Season 2 Finale with Leroy Moore

April 29, 2023 01:16:53
Season 2 Finale with Leroy Moore
Disability Empowerment Now
Season 2 Finale with Leroy Moore

Apr 29 2023 | 01:16:53

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Show Notes

Leroy Moore is the co-founder of Krip Hop Nation, he is also an activist, author, and current PhD student at UCLA. In this episode, Moore dives into his experience growing up disabled in the 70s and his perspective on the birth of Krip Hop Nation. Find the transcript to this HERE. Follow Moore on Twitter […]
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Episode Transcript

Keith: Welcome to Disability Empowerment Now, Season Two finale! I'm your host, Keith Murfee-DeConini. Today I have the pleasure of talking to Leroy Moore, who is the co-founder of Krip Hop Nation, an activist, author, and current PhD student at UCLA. Leroy, welcome to the show. Leroy: Thank you for having me. Thank you so much. Keith: So I interviewed your fellow co-founder, Keith Jones at the start of the season. Let's start there. I already know the answer but for those listeners who don't, how did you first meet Keith Jones and develop the idea of the idea, the genesis for Krip Hop Nation? Leroy: Yeah, so Keith Jones, we first met online on MySpace. This was before Facebook, so MySpace was up. I was coming from the radio station I used to work at called KPFA in Berkeley. And we did a three part series on hip hop and disability. I came home and I put up a statement on MySpace about Krip Hop, what I wanted to do, and I saw Keith's first single, he put out back then. So he started to talk and that's when we started to talk online and we met face to face at the DMC in Boston back in 2004, and then that's when we really, you know, put things in motion. So it was me, Keith, and before Keith I met Rob Da Noise Tempe and he was the DJ for the Sugar Hill gang. He passed away a couple years ago, but I met him before Keith in Brooklyn, New York. So he was really me, Rob, and Keith. But really I started Krip Hop, I put it on paper. I did a radio show about it then. Then I went out and I got people like Keith and Rob. Keith: So crip is usually spelled with a c but you'd spell it with a k. Can you walk us through the genesis and meaning behind the spelling crip with a k? Leroy: Yeah. So crip with a c, everybody knows crip with a c from the Crips and the Bloods in LA. But of course we know before that the whole word crippled, you know, was leveled against us, you know, back in the twenties and thirties, and forties and professional and all that, but it really became popular under the Crips and the Bloods and came to hip hop. So what Krip hop wanted to do is take back that name and just like Hip Hop flip it into a positive and really talk about, you know, the history of crip, crippled and you know, just make it as a Hip Hop thing. Yeah, that's the reason why we changed the c to the k, you know, just to make it a little on separation from the Crips and the Bloods. So even, you know, in Hip Hop you flip something and you make it positive and that’s what we want to do. Keith: So Leroy, you are also a very good poet. What drew you to poetry? Leroy: So I began to read and write poetry when I was an early teenager, you know, growing up disabled in the seventies. You know, it was a totally different environment back then. Of course I was born in 88 and even before I was born it was. So, you know, growing up black and disabled, you know, you're spending a lot of time alone. So in my alone time I just started writing and writing poetry and short stories and articles. So I mean, that's when I got hooked onto it and my father took me to go see The Last Poets in New York. We were living in Connecticut, so we drove up to New York and that is when I saw the Last Poets, I call it the Godfather of Hip Hop because they were doing spoken word in the seventies. So when I saw it I was like, oh, okay. Yeah. And that's when I really came out as a poet and also like it came out in the middle of the nineties because I traveled to the UK after undergrad because they had a black disabled movement. So I went to go check it out. And that's when I started to do open mics. I was like oh, what the hell nobody knows me around here so I might as well do an open mic and that’s when I started doing it. I came back and have been doing it ever since. In the Bay Area in the nineties, in the mid nineties open mic poetry was hot. AHad open mic. So I joined a couple groups like magazine and poets and also I ran my own non-profit and what we call disabled poetry and we used to be around and do poetry. So that's, you know, that's how I fell in love with poetry. Keith: So could you tell us about your childhood and growing up disabled, while black. I hope I'm using that term correctly, Keith Jones told it to me, because I am very interested on that perspective. You grew up in the seventies and that was before my time and so please, tell me about that. Leroy: Yeah. Growing up black and disabled in the seventies was kind of lonely at first, but I got really involved with my parents' activism. My mother, my father were loosely