AN INDEPENDENT SUPPLEMENT BY MIA MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS GROUP TO THE MIAMI HERALD
MONDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2017
Introducing Miami's Black Leaders of Today and Tomorrow
By Russell Motley, Legacy Editor-in-Chief
Legacy Miami’s 2017 “40 Under 40” honorees
represent a broad range of experience, professions
and backgrounds. From managing the fast-paced
career of Grammy-nominated rapper Flo Rida (Lee
“Freezy” Prince, 39) to oﬀering folks professional sex
therapy (Jenifer Smith, 32), these young men and
women are making a notable diﬀerence in their
Filmmaker Elijah Wells, 20, is this year’s youngest
honoree. Although he’s entering his second year at
the New York Film Academy in Manha�an, he has
already wri�en, directed and produced four projects,
including his latest short ﬁlm “Se7en.” The drama�c
comedy debuted at the Urban Film Fes�val in Historic
Overtown in September.
“It’s a blessing to know you don’t have to be older
to do great things,” says Wells, who is working on
several projects including rewri�ng a play and
direc�ng a music video for rapper Romeo Miller.
“Honestly, it’s a humbling experience to know my
work is paying oﬀ.”
Only two honorees mark their last poten�al year on
this this ranking: Quincy Cohen, 40, an administra�ve
oﬃcer with Miami-Dade County and Commissioner
Andreana Jackson, 40, of North Bay Village.
Jackson is the ﬁrst Black elected to public oﬃce
east of Biscayne Boulevard in Dade County. Now in
her second term as
commissioner, she says she’s pondering her future in
poli�cs. In the mean�me, she takes pride in serving
her community with projects such as ArtTech, an
annual event that exposes children to art and
“I want to con�nue with my community service and
build upon what I have done in my last two years as
commissioner,” says Jackson.
Cohen manages emergency-funded programs for
residents in need of shelter, food and employment. In
fact, during his interview with Legacy, he was in Miami
Gardens working with FEMA as it helped people apply
for assistance following Hurricane Irma’s devasta�on.
Cohen says, as he enters his 40s, he has even higher
“I’m at a place in my life where I’m asking myself
what’s next?” says Cohen, an ordained minister,
recently named youth and young adult minister at
Mount Sinai Bap�st Church in Miami. “How can I have
a larger impact in the community I serve?”
Legacy’s list of the most inﬂuen�al Blacks under the
age of 40 includes familiar names, like food blogger
Starex Smith, 34, who is also known as The Hungry
Black Man, and lesser known inﬂuencers like
Christopher Caines, 23, interim program director at
the Knight Founda�on.
As the saying goes, age ain’t nothing but a number.
And that par�cularly holds true when it comes to how
much this exclusive list of professionals has achieved
in such a short �me.