the founder, CEO, and architect behind the community-unifying OHN network is no stranger to overcoming hardships and systemic bets placed against the black and LGBTQ communities. From Los Angeles to the United Kingdom, Cliff has taken up numerous jobs, from janitorial duties to teaching — yet he has always fallen back on his innate Intelligence, persistence, and determination to continue reaching for his ever-evolving, yet self-defined form of success. Those early jobs helped Collins arrive at a vision where he saw himself going to medical school and achieving the milestone of landing a career in medicine.
In his youth, he struggled with education and learning while often confronted by limited inner city resources that did not support his community. Through his persistence, Collins went on to later earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Morehouse College with a minor in Neuro Science, a Master’s Degree in Biology from Georgia State University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Rice University and is nearing completion of his Medical Degree.
The fifth of nine siblings and raised by a single mother, Collins was born in Houston, TX. Collins’ perspective and understanding of the world quickly evolved as he frequently moved throughout childhood, and even adulthood, to different schools and universities. These moments of change and struggle exposed him to the real-world diversities of people and cultures, gaining an understanding of how societal structures can methodically and unintentionally work against people who don’t fit within an expected stereotypical “norm.” With no guidance for college, Cliff chose to pursue a medical profession because “It was the typical ‘smart’ career.” Despite trouble learning in the traditional and conventional setting and not understanding how arduous the journey would be until later in life, it still did not discourage him.
Now, at just 33 years young, he is driven to help the black and LGBTQ Communities, who have all too often been exploited and subjected to cultural theft, by creating and dedicating an all-inclusive – exclusive safe space called OHN (Oh Hell Naw), which is gently placed under his LLC, OHY (Oh Hell Yeah). Collins’ intention is to elevate the Black creative, educational, and professional communities out of the shadows cast upon them and into the spotlight they deserve, own, and have fought to protect for so long.
A rebuttal to the broken system that has held back Black and LGBTQ people for generations, OHN is the resolution, taking back control of the Black dollar, it’s immense power, and how it flows through the economy; and, ultimately, back to the wallet of the Black community. OHN will advance, educate, reward, and proliferate individuals who both understand their worth and those who don’t, ultimately allowing members greater respect, recognition, financial growth, and access to valuable information, resources, and other like-minded people within the network.
A colloquialism often used in the black community, OHN/OHY represents how something as simple as these specific phrases (“Oh Hell Naw” and “Oh Hell Yea”) can be perceived positively or negatively while invoking a strong response of rebuke, challenge, and/or action. Understanding that the Black and LGBTQ experiences are often strictly defined and placed into a small box, through OHN, Collins seeks to reinforce and remind us that there is no one way to be Black, to be a man, or a woman, to be gay or straight. There is no singularity in identity, or culture, or purpose.
OHN/OHY will always push beyond having just a “tolerance” and “understanding,” and instead, take definitive action against the norms, restrictions, limitations, and oppressive shadows placed upon the cultures and identities of Black and LGBTQ people.
The creation of OHN/OHY was spurred by recent trends, including:
– Social media audiences overlook Black creators while rewarding “mis-appropriators,”
– Disconnected CEOs using their platforms to “represent” Black professionals, seizing their culture, talent, & identities while raking in billions of dollars, and
– The erasure of Black voices in entertainment — diminishing the value of our lifelong, groundbreaking accomplishments.
OHN/OHY is for individuals who are alive with purpose, heart, and ambition; dedicated to the pioneers who came before them, having sacrificed everything to be themselves, in order to create a meaningful space in a world where no space is given.
OHN is that safe space created to reclaim the power, influence, and control of who we really are and how we should be seen. It is a place for all professionals to come together to confront challenges and adversity as a collective group, share knowledge and experiences, and provide resources and communal support.