WATCH: Black TikTok Creators Discuss The Importance Of Content That Prioritizes Wellness & Self-Care


The Wellness House experience at the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture saw Vanessa Craft, Head Of Content Partnerships at TikTok, lead an enlightening conversation with two creators whose social content encourages viewers to prioritize wellness, self-care and overall wellbeing. Joining her to dive into the topic were Host, Media Personality and Entrepreneur Morgan Lynzi and Licensed Counselor and Entrepreneur Shani Tran.

Opening the discussion while introducing the two panelists, Craft spoke in brief detail about her role at TikTok and her commitment to elevating Black content creators.

“In my role, my focus is on supporting the TikTok community, in particular, the Black community on the platform across fashion, beauty, lifestyle, entertainment and sports. I really love helping Black creators build their brand and develop their strategy. Black creators, as you know, are the heart of the platform, and the Internet…and pretty much everything else, right? Let’s be real. I love how we drive culture in such imaginative ways.”

Crediting TikTok with providing a platform to grow as she pivoted the focus of her career slightly, Morgan shared how her work as an entertainment host quickly led her to the realization that the most impactful conversations she was a part of were those that happened off-camera and centered around things like mental health and personal wellness journeys.

“I really believe —and I think it’s obvious in everything that I do, especially on TikTok—that having a really good time and feeling nourished and connected is not mutually exclusive to moving culture forward, ” she said. “So, the pandemic happened, live events were a “no,” and TikTok became the platform where I was able to bring everything that I love together and present it to a completely new audience and find a whole other community.”

For Shani, her journey to becoming a mental health counselor was two-fold. She spoke candidly about how her own disheartening experience connecting with a white therapist after having suicidal thoughts as a young college student is what led her to pursue a career in the field and later create content around the topic of Black mental health on TikTok.

“Honestly for me, my healing came from doing the thing that I needed for myself,” she said. “And TikTok started during the pandemic and the first [song I came across] was “bored in the house and I’m in the house bored,” and I was like, ‘Ok, I can make a little fun clip to this,” ….and, it below up. From there, I went on to create content about mental health and it was really important that I speak to my community.”

To hear the conversation in full, check out the video above. For more of everything you missed at the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, visit our official video content hub HERE

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