Cynthia Shephard - CEO OWNER
My name is Cynthia Shephard, founder and CEO of Hoodlyfe. For over 40 years I have worked with and for the youth of Boston. I have witnessed their struggles and listened to their voices while providing for them a safe space to express themselves freely, to be unapologetically black. Hoodlyfe is dedicated to them, to you, to me and to anyone who stands with us. The brand was born from the negativity associated with hoodies specifically in our black and brown communities. Hoodlyfe is designed to educate, to inspire and to rejoice in our resilience.
My name is Manuel (Manny) Sequeira. I was born in Cabo Verde and moved to Boston at 3 years old. I am from a large family (56 cousins!) & grew up in Dorchester. I started working with youth at an early age- I saw many of my family and friends needing an alternative to the streets and began connecting them to the local community centers. Starting as a volunteer, eventually I was hired as the Assistant Athletic Director at both the Marshall and Perkins Community Centers in Boston. After a life changing experience, I realized youth work was my passion, and decided to focus my career on youth violence prevention. Working alongside Cynthia at the Marshall Community Center, inspired me to be a better person, As years went by we developed a close bond. In April 2019, she embarked on a journey to create a brand that will empower, educate and showcase her love for the community and she knew my love and passion as well. She created a brand and called it HOODLYFE . When she explained what HOODLYFE was about and showed me her vision I was immediately on board. We present to you HOODLYFE., a clothing brand that speaks for and to the community.
My name is Nicole N. Flynt and I am a 1000 hour Yoga teacher. I am Not Your Average Yoga Teacher, because my classes are different and are relatable to real life challenges of urban living. I am trained in Trauma-Informed Yoga; Trauma-informed Yoga is focused on the well-being of the entire person, with the understanding that everyone’s trauma is different and cannot be measured or compared to another. The definition that I use for Trauma is- ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT FEEL GOOD TO YOUR BODY.
Yoga means to “Yoke” or “Connect” you to you, you to everything and you to the Universe and all that comes with it. Hoodlyfe is a way to “connect” all people to the struggles and triumphs through the life experiences of Black and Brown people. This is why I am involved with HOODLYFE. HL aligns with everything I believe in and what I teach in my Yoga practice. Yoga in the urban community is needed; HOODLYFE in the urban community is needed as well. HOODLYFE “Gives you a visual voice to express your everyday struggles and inner thoughts.”