GROWING UP: I am from Brooklyn by way of Jamaica. I graduated from The Fiorello H. La Guardia High School of the Performing Arts.
CURRENT GIG: I live in LA. I currently produce films and documentaries on the topic of human trafficking and the sex trade. I travel around the world giving workshops for young people so they have an awareness of how to end the cycle of sex trafficking. I also work with government officials in multiple countries to enact laws and initiatives that will help to end the plight of human trafficking and bring women and children back to their families.
EXPERIENCES WITH RACE: I was in Hollywood, late at night, dropping off a friend. We ended up sitting in the car talking before he got out. A police car drives by and looks in the car, he makes a u-turn and pulls up behind my car to run my plates. He then turns the sirens on. I knew not to get out of the car as a black man, but I got out. He yelled for me to get back in my car. I calmly said that I would, but that I am not an ignorant man and there is no reason to stop me. He walks up to me as I get back in. I give him my license and registration. Initially, he doesn’t give a reason for stopping me. After reviewing my documents he said that I was missing my license plate on the front of my car. I explained my mechanic just fixed my bumper, but didn’t have the screws to put it back on today, so I am going back tomorrow to remedy that. I also said that this was the last time he was going to racially profile anyone. The next day, I called my publicist to contact the LAPD since I had just completed a PSA to help with extensive training for LAPD officers on sex trafficking, was just working with Gov. Schwarzenegger and Mayor Villaraigosa on promoting a program to work with youth to educate them about the topic through film, and on CNN speaking on the subject. I typically do not use that card, but wanted to make a very real point about racial profiling and how it was continuing to happen. The next day I received a call from Public Affairs Director for LAPD to discuss the situation and received an apology. I felt vindicated in that situation since someone took the time to listen to the story.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I am a true representation of black men of my generation. I am half street and half corporate. I have learned to be a chameleon so I can survive both sides and be successful. I love grunge music like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, etc. I love Les Miserables and I love to cook.
Photographed by Spencer Susser