connected to the Black Panthers. So we used to go to house meetings and stuff like that. My mom fought for my education. She got mainstream before the IDA, individual disability act, she took the school to court to get me outta special education, and get me in the quote unquote mainstream with the teachers aid back in like ‘73, ‘74. So yeah, I mean, I was lucky to have parents that were really positive about my disability and wanted me to learn about, you know, being black and disabled. My mom put on this black opera called Corgi and Best and that's when the first first time I saw a black disabled man on TV, I was freaking out, I was like wow mom, I am on TV, because Corgi had a physical disability. So that was the first time I saw that on TV. So that, plus my father’s record collection changed my life, because my fathers record collection was huge. This is of course before CDs. And I used to go downstairs in a place where the collection was, and I saw a lot of black, disabled blues singers, you know, blues singers that had dark sunglasses on. I saw blues singers that had like, I saw soul singers like Robert Winters on crutches. So I was like, oh my God, this is me. You know? So between Pogie and seeing my father’s record collection, that gave me a really strong foundation of who I am as a black disabled man. So from there and from my mother's advocacy, I started to do my own advocacy. And that happened in grade school when me and two other black disabled boys would get together and do letter writing. And this was before computers, so we had to write letters. So we wrote letters to a lot of media outlets and black leaders about not seeing black disabled people on TV. And this was back in the early eighties, you know, so we wrote like Jesse Jackson and, you know, Oprah and all these people. And really nobody had any answers for us. So that's when, you know, my advocacy became more on race and disability and being black and disabled, you know, back then, you know, no one was really talking about it, you know, it was more, you know, trying to fit in, in certain organizations. I grew up in this non-profit organization called United Cerebral Palsy Association, and my mom always knew how to put things in front of me. So my mom took me to this organization and come to find out that the director at the time was a black disabled woman. So when I saw that, I was like, oh God, what? You know. So I got involved with it. It's called a UCP. It's short. So I got involved with UCP’s summer camp program. I was a camper and I worked there and I worked there for years. I was the director for the last couple years. I also did their sports program. I went to the Paralympics back in 1988. So, I used to volunteer there. So I had a long history of being involved in disabled organizations and yeah nonprofits at the time. Keith: Thank you. So tell me about how you came to define the term, and please correct me if I'm pronouncing this incorrectly, Afro-Krip. Leroy: Yeah, Afro-Krip came about around four years ago, because, you know, like I said, I traveled to the UK. I traveled to Canada. I always had this interest in going to South Africa. In high school, I was really interested in apartheid and how apartheid dealt with people with disabilities. So I've always had this international view of a disability and that's one thing that really gets me. I think that this community needs to outgrow it, is that we still look at it as an “I” story. We don't look as a “we” story. So, you know, going to the UK, going to Canada, I realized that there's disabled people everywhere and there's black disabled people everywhere. You know, when I found the Black Disabled Movement in London, England, and they had one in Canada, Toronto, and they had a big one in South Africa. So a couple years ago I was like, you know, we have afro anything, you know, afro rican, afro brazilian, but how about Afro-Krip. Dealing with disabled people that are from the African diaspora. So I put that out, you know, knowing that once again, that, you know, disability, disability, culture, disability history, disability music, disability activism is international, not only the US. So I wanted to put out terminology that we can all get under with, you know. If you are afro and you’re disabled and you’re coming from different parts of the country or, you know, different parts of the world, we can say, well okay, we are Afro-Krip but, you know, people need to have a good outlook on disability and on self-empowerment before understanding Afro-Krip cause, you know, cause of course, you know, being disabled, we have, a lot of us have internal ableism. You know, because we don't see ourselves and when we do see ourselves, it's negative. So because of that we have this internal ableism, about our own self. So if you had that internal ableism then you are not going to fully get Afro-Krip. Because Afro-Krip is going the opposite way, saying that we're proud of our disability, the history, the culture, and the music. The way our struggles that we can all connect on internationally. So in the long run, Afro-Krip is for people that really wanna stand on and make