Krip Hop Nation — Keith Jones and Leroy F. Moore

Leroy Moore hails from New York and is an author, poet, community activist, and feminist. Keith Jones is a hip-hop artist and president of Soul Touchin’ Experiences, an organization focused on issues related to inclusion, civil rights, and empowerment of people with disabilities. Together they helped create Krip Hop Nation a crossroad of music, disability, diversity, community and political action.

Diana Pastora Carson: Leroy and Keith! Welcome to ABILITY Magazine’s spotlight on Krip-Hop Nation. Wonderful to speak with you again.

Keith Jones: Thank you for having us.

Leroy F. Moore: Thank you.

Carson: Let’s start with just giving us a brief introduction, each of you, in how you got together, working together. Keith, would you like to go first?

Jones: Well it started back in nineteen hundred and ninety-nine. Actually, the way we came about is Leroy was looking for artists with disabilities who were doing hip hop at the time, pre-social media explosion. People were using this new thing called MySpace, which is where I started promoting my first solo independent project. He reached out to me, we connected and stayed in contact. And then our first physical face to face meeting happened at the infamous Democratic National Convention in 2004 when Leroy came to Boston. And that’s when the actual physical melding of the minds took place. But Krip-Hop had started germinating before that. But that was, that was when wonder krip powers activated. Leroy?

Moore: Yes, that’s so true. That’s how Krip-Hop started. Before Keith, I met Rob Da Noise Temple in Brooklyn, New York and was in his studio before he got gentrified out. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> and made the first crack of Krip-Hop, called Krip-Hop. Yeah. And after that, that, that’s when me and Keith met face to face at the DNC, I was a delegate at the DNC. I don’t know how, I don’t know why. The California Disability Democratic Club reached out to me and said, Oh, do you want to be a delegate? And I said, well, this is what I’m gonna talk about: police brutality, racism, and they said, ok, yeah, sure, and I was like ok, I told you what I was gonna talk about. So when, I think even before I got there, I told Keith what was happening, I was thinking of us getting together. So we met in a restaurant called Fisheries. Right? (Keith: Yeah.) So we met in the restaurant and we, you know, talked about, you know, Krip-Hop, and we also talked about what we’re gonna do at the DNC because we wanted to take over the disability caucus.

Carson: You know, that kind of leads us into the beginning of being Black and disabled in the 70s growing up. So, can you take us back there and tell us about those experiences?

Jones: I think because where we are now, you know, everybody about diversity, equity, and inclusion, you know, people are trying to reach in. But again, they still don’t add the A to that, which is ACCESS. But being Black in the seventies, which like being Black now, you know, it’s just less, we had less cool technology. Particularly for us as kids with disabilities in the United States. This is pre 504, this is pre IDEA, this is pre ADA. All of those milestones and markers that the ADA generation knows now as their bedrock. And even for the older disability activists who like to point to the implementation. We are that generation. We specifically coming from Missouri in the seventies, you ended the ugly laws and you passed the Handicapped Children’s Education Act, but I’m still Black in the northernmost confederate state. So the Black experience has always been complicated, particularly in the United States, but it’s even more complicated when you are a person with a disability. Growing up, we were chilling, you know, kids running around drinking Kool-Aid, you know, getting Bum Pops off the ice cream truck. But as the larger American society structure. You were the kids that were supposed to be sheltered and housed, you know, never seen and never heard. But you know, I learned a lot, you know, and we grew.

Moore: Yeah. And I think in my experience, my mom took the East Hartford Connecticut School District to court, because she wanted me to get out of special education. It was back in the 70’s. So she took that to court, and got me a teacher’s aide and I was quote/unquote mainstreamed with a teacher’s aide. This was 74 or 75. And also on the flip side, you know, you know, growing up in New York, I also saw hip hop on the corner. I was like, oh, smack. This is cool. And I saw diversity at that time because you know, hip hop wasn’t bling-bling at that time. It was basically on the corner. That’s how you saw it. So I used to take my walker because my family friends had their apartment in Manhattan. So get this: a Black little boy, in the seventies, taking his walker, in New York, to the subway, to get to the Bronx to see cyphers. I mean, I can’t believe I did that, because, you know, subways in New York are totally not accessible, and back then, oh, no, it was stairs everywhere. So this teenager with this walker is taking the subway to go see hip hop on the corner back then.

