Who We Are

The Emerge Project is a storytelling project that highlights the ways in which Black entrepreneurs and community leaders drive growth and development at the grassroots level in South Africa and Brazil.

All around the world, Black people tend to be seen as needy, troublesome, incapable of generating solutions without outside direction. Our project aims to show that, in fact, the opposite is true: Black people–ordinary, everyday people–are constantly building and rebuilding foundations, using their ingenuity and limited resources to change the world around them.

We use short films, photo essays, articles and blogs to show the real people and the real movements that are driving change at the grassroots level, with an initial focus on Johannesburg, South Africa and Salvador, Brazil.

Featured Videos


The Many Faces of Entrepreneurship

Township entrepreneurship is growing in South Africa.  With unemployment levels climbing through the roof, township residents have to find other ways to make ends meet. Many turn to entrepreneurship in one form or another. Some might set up a shoe-shining stall at the...

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Commemorating June 16: Soweto Uprising

Forty-one years ago, the streets of Soweto, a township in South Africa were packed with thousands of Black students protesting against an official order which made Afrikaans compulsory in Black schools throughout the country. The use of local languages was forbidden...

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Women Flourish in Construction Industry

South African women have changed the landscape of entrepreneurship drastically, by taking a route which was believed to be for men only. Black women have ventured into the Mechanics and Construction industries. Gender diversity in the construction industry is still...

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