a better foundation for black disabled people all over the world. Keith: So for those listeners who don't know the terms ableism or inner ableism, could you talk about those terms because they're important as you just alluded to? Leroy: Yeah. So ableism and another activist, disabled activist TL Lewis has a definition of ableism, so I would, you know, tell people to look TL Lewis up on Twitter. But, you know, ableism from my point of view is, you know, like racism, sexism is, it's discrimination against people with disabilities. So it's not only an attitude, it's the action of putting that attitude into action. So, for example, for me being a black disabled man, I'm always stopped by the police. Always. And it is the most weirdest thing I go through. I get stopped by the police and that's ableism because they see a black disabled man, so that equals a black disabled man that is, you know, houseless or that is doing something wrong in their mind. So that's turning into ableism because you have a negative attitude towards the person and you are acting on that, you know, stopping me for no reason, just because I'm black and disabled. That's ableism. So I just wanna make that clear, ableism is more than just thinking of something, but putting that into action, putting that into writing, into negative policies, putting it into you know, police brutality, you know, hate crimes, so yeah. Keith: Can you tell me the difference between black ableism and ableism? Are they totally different or do they intercept anywhere? Leroy: No, I think it's totally different. I probably stand on my own about this but I think it's totally different because the black community has a totally different history than any other community. You know, because of slavery, because of Jim Crow, you know, because of all that, you know, we have a different kind of thinking toward disability and that's one thing that I preach about is that although the disability community has, you know, we have rights, you know, we have disability studies, disability arts and it is really good, you know, and of course I benefit from it, but on the other side because of racism and, you know, institutional isms, all of that education and all of that awareness and all that growth that the disabled community enjoyed, did not reach the black community. So the black community is still in the model of, almost like the religious or the medical model of disability and the religious model is, you know, you can be healed from it. In the medical model of disabilities it is you know, you can get operations, you can overlook it. So because we never got the education and the awareness to move up to the social model of disability, or even now that disability justice model of disability, because we, under the black community, hadn't had that education, they deal with black ableism, and black ableism came from, you know, slavery cause under slavery, you know, the black disabled body wasn't worth anything it was like kill 'em or try to hide it or pity, you know, so the community never had the education to come up and out the religious model, medical model of disability. Because of that you had the growth of black ableism in the community. I mean, we still have a lot of people in the black community that still use handicapped to talk about people with disabilities. I mean, we all know that that term is so outdated, and it is not only terminality, but like I always say, people, and not only black people, people don't see disability as a political, historical, artistical, kind of identity to study, to talk on, to come from. So if you, if you don't see that in that way, then it's easy to erase or put into the category of like okay, disability is only without having services or overcoming. So there's two ways you can have services, you know, you can collect a paycheck or you can, you know, get services or you can overcome them. So in those two ways, that excludes, you know, our history, it excludes our artistic history, it excludes our activism. So, yeah. Keith: So we've been friends on Facebook for a few years and I graduated in 2019 with a masters degree in Disability Studies. Could you talk about your view of the current disability studies and why, and how it needs to change to be more inclusive? Leroy: Yeah, yeah. That's a hard one. Yeah. You know, disabilities, you know, all, I have to be honest and it's really hard to say sitting at UCLA. But anything that we learned in institutions in higher education came from the community. You know, not only disability studies, but black studies came from the community. Poetry came from the community. So with that viewpoint is that, you know, disability studies came from the Disability Rights Movement, you know, it came from, you know, histories of oppression, you know, put on people with disabilities. So, I say that, you know, all these studies are kept as important if they're connected to the community. So the community needs to check the university and say, okay, yeah, you are doing disability studies, right? Or, you know, your quote unquote academic theories don't touch the community. So, saying that, I think the