Though they live on opposite sides of the United States, 2023 Born This Way Foundation Youth Advisory Board members Desmond and Kemi came together to discuss the ways they take care of their mental health (listening to ASMR and reading, just to name a few!), the importance of finding a supportive community in their activism, and how we can all work to integrate helpful mental health practices in our every day life.
This interview is part of a series on Channel Kindness Radio in which members of the advisory board interview each other about their various experiences, perspectives, and hopes. You can check out the entire podcast below and the transcript here!
Desmond Napoles is a teenager who is making a significant impact on the world. They are a multi-talented individual who wears many hats – from being an LGBTQ+ advocate to a genderfluid editorial and runway model, a motivational public speaker, performer, clothing designer, actor, singer, host, and a social media influencer. Desmond’s work has been recognized by major outlets such as The New York Times, NBC News, Teen Vogue, OUT Magazine and many others.As an LGBTQ+ advocate, Desmond uses their voice and visibility to help break down barriers and create a more inclusive society for LGBTQ+ people everywhere. They are passionate about promoting acceptance, understanding, and equality for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. They have spoken at numerous events and conferences, sharing their personal experiences and providing a message of hope and inspiration to others.
Kemi Ojikutu is a high school student from Pennsylvania. She’s a huge extrovert who loves making new friends, helping others, and being a positive force in her community. She’s a member of the Youth Volunteer Corps, and Stand Together Against Racism (STAR) where she serves her community and works to raise awareness and education about important topics. It was through them that she learned about the work the Born This Way Foundation does, and was able and honored to join their advisory board and be part of the change. When she’s not working on a passion project, or volunteering at an event, you can probably find her watching a Marvel movie, reading a book, or hanging out with friends.