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Carson: Seeing hip hop performers on the corners how did that change you?

Moore: Oh my God. You know, before hip hop, I was a hardcore rocker. I was like, Ozzie Osbourne, ACDC, so when hip hop came and The Sugar Hill Gang, I was listening to the Sugar Hill Gang and I was like, what is this? So you have to realize it was hard rock, disco, or soul. It was jazz and blues. So, you know, hip hop wasn’t, wasn’t even in the mix. So, you know, when I heard The Sugar Hill Gang, I was like, wow. Then I realized with my cousins that this was on the corner in the Bronx, and I lived in Manhattan, you know, so I was like, I want to get there, I want to get there. So I embraced it at first. You know, of course, being a hard core rocker, I was like, you know what, what is this hip hop? What is this, you know, boom, boom, boom? I was like where’s the guitar? Where’s the, you know, the thrashing? But when I saw it on the corner that changed, I was like, okay, this is it. You know. So that changes you, you know? And of course, I kept my other music. I, you know, grew up with blues and jazz, so I kept other music. But hip hop totally changed things, seeing cyphers and seeing women on crutches, you know, blind DJs. I was like, okay, this is, this is my world. 

Jones: Yeah. It’s funny because I discovered hip hop in Upstate New York around ‘77, in Ithaca of all places. We were coming outta St. Louis. My mother, my grandmother played piano. So she was a heavy gospel influence. But my mom would also play a stack of 45s every day or every weekend, and would pop in the 8 track. So we had everything from Bo Diddley all the way down to Paul McCartney and Wings, David Bowie, and Earth Wind & Fire. You had Parliament Funkadelic, you had Coltrane. Like, we had all album covers. And music has always been part of me, I guess. The songwriting, producing, making beats, and things like that, or just making music and with hip hop, Yeah, I remember I was like, what is that?

Jones: Right. And the first record, and I remember, because this was the first time I ever saw a turntable set up. The DJ set up two turntables and a mix. I was like, What’s that?! And then they’d put on the record and I was like, what are you doing?! And it was just, I’ve been hooked ever since. And the evolution of it was never supposed to last. So the better I got at it, it was supposed to be dying. And, and here we are now, and it’s turning 50, right? (Laughs) And it was one of the things that you did. I couldn’t play basketball, I could, but I had a terrible jump shot. You know, sports weren’t necessarily my thing, but to be creative through hip hop was. Cause you didn’t need a lot you just needed your brain. You needed your boy beatboxing, or you needed a turn table, and you could do what you needed.

Carson: What led you to you both to start your own organizations and projects? 

Moore: Oh God. So I’ll tell you a story. My friend Gary Norris Gray, we did an experiment in Berkeley. We had two of our friends both dressed to the tee, one White, one Black male. We wanted our friends to go into this organization and to see what, what comes out of it. So the White guy goes in. He’s in there for like an hour and a half. Comes out with all kinds of resources and an offer for a job. I was like, Wow, this is cool. (Laugh). So my Black friend goes in. He’s in there for 10 minutes… 10 minutes, came back with nothing. I was like, Wow. I was like, Wow, what’s going on here?

You have to realize that I grew up in non-profits. So I started everything at United Cerebral Palsy Association. I started sports there. That’s when I got into the Paralympics. I started working at summer camp. I worked at the UCP office. The director at the time was a Black lady with CP. I was like, oh my God, you know, because back then, this is in the eighties, I didn’t see Black disabled people, not Black disabled elders. I was like, oh my God. So, and my mom set that up, and my mom’s like yeah, you go to UCP Center.