studies nowadays have, and all studies go through this, have been institutionalized so much that it's hard to come from the community and really see a mirror. I think that's the catch 22 when you make things institutionalized, you know, when you make things a study. I mean the good point is that it's part of the university that students can take it and that's good and to just be honest the bad thing is that it stays in the institution. And sometimes it doesn't get updated, you know, so that's the catch 22 of being a study in the university. I just put it on Twitter, what was it called a couple days ago? I said, there's no sense of having radical studies. So we see that there's like radical black studies, radical disabled studies, but universities are not radical. They're liberal at best. So naming anything radical that's coming out of the university is for me, it's kinda iffy and that's why I think, well that's why I know that Krip-Hop nation, one of my goals of getting this PhD is to serve the Krip-Hop Institute in the community. So people can come to the community and get political education, you know, listen to Krip-Hop and all that stuff. You know, back when I grew up, a lot of activists went to community centers like YMCA to get political education. Now, we put everything on universities. I don't think that's fair and I don't think that reaches a lot of people, and a lot of people are not going to be accepted at a university. And also like I said in the beginning, community scholarship is important and we must keep that so we can, you know, always remind these studies, disability studies, black studies, women studies to remind them that their connection in the community, it is not only the higher education. Keith: Do you view a difference between disability rights and disability justice and do they intersect or are they completely different in your view? Leroy: Well, you know, being a person that was there when disability studies was born, I was one of the co-founders of blank, you know, everybody, you know, we started this and that is one thing that's really, it's really freaking me out lately. I mean, it's really freaking me out lately because we started disability justice for the community. For communities of color, queer, transgender communities, you know, and we had trouble, like I said, getting into black brown communities doing disciplinary justice work because there's so much work that needs to be done even before getting into disability justice. But, you know, disability justice was born out of you know, people of color, people that are queer, people that are straight, people that are transgender saying that, yeah, we benefit from disability rights, but we also recognize their internal isms and kept a lot of black and brown and queer and gender disabled people out fully and not only physically but their political education. So that's why blank studied disability justice and, you know, it's interesting because, you know, we always see something that you started to grow and, you know, grow in different ways. You know, of course we don't wanna hijack anything we want things to grow, but also seeing the growth and seeing that now disability justice is in, you know, foundations, it's in academia, it's in almost everywhere except the black and brown community where we wanted it to be. So it's a catch 22, you know, of birthing something and then watching it grow and seeing that, you know, when you let things go, you see how it grows and you see it like, okay, that was not our vision, but, you know, we had to let it grow and come back. So disability rights, you know, I started talking to you about my blah blah, like mother taking the school or to court, you know, she used rights to do that in that situation. So it's not either or. It's both together. And we have to recognize that, you know, disability justice is really, you know, was born and was for people that did not benefit from the Disability Rights Movement, you know? So, you know, I would love to see disability justice continue to grow and also to come back to the communities where there's work there is work that needs to be done. So much work that needs to be done in the black and brown, people of color, poor people, communities around disability justice. Because that's where the hard work is gonna happen, you know? You know, we can't change that disability justice is in academia or you know, at grant foundations, you know, we can't change that, but we definitely need to get it back to the community and one way to do that is to have more community spaces for it. I think that's what's missing is that, like I said, everybody puts everything on educational institutions. You know, are you gonna learn this from, you know, going here? You're gonna learn this in your master degree but, you know, there has to be community spaces. You know, in the Bay Area, in simi valley you also have the social justice house in Oakland that DC Milburn started, you know, hopefully in a couple years you know, Krip-Hop Institute will be open. So yeah, there needs to be more community spaces. So we can do that education. Keith: Yeah, I agree. So, in 