interested in meeting other young professionals of color, we have several DJs at our events. No matter what you’re looking for San Diego Melanin is a great place to build your network and start connecting with people.”
For tickets and more information of the full lineup of events for Labor Day Weekend along with future events, you can visit www.sandiegomelanin.com and search San Diego Melanin on all social media outlets.