I did volunteer work, and all that stuff. So when I moved to the San Francisco Bay area, I continued to work in these agencies and my sister’s like, Leroy, stop, you’ve been working at these agencies for decades. And start your own stuff. So with that, and plus the experience, the experiment that we did, I was like, ok, this is it. Plus I came back from UK and I saw a Black disabled woman in the UK. I was like, oh my God, this is heaven! You know, so when I came back, I was like, ok, I can’t go back to working with these non-profits. I did that for years. So that’s when I started my own organization called Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization. And we did advocacy. We did art. We had an art arm called New Voices, Disabled Poets and Artists of Color. And it lasted for four or five years. I just got sick of doing grants. That’s a downfall of doing a non-profit, is that you end up writing grants all the time. You’re not doing programs. You’re writing grants just to make your organization stable. And I just got tired of it. So that’s why I started my own organization.

Jones: Similarly to Leroy. My goal was to go to college was to be an aeronautical engineer, turned into a sociologist wanted to be a teacher, ran into ableism, very heavy. Basically being told crippled people can’t teach. And then ended up in, and that’s how I got to this, ended up in an independent living center. The story is I went in to cuss somebody out and came out with a job. So I guess I was really good at whatever I said when I was cussing people out. They were like, you need to be an advocate. And then worked at an Independent Living Center for a couple of years and then worked at a cultural access organization that used to be VSA Arts. But what led me to start Soul Touchin’ Experiences was that there were gaps.

There weren’t just gaps. There were chasms in terms of what people need and what people were receiving. And so how do we, how do we bridge that gap? We’re doing policy. You know, everybody’s standing outside the state house’s chanting our homes, not nursing homes. But nobody is bridging the cultural gap. Nobody is bridging the linguistic gap. Nobody is bridging that technological gap between you know. And to be quite frank, nobody’s bridging the racism gap that exists within the disability movement. And so, I mean essentially that, and plus I had two toxic supervisors and I was like, look, I could do bad by my damn self. And so if I’m gonna work, I’m gonna work for myself. And Soul Touchin’ Experiences started with the tagline, “everything has a soul.” And so we really take that focus, which carries into Krip Hop Nation. And because we’re not here for shiny stuff. We’re here to get the work done. And so that kind of was the impetus of seeing where people were not getting what they needed by people who are in this space, saying that they want to do the work, but they’re only here to perform. So that’s sort of what led me to starting my own organization.

Carson: So Krip Hop Nation is now 17 years old and grown into chapters. Give us a short picture of the work going on in the world.

Moore: So, Keith, you wanna start with the US?

Jones: Of course, he throws me under the bus. Fine!

Moore: I’ll talk about Africa and international.

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Jones: Okay, it’s all intertwined. But locally in the United States, it really is focusing on laying the foundation for the international work to have a place to center itself. Our long vision, the Krip Hop Nation Institute having a physical building or space where essentially all things humanity with a Krip Hop lens: mentoring, teaching, connection, art, creativity. And that’s being underpinned with our forays into the virtual world space, the metaverse space we’re dealing with. We have a couple partnerships with some organizations, including the Chaos Collective, as well as UCLA, working on bridging the divide between technology and the disability community, which underpins the other work as well as what we’re gonna be launching in about a month which is our streaming service Da CHNL.

Jones: And that’s Da, D-A-C-H-N-L culture, history, news and lifestyle. But it’s really sort of like the plate that the rest of Krip Hop rests on. It is the vision of being able to have Rob Da’ Noize Temple scholarship funds. We can teach young kids how to advocate, how to be mentees, or how to mentor. And there’s a lot of much more nuanced acts that are going on in partnering with other organizations to bring sports into the community, bring literacy, bring art, and culture, poetry. And we’ll be over the next year or two, rolling out a few more things. And now that we’re 17, wow. I guess we gotta get a driver’s license (laughs). But those are just some of the things that we’re focusing on. But we really are focusing on the Krip Hop Metaverse, the Krip Hop Institute and working in VR spaces and technology.

