Branding boost for disabled content creators
Richelle Henry was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three. She is one of the two differently abled content creators who got a boost from marketing guru Joel Nomdarkham, with the help of Red Stripe.
Last week, Henry, a disabled blogger and podcaster, and deaf dancer Christophe Phillips were each gifted $50,000 grants, along with a creative photoshoot where they received headshots and other material for self-branding.
Henry is particularly grateful for the platform to showcase herself more and is dedicated to creating good representation for herself as a person with a disability.
"This opportunity will push me further in building my brand so that people will get to see me more and I can become a household name," said Henry, who wants to become a powerful voice for members of the disabled community. She said that it is her hope to one day branch out into journalism. In the meantime, she will use her grant to get new equipment to support her podcast, Power Nugget with RTH, which she uses to advocate for other persons with disabilities.
The 21-year-old self-titled world-changer said that while a lot of people have placed limits on the things that members of the disabled community can achieve, she believes her platform will give persons an opportunity to share their stories of overcoming adversities.
EXCLUDED BECAUSE OF DISABILITY
"I find that a lot of people tend to limit us. They tend to put us in a box and say you can't do this because you are in a wheelchair, and I want say no to that example, you can be disabled and still find a way to do what you really want to get done," Henry said.
She attributes her passion for advocacy to the appreciation she gained for the inclusivity she saw at the schools she attended.
In the meantime, Phillips, said he hopes that his selection will help highlight the abilities of other persons with disability.
"I'm not only the deaf dancer locally," he said.
"There are the other two deaf students of dance at the Edna Manley College as well, and additionally, we have joined the Pah! Deaf Dance Company for experiences. This was how we needed to be recognised as the deaf dancers, locally and internationally," Phillips said.
He is currently pursuing a bachelor's of art degree in choreography and performance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts and has been a dancer for over 10 years.
Nomdarkham said that the decision to highlight Henry and Phillips was driven by his desire to promote diversity in the digital space.
"I was very passionate about the project because, for one, I'm somebody that always talks about creativity, diversity, equity, inclusion, etc.," Nomdarkham said.
He said that after Red Stripe reached out to him with an opportunity, he decided to channel it into some creators in the disabled community.