2020 Krip-Hop Nation was selected to work on the music, specifically the theme song, to the Netflix documentary about the Paralympics, Rising Phoenix and the following year 2021, Krip-Hop nation won an Emmy for their work on the theme song. Tell me about that. That seems like to the outsider that you've quote unquote made it. Do you feel that way or not, and why? Leroy: Yeah. I mean, that opportunity was incredible. You know, the producers came to Krip-Hop. They came to me first and said that, you know, that they wanted the theme song to be, you know, performed by Hip-Hop artists with disabilities. So, you know, I connected them with the artists as they're on the song now. So that was a big opportunity for us. You know, winning an Emmy was good, you know? You know, that is a huge opportunity for black and brown disability people to get, and I also know at the same time that, you know, although we have an Emmy, I'm still struggling, you know, Keith Jones is still struggling and, you know, I'm more as a we thing, and you know, I know that that song has uplift a lot of people internationally and also II see it as a stepping stone. You know, I don't see it as, as, okay, we made it, you know, because the music industry is, I just have to be honest. It's dead, you know? And that's a good thing because the music industry is so corrupt. I mean, I helped to put Krip-Hop together, not only for my sake, but teaching people that disabled musicians have been here since the blues. You know, disabled engineers have been here since the Freak Show. So it's not, you know, patting myself on the back. It's really telling the music industry, the entertainment industry, that they have skeletons in their closet and they need to recognize that you know, this ableism has been all through the music industry. Black Blues musicians have been ripped off by the music industry. You know? You know, so for me, I mean, that's the reason why I do it, is to really put the whole history out there and also at the same time give a picture to a young black disabled Leroy out there that wants to do Hip-Hop. So now, he or she or they can go to the internet and see Krip-Hop. Because when I was growing up, there was no internet, but also there were no, you know, people that looked like me that were doing music, you know, like cause they grew up in Hip Hop. They grew up in the seventies. So I remember Hip Hop on the corner, I remember Hip Hop being diverse too, before it got that bling bling. So when it was on the corner in New York and I grew up in New York too. In Connecticut, I used to see, you know, disabled people break dancing and so I used to see that. So, a long, long story short is that, you know, the Emmy and all that stuff is a good mirror for young disabled musicians that wanna do music. And not only musicians, but also disabled people that wanna work in the music industry that's not on the stage. You know, I'm not a musician, I'm a poet, but I consider Krip-Hop part of the music world, I say, because they are not the music industry but they are a part of the music world. Keith: So you say you are a poet, and I can confirm that I've enjoyed reading your work in the past. Tell me about your written work and how you came to write. In 2018 you wrote and published a Krip-Hop Graphic Novel under Poor Press Magazine, or Poor Magazine. Tell us about that experience. Leroy: Yeah. Yeah. Me and Poor Magazine go back a while, I think since ‘94, ‘93, something like that. Poor Magazine is this press that publishes authors, artists, activists that are poor. Usually you don't see that in the press, you know, so, POOR Magazine. So my first book, a Chat Book at the time, that came out in ‘96, ‘97, something like that. My first Chat Book was titled Black Disabled Man With a Big Mouth and a High IQ and it was my poetry at that time and most of my poetry is political poetry, talking about issues of race, disability, police brutality, poverty, all that stuff. So POOR magazine published my first book. POOR Magazine and I started what's called POOR Poets and it is a group of poets and artists and we used to go around the Bay Area doing poetry. We started that in the nineties and it just grew from there. I wrote poetry and, you know, I was doing my own nonprofit. We had our own artistic outlet called New Voices, disabled poets and artists of color, and we used to go around and do poetry and make books. And now my poetry is still with me and I still write poetry and songs. I write more poems about graduate school and how graduate school sometimes will beat you down just to reshape you. So that's what I've been writing about lately. But, yeah, I mean poetry and it's just another, I see poetry as like an artistic outlet as activism. Keith: So you got accepted into the PhD program of Emplogy at UCLA. Why did you choose that specific field and what is your overall experience of being a PhD student with a disability? Leroy: Well, first of all I wasn’t thinking of going back to school to get my PhD I was just doing the work of Krip-Hop and UCLA reached out to me because at the time, now my advisor, Elaine, was writing his Hip-Hop book and