Welcome back to our Step it Up Campaign, where our aim is to inspire others to become more active in charity work by sharing stories of social responsibility.
Meet Ricky Paul
What do you do for charities?
“I am currently Vice Chair of the Board of Directors and a certified producer for PhillyCAM, and also co-founded DP Arts Consortium. PhillyCAM is a community media center that brings together the people of Philadelphia to make and share media that promotes creative expression, democratic values and civic participation. DP Arts Consortium is an arts/education nonprofit advocating gender equity and queer performance in our communities. In working with both organizations, I first became active as a content producer/artist and then assumed a Board executive role. As a result, of being an active participant in both organizations, I have cultivated unique and powerful relationships. I have also performed and organized fundraisers for nonprofits such as: SMART, Philly Aids Thrift, Planned Parenthood, The Attic Youth Center for LGTBQ & Alex’s Lemonade Stand.”
How did this happen?
“I see my charity work as an extension of my activism. I became involved in the AIDS activist movement shortly after college, concurrently creating musical performance art with composer Michael Ogborn called “C’est La Guerre!”, a song cycle from the age of AIDS. My inspiration for my activism came from the art and vice-versa. I became involved in media access issues as a direct result of being denied them. DP Arts Consortium grew out of community involvement with burgeoning artists and co-creating raucous, provocative satire and parody (www.dumpstaplayers.org).”
Why is this a good fit for you?
“As a creative artist working within marginalized communities, it’s easy to become frustrated with the status quo. Even as an artist, I often feel like an outsider. Maintaining a strong involvement on the forefront of these movements helps me stay positive and builds my sense of accomplishment.”
What have you got out of it?
“The opportunities afforded me through networking possibilities have been abundant and varied. I am truly grateful for the chance to make a difference in the communities we serve.”
What’s your advice to anyone thinking of doing this?
“It sounds so cliché, but follow your heart. Actually spending some time alone and thinking about what makes you tick is extremely important to a fulfilling life.”
Please check back often for more Step it Up interviews,
and get in touch if you would like to share your own story!