By Ryan Brennan
An African-American couple, Elijah John Bowdre and Raushanah Bowdre, don’t believe in limits. When they realized that Black culture wasn’t being perceived correctly throughout the media in Hong Kong, they set out to change that reality. The two thrived off the saying, “If something doesn’t exist, you must create it.”
Raushanah, a business consultant, and Elijah, founder of the Global Citizens Community, originally resided in New York, but relocated to Hong Kong about five years ago.
With the economic growth happening in Asia, including Hong Kong, more and more people from around the world are wanting to join in on the prosperity. With the way the world-wide media usually portray Blacks to be, it makes it tough for the group to prosper and benefit from the growing amount of opportunities rising in Hong Kong.
So, the couple connected with the U.S. State Department and launched Black History events in Shanghai four years ago.
“… We felt it was our responsibility to take ownership and create a platform to educate, celebrate and commemorate black culture, and include our international and local neighbors here,” said the Bowdres.
BlackEnterprise.com got the chance to meet with the couple to learn more about their mission to spread and honor the historic achievements made by some of the world’s greatest Black figures.
When the couple was asked how they relocated to Asia, Elijah explained that it all started with the couple’s humble beginnings in the field of finance.
“We both started out in finance. While in undergraduate school, I got invited to attend a study abroad program at Shanghai University in China,” said Elijah. “I really liked living in China and completed the program. I returned to New York City to begin my career, but due to the financial crisis, I was laid off. So although we were still in a relationship, I decided to move back to China and start an entertainment company.”
When Raushanah was asked how supportive she was of Elijah when he wanted to move to China and start a business, she said she was adamant about being there for him.
“When we were faced with his job loss, he asked me ‘What should I do? I really like China, but what about us?’ I realized he was so excited about China and starting a business,” she stated. “So I took it upon myself to say, ‘Yes you should do it.’ This was in 2010; we were still in a long distance relationship for a year and a half. We were only able to see each other only 3 times that year, but through Skype we made it work.
“A year later, I was able to transfer within my company, relocate to Hong Kong and then we got married. I really want to inspire other couples to support each other and pursue your dreams collectively.”
In addition to Shanghai, the Bowdres have hosted Black History events in Hong Kong. Some of the special gatherings that they have created include Soul Food Sunday Gospel Series & Brunch, Exploration of Music: The History of ‘Hip-Hop,’ Apollo Theatre” Live Musical Performance Showcase, and “Love Your Body” Fitness and Family Walk at The Peak.