his assistant graduate student, Stephanie Parks, knew about my work because she has an autistic son and her autistic son likes Hip-Hop. So she knew that I was doing Krip-Hop, so she told Elieen and me and Stephanie collaborated on a chapter in that book. The book just came out a couple weeks ago. And, you know, after doing the chapter, Elaine and Stephanie were like, Leroy, you should do a PhD. You've been doing the work for so long, you might as well get a PhD. And I was like, oh, okay and you know, of course, you know, the big thing was funds but they told me that, you know, it can be covered, you know, the funds and stuff, you know, it could be covered. So I was like, okay, cool. And, you know, took the GRE and all that stuff and now I'm here. This is my second year going on my third year, you know, I'm totally blessed to be here. Elieen my advisor now, he's my advisor and he's started this Hip Hop Initiative at UCLA and he has and wants to put Krip-Hop front and center. That's huge. I've been on the College Elected Circut lecturing since ‘98 and nobody has really, you know, supported Krip-Hop at university level. Of course, you know, we have gigs and stuff like universities, but you know, nobody opened up the door like UCLA and it's like, you'll come here and we'll support Krip-Hop and we will put Hip-Hop and disability together. Keith: So, speaking of the forthcoming Krip-Hop Institute, tell me what are your, to use a very overused phrase, what are your hopes and dreams of that institute once it opens and what are your goals for Krip-Hop in the future? Leroy: Yeah, the Institute is huge, you know, we wanted it to be open before the Olympics and Paralympics come to LA because they are coming to LA in 2028. So we wanted this Institute to be open before that because we wanted to have the few Paralympic athletes come to the Institute. But the Institute is gonna be a place where, you know, you can get political education around activism and disability, you can also, you know, have a music studio for Krip-Hop, a visual art gallery because for the last five years, I have been hiring disabled artists to do paintings and art for Krip-Hop so now we have, what, 12 different pieces from all over the world from disabled artists. So we're gonna have an art gallery, we are also gonna have what's called International were my vision is to have Myers on the walls where Krip-Hop chapters can talk to eachother. on, on the walls where this, where Crip chapters can talk to each other. So CRI chapter and Johan Africa can talk to in Toronto, Canada. So we want this international floor and we want Apple to really take it over and really, you know, and do it right. So really, you know, because I grew up in New York. I used to pass all these museums I used to pass what called So looking, they, um, this, um, library, black, black Archives library, the Somberg. So I used Tomberg in Harlem and I told my like, one day I, beberg is black museum and library and has archives of all black scholars and black activists. So, so I, I see. I see the Hop Institute being the linkage of these other museums and, um, cultural that don't have black disabled history in, in them. So I see, you know, their institute coming to queer to learn about how to really put this way history into their own museum, into their own archives. So, so that's, so that's the, of course, we want the Hop Institute to go global, you know, to have chapter everywhere. We're talking to our. Inza wants build a school and we talking about buying teach Hop. Keith: So, so, so yeah. So I've seen, I see Hop Institute going internationally, so I've seen and heard Keep Jones and you Huge. The, the walk a lot. Yeah. Could you. I have some understanding of that term due to my interview early starting the season with Keith. But could you describe what the walk means for the, and why it is important? Leroy: Yeah. The meetings that we had to go to, in the community, you know, just to get, just to get people to. Recognize that Hop Institute needs to be there. You know, the word goes beyond, you know, Facebook. You know, it's long that people don't see. It's the long, it's the money that you put into it, you know, before having like a big grant, a big funder, you know? We always say that we have been doing this on an SSI budget. Budget, and we have, there's no big funder, there's no grants. It's us doing the work. You know, putting our hair down and doing the work and, you know, constantly building up to a different platform, you know, I mean, with me and Keith and Rob and, you know, doing little events in the, to me now, now we're, and you chapters all the, you know, that's almost 17 years of work that, that, that really only a few people saw, you know, so, yeah. I mean that's, that's what's Paul doing. The work is outside of the media, outside of social networks. What other people don't see. But, but things that need, need to go forward to get to the point where people see it. Keith: So if there are any aspiring advocates who want to get in to self advocacy, adds their professional and all personal life, what, all three to five tips you would give them? Leroy: