Teddy Dorsette III is a Deaf filmmaker, entrepreneur, and social justice advocate from the Detroit area, where he shares his creative skills as Communication Manager for Detroit Disability Power, a nonprofit social justice organization.

Children dream about becoming the successful people they see in their lives—in their families, in television and film, in S.T.E.M., and in the arts. How do we foster healthy, authentic representation? How do we provide them with role models that will inspire future generations of Black deaf Americans to become tomorrow’s leaders? We build. We create accessible opportunities for Black deaf youth. We create grants for Black deaf talent. We utilize creative technology to uplift Black deaf artistry and widespread expression of Black deaf culture. Let’s build our future leaders, our future creatives—artists, actors, designers, filmmakers. It starts with a foundation of emboldened talents and identities and ends with a new creative era of diverse, inclusive art.

Illustration of two hands holding a vase of multicolored flowers.

This essay is part of CREATIVE FUTURES, a series of provocations by thinkers across the arts, documentary, and journalism on how to reimagine their sectors.