Arion Long of Femly (Courtesy of Comcast)
Arion Long of Femly (Courtesy of Comcast)

Center Stage Hair on H, Comprehensive Wound Care Services, DCity Smokehouse, Ditch the Wait and Health Resources Service Intake Center count among the second round of Comcast RISE award recipients.

Comcast officials said more than 700 businesses will receive consulting, media, and creative production services from Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable or technology upgrades from Comcast Business.

RISE – Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment stands as part of a more extensive $100 million Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative that Comcast launched in 2020.

Jordan LP Law, K-12 Coders, LPJ Legal PLLC, Nailbed & Bar, Nutech Solutions LLC, Park Road Studios and The Balance Sports Alliance Group, were also named winners of the prestigious award.

Comcast has committed to playing an integral role in driving lasting reform and developing a comprehensive, multi-year plan to allocate $100 million to fight injustice and inequality.

Arion Long started her company, Femly, after being diagnosed with a cervical tumor linked to chemicals in popular feminine products. However, she survived and her business continues to survive the current health pandemic.

Bianca Jackson, a visionary and trailblazer, has long possessed a drive to do more than what her career as a tech journalist allowed. The Philadelphia-born entrepreneur who owns and operates BrickRose Exchange, like Long, has also remained competitive despite the challenges of the pandemic – in fact, business is booming.

Bianca Jackson of BrickRose Exchange (Courtesy of Comcast)
Bianca Jackson of BrickRose Exchange (Courtesy of Comcast)

Long and Jackson count among more than 171 winners in the D.C. and Baltimore area.

Femly and BrickRose Exchange stand as two of 26 Comcast RISE award recipients in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

The Baltimore Times also join the group of award recipients.

“We are grateful to Comcast and salute their continued mission to effect real change,” The Baltimore Times Publisher Joy Bramble stated.

Each of the businesses has detailed their stories about the pandemic’s impact, how they pivoted and how the services they are receiving from Comcast RISE will help them move forward.

“The biggest thing that this award from Comcast means is accessibility and access as a Black female in business,” said Long, whose comprehensive list of available feminine products includes panty liners, day and night pads and a unique menstrual cup.

“I think that as a Black female in business, access to capital and marketing are often barriers to success,” Long added.

She said the creative production services she received from Comcast will allow her to accomplish more.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity to be able to craft commercials that will be shown to women in our target markets,” Long said.

Jackson said the Comcast RISE award could not have arrived at a more opportune time.

“They gave us laptops and iPads and I’m just so grateful and humbled to be a recipient of this grant,” said Jackson who noted that her BrickRose Exchange was “born from love and appreciation for connecting people.”

“The name itself has some great significance,” Jackson explained about BrickRose Exchange. “Brick represents culture and tradition, spaces and cities. Rose is like innovation and when you look at cities like Baltimore, sometimes, when innovation comes in, it erases culture and tradition. So, the name is a space where both can meet.”

According to a news release, Comcast RISE consists of several components.

They include a media technology resources program, consulting, a linear television media campaign, creative production, technology makeovers, business resources and grants of up to $10,000 for U.S.-based small and diverse businesses that have been operating for at least three years.

“We created Comcast RISE to partner with Black, Indigenous and People of Color-owned small businesses and give them access to tools that will help them survive the pandemic and thrive,” Dan Carr, vice president, Comcast Business, Comcast’s Beltway Region, said in a statement.

“As we’ve gone through the selection process, it’s been so powerful to hear these business owners’ stories and see the tangible ways that we can help grow their businesses and positively impact their communities. I could not be more pleased to open this program to the entire BIPOC community and continue this positive momentum.”

For more details about Comcast RISE, go to

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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