Moore: Yeah. And I can jump on about the international, like you said, it all comes together, so it’s not separate, but you know, Krip Hop Africa is blowing up. It just amazes me how much Krip Hop chapters are  up in Africa, from Uganda to Tanzania, to South Africa, to Kenya. We have to realize in the US, people with disabilities have so many services. They might get a monthly SSI check, which is nothing especially in California, right? Rents are so high. But just put your feet in shoes of Krip Hop chapters in Africa where they don’t get any kind of income. So because of that, Krip Hop has really stepped up. I mean we have international groups that invite people with disabilities to the US and say, look at the US. Look at the ADA, look at this, look at that.

Moore: Okay, now go home. Right? That’s a setup. And you know, there’s no support. Krip Hop with our SSI dollars, tries to support our chapters with monthly stipends. It’s not a lot. But at least we know that Krip Hop chapters in Africa need more than inspiration to make it work. And that’s what we’re doing. In Tanzania, one of our our artists is Archie. Archie’s been down with Krip Hop for four years. And now Archie’s been in the US three or four times, you know, making connections beyond Krip Hop. You know, because of his work, Archie has cycles in Tanzania, bicycles. Archie wants to build a school back in Tanzania. He wants to do a radio show. And he’s like, I wanna do this under Krip Hop. We have goals of buying land in Tanzania, supporting him with the school.

Jones: Of course, he wants Krip Hop to be in the curriculum. He wants to start a radio station. So that’s only in Tanzania. There’s other chapters that wanna do what Tanzania is doing. And they have. I have been to South Africa, in 2016, with Simon Mandela. And we decided to do a tour around South Africa. We raised the funds. We visited 10 or 12 artists in one week. We went to Cape Town, Johannesburg, all other cities. I didn’t realize that a lot of Black disabled artists get no support compared to White disabled artists. Because of that tour, we came back home and Krip Hop did an all African Bay Area Disabled Musicians tour, which we had artists from Tanzania, South Africa, Uganda and all over. They came to the Bay Area, and did a tour around the Bay Area.

And we did that on SSI dollars. It wasn’t a Ford Foundation grant. It wasn’t the UN. It was my pocket and it was Keith pocket. And we did. That’s why we wanna get in meet with Stevie Wonder, because since I was a little kid, I heard Stevie Wonder talk about South Africa. He was a part of apartheid, trying to stop that. So I think Krip Hop vision would go good together. So those are only a little part of what we’re doing in Africa. And that’s only Africa. We have chapters in Brazil, the UK.

Carson: And last year Krip Hop Nation won an Emmy for a theme song for a Netflix sports documentary on the Paralympics. And you are continuing to move in the area of sports. So tell us a little bit more about that.

Jones: The Emmy for Rising Phoenix which is still surreal. But it’s tied to sports. So what we are planning to do, and what we are actually in the process of doing is the, which goes to what Leroy was talking about with our international work as well as our partnership with UCLA, and is using sports as an entree into social justice, arts, and community. So it is partnering with certain organizations to bring soccer, accessible soccer to the hood, basically, or to Tanzania, to Kenya, to South America, to Brazil, to the places where we have chapters and show that the accessibility is, the limitation is not the youth, the limitation are the peoples who are running it, who have no imagination on how to help this child live their life. And not just maybe quote unquote in actually being an athlete, but being the manager, being the coach, being the trainer, being the lawyer, being the owner, right?

Jones: There’s so many facets to this. So part of the way that we’ve been and it’s funny because we have gotten some notoriety, I guess. I mean, I can, I always laugh with Leroy. I’m like Leroy, we’ve been in papers before, but in this time where people are elevating the discussion about disability, particularly now with the John Fetterman issue and how access needs are being challenged, how we are still too Black for a lot of people, still too radical, for a lot of disabled people still not. We’re not squishy enough in the mainstream to get onto a Nightline or to get a Nightline, to get on to MSNBC or CNN or Fox or…, Because there’s a particular kind of way that if you have an ethnicity and a disability and you want to use your talent, sports or whatever, there’s still that hurdle that we’re trying to get over.

