MME EVENTS: Bill Duke – Inspiring Words to Live By & Empowering Young People
Bill Duke was only one of several notable panelists during our 2015 X-Perience Morementum Seminar Series, which was held in October 2015 at The Los Angeles Film School. You can HEAR more of Duke’s filmmaking insights, career advice and how he overcame his own personal struggles by watching our exclusive video highlights.
Bill Duke’s inspiring words tell the classic Hollywood success story. His hard work, determination, passion, and perseverance equaled success. But the veteran actor/director also knows (all too well) about challenges when life can easily take a major turn in the wrong direction. Whether it’s lacking the right support system or being denied access to certain resources, Bill Duke aims to change that. He’s helping the next generation of entertainment and other working professionals find the help and support they need through his Duke Media Foundation. Find out how this innovative organization inspires young minds and empowers them creatively and financially. Plus, the acclaimed filmmaker tells you how to face the harsh reality of rejection with powerful, practical and inspiring words that will keep you moving forward.
FULL VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Kukhautusha Croom (Co-Founder, MoreMentum Entertainment) Now aside from being an accomplished actor and filmmaker, you’re equally devoted to your humanitarian efforts, especially helping young people. Tell us why that’s important to you.
Bill Duke: As corny as this may sound, that’s what we’re here for. If you’re not doing something to contribute to bettering this world for our children of the future, your silence is contributing to their demise. 1 out 4 black men in Washington, D.C. is HIV positive, through all the AIDS cases in America with women, 72% are black women. 1 out of 4 black children is dropping out school before they graduate in a global economy. More privatized prisons are being built. They now project when prisons are built in our communities based on 4th grade test scores. So I have a thing called Duke Media Foundation. We teach media literacy, which is the transition of film and television into media. Cell phone apps, virtual worlds, gaming, online distribution, we teach financial literacy. The distinction between the spending of a dollar and the use of a dollar. What is the FDIC? What is the Federal Reserve? What is Wall Street…so that they have any understanding that they can not use, but to use money to their benefit.
Kukhautusha Croom (Co-Founder, MoreMentum Entertainment) Is it a class or a camp?
Bill Duke: It’s a camp. What we do is we have three camps per year. We take 12 students, teaching ratio is 1:4 students, because no raising your hand in the back. At the end of the class, it’s called Trust but Verify. You don’t take a written test, you stand up, you tell us what you just learned. And we know if you got it or not (laughs). We love you, we love you, but… tell us what you just learned?
Kukhautusha Croom (Co-Founder, MoreMentum Entertainment) Is it every year? Where can people find out more information about that?
Bill Duke: Yes. The Duke Media Foundation.org. I got some great news, we just got accepted into the New York Film Academy. Really, it’s amazing, just that you come and care. It’s a big deal for them, because a lot of folks don’t.
Nick Ramos (CEO / Co-Founder, MoreMentum Entertainment) On your Twitter there’s a great quote by Winston Churchill and it’s something that we also, Kukhautusha and I, believe strongly in, which is — the quote is: True power is an individual’s power to move from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. With that in mind, what are some of the failures that you experienced that made you who are you today?
Bill Duke: Wow, that’s a great question. Rejection is a — you can keep a good face on, but it actually does something and tears something in you. I know what this business does to you. You can be here today and there tomorrow. It’s not an easy journey. Speaking of quotes, you like quotes? I have two other quotes that are my favorites. I’ll give you both of them. It’s by anonymous: Aspire to inspire before you expire. And the second one is: In your lifetime, you will never see a smaller package than a person wrapped up in themselves.