Getting to Know: Darren Brown

Arts & Cultural Social Entrepreneur

For Darren Brown, the concepts of self-identity and self-worth are tightly threaded together, but not always understood. As an Arts and Culture Social Entrepreneur, Darren says, “I want to create an organization that will support young people who have a burning desire and passion to do something creative, that through a process of self actualization create means for supporting ones community, creating means that with the help of educational endeavours mentor youth in a process of self-identity.”

With a primary focus with the First Nations and Afro-Caribbean diasporic youth communities, Darren has a three-tiered focus; 1) Creating sustainability 2) creating means for self-actualization, and 3) Helping young people to identify purpose at an earlier stage in their life. “I create programs and do youth events that incorporate means for strengthening the internal needs for developing and enhancing ones focus and purpose in the world,” he continues.

Although Darren is helping other people realize their own journeys, his journey to self-actualization wasn’t the smoothest, either. “Growing up there were questions that would always plague my mind like ‘Who am I and what is my purpose?,’ he says. “But there were never any institutional systems/programs where I grew up that I believed had the means to truly help me answer, nor was my community in which I stem from self-sufficient to provide the resources to help guide me and support me in this direction. So I have decided to work towards creating one.”

One particular incident during his childhood fuelled his passion for the future. “I was in grade 5 that I had a started practicing my graffiti and my teacher at that time looked me in face at parent teacher interview he said that my graffiti was not art and that I should stop it. That continued to be my one of my means of motivation.”

“What makes me passionate about this is that I know there are communities of people in the world that ask themselves the same or similar questions that I would ask my self but do not have the means to find the answers,” he continues saying. “I think the most significant change in the idea who we intend to collaborate with and how; also the intended focus of the program. In terms of how the programming is ran it still has the roots and from which the programming stems from.”

Although he has a clear vision, Darren knows the importance of collaborating with like-minded individuals and organizations, to which he notes that he’s open in speaking about if that’s you! For now, you can reach Darren and speak more about his plans via Facebook and Instagram (@woldesworld) spreading the word.

Story written by Erin Ashley

Darren is a participant in the Hook It Up program delivered by Socent7. Hook It Up is a support program for young social entrepreneurs in Ontario. Learn more at www.hookitup.ca.

**END OF PROGRAM UPDATE** Darren is in the midst of delivering arts-based pilot programming with the Peer Aboriginal Youth Network. His top message to other young social entrepreneurs: “be very clear about the idea. Know your why and always stick to it. That will definitely be your corner stone for when you decide to collaborate and work with others.”