So a lot of this is coming through, using sports and using partnerships, to give non-traditional outlets for youth with disabilities. Because getting an IEP is nice, but if you’re graduating at a 13% rate compared to your peers, and then there’s only a 2.3% graduation rate at a four-year college with your peers, then there’s a lot of kids left out. So this is a way to give them a new onramp into chasing their independence, pursuing their dreams, and also using technology. You know, like you said with Stevie Wonder, Stevie Wonder had a keyboard. Technology was driving what he did and how he does it. Technology is how he started, and it’s driving what we do and how we done it. And using our metaverse, our, our spaces, teaching kids how to program games. You know, e-sports is a thing now. And you, and showing a depth of controllers and all of these things. So that youth who have been told that they have to sit on the sidelines can actually now get into the game.

Carson: So let’s take it back to music for a minute, knowing that you two are both activists and musicians, and I think I know the answer to this because you’ve brought up Stevie Wonder now twice, but I was gonna ask you, who in music might come close to being musicians or activists? And if you had your way, who would you like to work with? And what influences or models from your disabled musician ancestors do you think Krip Hop Nation has built itself on?

Moore: Oh my God. Can, can I take this, Keith?

Jones: Yeah, absolutely.

Moore: Alright. So of course, you mentioned Stevie Wonder. I mean being an activist and being a musician is two different things. But once you blend them together, you really stand on your principles. It’s hard to do that in the music industry. I always saw Stevie Wonder doing that, you know, with apartheid, with Martin Luther King, Jr. People don’t know that we got that birthday because of Stevie Wonder, you know. You know, all that. You know, when he was at the Grammys a couple of years ago and he did a joke about his acceptance as he was getting an award and what he read on was in braille. He was like, ha ha, only I can read this. But he also said that you know, that accessibility should be everywhere and everything. You know, people laughed at the joke, but people didn’t get that Stevie Wonder was speaking in unequivocal terms at the freakin’ Grammys! You know, that was incredible. So, of course, you know, Stevie Wonder is number one for me. But beyond Stevie Wonder, and how can you go beyond Stevie Wonder? But you know, Krip Hop and the Sugar Hill Gang…The Sugar Hill Gang was one of the first and only bling-bling hip hop artists that really supported us because the Sugar Hill Gang had Rob Da’ Noize Temple as a keyboardist. And Rob Da’ Noize Temple, you know, passed away a couple years ago, rest in peace.

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Moore: But he was the co-founder of Krip Hop. So he made those connections to the Sugar Hill Gang. And that’s what we need. We don’t need charity. And Hip hop is all over this charity model of disability. It’s just so outdated. It’s like, please, you know. We want hip hop artists to come be with Krip Hop and say, alright, let’s do the work. We have so much to do. We have this Krip Hop Institute, and it needs to be up before the Olympics come to LA. It’s like in four years or three years or something like that. There’s so much work to be done on that side, you know, there’s so much work to be done in the music industry about ableism. And I know, you know, RAMP is doing their thing. But there’s so much room for other collectives to do. You know, it’s not only Krip Hop. Other people can do it. But we need people to do the work.

And that means going against the mainstream or going against your funders. And, you know, we need to do it. But here in LA, I’m telling you, we have this Krip Hop Institute that needs to go up, you know. There’s been talks and panels, and as a matter of fact, I’m gonna be on a panel about, you know, the Olympics and Paralympics in LA and what that means. Cause we don’t want…because the Olympics always has this reputation of coming into places, going yeah, yeah, and leaving. And there’s a hole, you know. So Krip Hop wants to, you know, be that hole and make that hole complete with the Krip Hop Institute. So once the Olympics go away, we have the Krip Hop Institute. So yeah, there’s a lot of work to be done. And Stevie Wonder, I know you have a radio station in LA. Let’s get it done. So I know Keith has more artists that he would love to work for.

