Eunique Jones Gibson learned a lot during her time at Bowie State University, but the idea of going boldly into the world is what she’s leaned on the most since embarking on her career in digital communications and marketing. From humble beginnings as a Sony intern, Eunique now owns and operates Culture Brands, a marketing agency that has worked with some of the largest corporate brands in the county, such as Hyundai, Warner Bros. and Nickelodeon.
“Bowie instilled in me the fact that I belonged in any room that I entered,” said Gibson. “Dr. Otis Thomas and other professors made it very clear that when you greet people, you do it with your chin up. You make sure you’re annunciating and speaking as if you’re supposed to be where you are. Pride in who I am and who we are as individuals and as a collective was really ingrained in me here.”
It’s that same pride which underlined her Because of Them We Can visual campaign, which Eunique launched in February 2013 as a way to connect the present generation with Black historic figures from the past.
“I come from a family where I was always proud of my heritage and history,” she said. “But coming to Bowie State really cemented that. The professors poured into us and gave us a voice. It fortified who I am as an individual and emboldened me to go out here and be proud of who I am and put that on display.”
The campaign, which featured Eunique dressing children like Black history figures such as Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Zora Neale Hurston, went much further than the month of February and has become an online platform that has touched millions of lives since its inception. And from Because of Them We Can came Culture Tags, a trivia card game that is sold at Target stores across the country.
Eunique notes that it was humbling to see the impact of Because of Them We Can, as it reminds her of how far she’s come since being inspired to pursue visual storytelling while at Bowie State.
“I remember seeing some students right outside of Bowie Place,” she said. “They were recording, and I asked them what they were doing. They told me they were broadcast journalism majors, and they were making a film for class. I changed my major the very next day.”
The success didn’t come without challenges, as Eunique admits she made mistakes navigating uncharted waters in her career. But she frames dealing with the unknown as a constant process in “failing forward”, and she hopes others would be inspired by her experience to move towards their goals without hesitation or apology.
“Go boldly in the direction of your dreams,” said Eunique. “If it feels important to you, it most likely is. You just have to have the faith and the confidence to go full speed ahead.”
At the same time, Eunique also encourages enjoying the journey as it unfolds.
“Dip your toe in the water and see what feels right,” she said. “Your gut is going to be your guide. Every experience matters.”