Well, first is to really know yourself. I, you know, like my mother kept on going back to my parents. They put me in front of Porky and Best cause they wanted to see they wanted me to see myself. So that's the first thing you gotta see yourself and you have to have some kinda empowerment of yourself. So what, what I say is different, just being disabled, but it is different than politically disabled. And that being politically disabled is really, you know, knowing about your history, your culture as a disabled person, knowing the activism, all that, and having the sense of, of that is your identity and being proud of that. So that's, so that's number one. Number two is really getting to know your area, you know, out my area is crip hop and, you know, and other things like police brutality. Police brutality. I really know the area because I was in it for years and years. So yeah, really get, get to know your, that, that, that you are interested in, you know, get to know it, you know, be around people and know it, you know. Like my mother, you know, put me in the, you know, that summer camp I was surrounded by disabled people. Yeah. You know, one, one to get those two together then, and, you know, and you know, be, ask, ask for what, what you want. And don't, and don't, don't let anybody, um, say that you're, you not worth it. And I, I, I get that a lot. I get that a lot. I mean, I get people that want me to speak for pennies. What? Get, and you want me to come in, like, serve for pennies thing? You just, you just have to say no. Move on. Cause you're, cause you, at that point, you, you put in the work so you deserve to be of your work. And that's, you know, people, your contract, your feet that you asking reflect, you know, what, what you want then. And yeah, you just, you know, you have to make choices and sometimes you just have to say no and move on. Keith: So I hope that both people with disabilities and people who have yet to discover and embrace their own disabilities, listen to this podcast. Add my What do you hope people with Disabil take away from this episode and what do you hope that people who have yet to discover and braids their own take away from episode showed? Leroy: That's a good question. I think people that, that embrace their disability now take away on this episode is one, is that you matter. You know, not only you matter, but the, you is a we and there's so much, um, disability, arts, culture, music identity out there, and we, we just have to grab it and bring it, bring it more to the forefront. Um, yeah, that, and then people don't have that, um, that empowerment yet, is that, you know, slowly. Oh, they get it. There's, I mean, today there's, there's, there's no reason not to have it. Cause it, it's right there. It's so easy. It's on the internet, you know, it's everywhere. You know, just, you know, going back to, you know, it was harder cause, you know, we had to search for it. It wasn't as easy as today. And I'm not, I'm not saying that everything is easy cause there's still peer pressure, you know, it is not popular being out and disabled, you know, and I understand the peer pressure for teenagers and even younger people that wanna blend in. But I'd say you can blend in with your full self, you know. Keith: Leroy, if someone would like to contact you or learn more about Krip Hop and it's mentioned, how would they do that? Leroy: Yeah, he can email me. I know use email gmail com on Facebook, Twitter. Yeah, it's easy. Easy to get in contact with me and you know, if you're a college student and you're looking for an intern, this is a really exciting time to be an intern for Krip-Hop because we are, you know, doing the institute, you know, we're growing into a foundation, you know, especially globally. So, you know, you can be a part of it if you, you know, want to do an internship. Keith: I want to thank you for coming on and talking with me today. I hope you'll come on again, particularly when the KripHop Institute opens and tell us all about it. I do hope that we get to meet in person one of these days and keep writing my friend. Your writing is incredible, just as your advocacy. Thank you for coming on and for providing me with a wonderful send off to season two of Disability Empowerment Now. Leroy: Yeah. Thank you for having me. Keith: Well, folks, that is the end of season two of Disability Empowerment Now. I would like to thank all my guests throughout this season for helping me craft this season. Season three premieres this fall, and I cannot wait to share it all with you. Thank you for listening. Keith: You have been listening to Disability Empowerment Now. I would like to thank my guest, You, our listener and the Disability Empowerment Team that made this episode possible. More information about the podcast can be found at DisabilityEmpowermentNow.com or on social media @disabilityempowermentnow. The podcast is available wherever you listen to podcasts or on the official website. Don’t forget to rate, comment, and share the podcast! This episode of Disability Empowerment Now is copyrighted 2023.

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