Jones: Me? No. Actually, I think the question about who we wanna work with is, is actually the, the community. Because if I had stars that had names on them, it would be any star that has an intersection with disability, particularly if you’re in the music business. I think what we talked about is that, you know, when people come to disability, they come to it at their own intersection point. Like they found it because they had a child, or they’ve had a family member, or they’ve had their own personal, but it’s very myopic and it’s very focused on what they’ve experienced and how they can move in that street. You know, that’s why autism is a sexy disability, because it has a brand versus understanding that Black and Brown kids are over-diagnosed and overrepresented.

So if we’re going to be musicians supporting places like Autism Speaks, or whoever, understand that, you know, there’s a nonprofit industry I would love to work with. You know, whether it be a Dr. Dre, Snoop, or Puff Daddy, I don’t care. I mean, the only distinction between them and us is that they’re industry. And we are artistry. And they, that has to be real clear. If you, you’re going to the industry allowed you the economic means to survive off your artistry, but we need to be able to translate that into Compton, into Inglewood, into San Diego, into New Orleans, into Detroit, into Nairobi, into Calcutta, and be able to just make that transition and say, okay, there is no industry without the artistry. And so I’ll work with anybody. I’m, you know, as long as you cool, we cool. But if you’re not about the larger mission and the larger work, understanding the power of art, then I can give a damn who you are.

Moore: Yeah. I wanna mention too that Keith had been working with SIGA. SIGA is the one largest sports company. And I just award from the Global Sports Foundation. So it, you know, we are talking to people on that’s, you know, on this level, and then they can make things dance. So I know Keith is doing great work with SIGA.

Jones: Yes.

Carson: Well, thank you and congratulations to you both on that. And you know, when you talk about industry, let’s talk about the entertainment industry in particular. Today we see that there’s a push to make Hollywood more inclusive, but you two are working, taking it on a different level as you’ve been describing here, and you are using what you call Da CHNL. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Jones: I will tell you this, yes. I will tell you this before I run and go be in the community. Da CHNL is something that has been percolating in the back of my mind for a little bit. And I just totally, really had no choice. Keith has to go with it. It really is, it’s a streaming platform to reflect everything you just talked about. So you could go find this interview with you on a place and not have to go say, Find me on YouTube. No, you can, $5 a month, you’ll be able to subscribe, and you will, the community will see itself in all of its granular glory, in all of its, I call, we are intricate mosaic of humanity. So this, I mean, granted, and plus we doing it with EBT cards and Cheese Whiz, but we gonna get it up and running.

But it really is a reflection of the passion, the commitment, and kids want to see themselves. It’s nice to see yourself on the TikTok, but wanting to see yourself in a feature length film. It’s not to see yourself on an Instagram post. What is it like to see a Black disabled woman hosting her talk show or, or an indigenous mother of a child with autism talking about their cultural intersectionality or, you know, all of these things and talking about the fullness of their humanity from the intimacy of your relationships to the difficulties navigating society. So that’s the channel. Da and C-H-N-L the channel, using the colloquialisms. But it really is to give ultimately the goal is to have a platform where people can get quality entertainment and, you know, see these amazing artists that solely because of how their humanity showed up, have been marginalized.

And now even if we can offer them a sliver of an onramp to see what, you know, the potential that they have, that’s really the guiding principle and the mission. And on the back end of just Da CHNL is teaching, is the mentor part, teaching how to put the show together. How do you run a channel? How do you program? How do you write a script? How do you write a scene? It’s really giving that, and that’s, you know, we launch on 11/11 and, you know, I don’t, we got one thing going up and we’ll slowly build it out over the year, and hopefully by the end of 2023, we’ll have a broad enough category to show the world that yes, it’s nice, but you know, what happens when Netflix does a disability show, then everybody and their mama get up in arms.

