TRU Colors

Published: Oct 25 2020

Originally released on October 25, 2020, Episode 7 shares the story of TRU Colors Brewery in Wilmington, NC, a business co-founded by the leaders of rival gangs in the area with the help of a serial entrepreneur named George Taylor. The rules of TRU Colors are pretty straight forward, Make a liveable wage for your job, do your work at a very high level, and use your influence as a gang leader to stop gun violence in your organization. To make that work, Tru Colors has built a special culture, and the storyteller in this episode is the architect of that culture, Khalilah Olokunola, or as she is known at TRU Colors, “KO”.

This story shows us that, when basic needs are met, and a supportive culture has been built, even society’s most stereotyped members can thrive in the workplace. That is the 7th thing you should know about stakeholder capitalism.

Keem Grady produced a mini documentary telling this story and you can see that here.

This story also has great lessons for the impact investing community.

If all goes well this Spring, beer will be rolling off the TRU Colors line come April 1 and you’ll be able to find it in a store near you shortly thereafter. To say in the loop, consider subscribing to the TRU Colors mailing list here (scroll all the way down).

If you liked the music in this episode you can find more at:


Chris Valentine

Emily Brimlow