For 20 years, that message has been the underlying theme of Toronto hip-hop veteran Duane “D.O.” Gibson’s presentations at over 1,000 schools across Canada.
Offering four programs that focus on the topics of anti-bullying, self-confidence, leadership, peer pressure, literature and Black history, Gibson estimates he’s delivered more than 2,500 of his empowering speeches and workshops to hundreds of thousands of students — the majority of them in Southern Ontario — since 2001.
“It’s been a long journey,” says Gibson, who will host the upcoming virtual Northern Power Summit on Feb. 20 and has launched a chronicle of Black Canadian history at blackcanadian365.com.
“But it’s been a rewarding one.”
The rewards have come from running into students, years later, who remember him.