You can’t, well, you won’t be able to say that with us because we are the writers, producers, stars, directors, you know. It comes from us, you know. So if you’re mad at your reflection, that’s not my problem. But that’s, you know, but that’s the kinda thing. So we’re excited about it. It’s a necessary step. We’ll be around trying to do it. It’s not a YouTube channel. This is not, Go find me on YouTube. This is when you turn on your Roku TV, you’ll see us. And every month you’ll come back, you’ll have movies, you’ll have discussions about what it’s like to be a mother of a child with a disability who is now experiencing gender identity issues and wants to go through those discussions. Those are not, you know, topics that you’ll find unless you go down the rabbit hole of a particular YouTube or, you know, you go to a very specific place. We will put those things front and center. So you will have your culture. You will have your history. You will have your news. You will have your lifestyle. You’ll get to listen to good music, see crazy science fiction, and listen to some crazy music all at the same time. But really, just be able to embrace and enjoy your humanity.

Carson: So how can people support your work? How can they support Krip Hop Nation, Soul Touching Experiences, LLC? How can they support Da CHNL? And is there a website that they should know about? How can people contact you?

Jones: Yes, you can contact us through the website. You can book Krip Hop Nation through there. You can get to our store and buy the merchandise. We will be launching something called The Writeup, where you’ll now get to see Leroy’s thoughts in real time. Then you’ll get to experience the beautiful stream of consciousness that is Leroy’s writings, as well as opening it up to other writers.

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Moore: Yeah, yeah. I wanna say you know, to get involved, we, we, we definitely need the assistance. We want to do This Hop Institute, you know, and it’s gonna take support, it’s gonna take money, it’ll take sponsorships, you know. We would love to have Apple come and do the tech part of it. We’d love to have Nike. Can you picture a Krip Hop sneaker? That’d be cool. But, you know, we want these partners to come in and really work with us, not for us, but with us, about the Krip Hop Institute. You know this, I mean this institute, in the vision, we want this institute to be an educational space for other cultural spaces, especially Black spaces that don’t have disability in it. I was interviewing with Charlie Braxton, one of the major down south hip hop journalists has CP like me, and he was saying that even in Blues museums down there and they don’t talk about disability.

I said, how can that be? Blues was started by a lot of disabled, blind blues artists. So, you know, these places need the Hip-Hop Institute so they can come and learn about how they put disability in their spaces. So we don’t get another Washington with the Washington Museum on Black Civil Rights or you know, Black Museum in Washington. They just opened it a couple years ago. And I went through it and didn’t, you didn’t have Braille. I was like, so how can a blind, you know, participant coming into this multimillion dollar museum, how can he or she or they enjoy it if there’s no Braille, and there’s no guide person to guide them? So these are the issues that we’re trying to be a catalyst when the Krip Hop Institute is out. But, you know, we need assistance and we need money, and we need strong support from the community.

Jones: Right. And if people are looking to support financially, because everybody got money, contact us. If you reach out to us, we will talk about sponsorships. We will have sponsorship packages, partnership packages that offer people the ability to do it. I mean, you can always go to PayPal, but this is, this is a global vision for us. This, you know, the low hanging fruit, is to buy a t-shirt, book a gig, subscribe to Da CHNL. All of these things will revert back into building that, that frame that, you know, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you send your kid to a museum and they can’t participate because the access needs are not met. Or if you have an event in your, the community, you don’t know where to go, you can come to us and we can help you get interpreters, captioning, things like that. We can talk to you about performance spaces. We can talk about the cultural differences that disability has, whether in North America, Central America, South America, or on the continent, Asia. What it’s like to be disabled in Russia. What is it like to be a Uyghur in China and have a disability? What is it like to be, you know, in a different caste in India and have a disability? These things, you know, you talk about the nuances, but the commonality in our humanity.

Carson: Thank you. Keith Jones, Leroy Moore, all the best to you both.

Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed. (She/Her)

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