Author: Julian Mitchell / Source: Forbes (Photo courtesy of Brandon Campbell) Millennials make up the most multicultural demographic in
Millennials make up the most multicultural demographic in America’s history. Yet, despite an evident incline in diversity, a divisive stigma continues stifling the nation’s seemingly progressive evolution.
For a country that remains riddled with issues of systematic racism, economic inequality, and politically enforced marginalization — real progress is found in the form of challenging general perceptions to unlock a deeper understanding of what unites us all. Inspired by a passion to eliminate international barriers, 29-year-old Brandon Campbell decided to take trip that would change his life, while actively motivating millions to embrace a greater spirit of empathy.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Brandon finished high school and went on to graduate from Hampton University. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, Campbell moved to Atlanta, where he worked on the management team of platinum-selling artist Trey Songz. Following a promising run in music, he transitioned into law, working in Legal Affairs with the Atlanta Braves.
Looking to continue in the field, Brandon enrolled into Atlanta’s John Marshall School of Law, earning his J.D. After passing the bar in New York and New Jersey, Campbell began working as an attorney with Viacom. Becoming fully immersed in the culture of New York developed a growing desire to build real connections with people from all walks of life. Unknowingly, this curiosity would serve as the gateway for applying to Remote Year, a program for freelancers, entrepreneurs and professionals to travel and work remotely in various co-working spaces around the world. Upon being accepted into the program and observing the current political climate, the idea would later arise to turn his exploration into a progressive cultural experiment.
During the year-long adventure entitled “Extended Family”, Brandon will explore 12 cities, across 10 countries and 4 continents; including Croatia, Portugal, Serbia, Argentina and Mexico City. Equipping himself with a curated set of questions he seeks to answer, Campbell aims to address universal topics to both broadening perspective and redefining our relationship with the world. Through contributions to outlets like Blavity and Huffington Post Black Voices, his daily discoveries are being documented through an ongoing series of editorial, video and social stories.
Beyond causing social change, Campbell views this journey as tool for broadening his business perspective. Still operating an independent practice abroad, while also working full-time as an independent content creator — he further hopes Extended Family impacts young business leaders to think beyond the U.S. and build truly global startups.
I spoke with Brandon about the vision behind his journey, shattering stereotypes and rethinking the definition of global citizenship.
What inspired the idea to embark on the Extended Family journey?
Brandon Campbell: One day, I was leaving work in Times Square when one of my close friends called me on FaceTime from back home in Las Vegas. The conversation started with me complaining about something that happened at work, but transitioned into a moment that immediately changed me. My friend and his cousin abruptly interrupted my complaints and asked me ‘You really work in Times Square?’ In that instance, I was humbled and reminded that the situations we take for granted can be aspirational to our peers and the people we love the most. I also felt that I had done my friends, and many people I grew up with, a disservice by not sharing my experiences and things I’ve learned since leaving to attend college. I’ve always had a desire to contribute creative things that help create a more empathetic society. So, when the opportunity came to explore the culture within different countries for a year, I knew I had to do better and share my experiences in a creative way.
What is the significance behind the name ‘Extended Family’ and how does it reflect what you’re looking to accomplish?
Brandon Campbell: The significance comes from the concept of a family reunion. If you’ve ever been to a family reunion, you’ve likely had the experience of arriving and seeing a lot of people you don’t know. But, as soon as your grandmother, or that cousin you’re close with introduces you to them as family, you immediately become welcoming, treat them with warmth, and give a heightened level of respect. Everyone generally knows they’re connected through someone, but after that intimate introduction, you treat them like family. That’s a practice I believe we…