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Hero Nation to host virtual event empowering young people on Saturday

Hero Nation’s ‘Presents’ event to showcase inspirational stories

Aaliyah and Darrel Shakur (left) will participate in Hero Nation 'Presents.'  Jermaine Dickerson (right) is the nonprofit's founder and executive director. . Photos courtesy of Hero Nation.
Aaliyah and Darrel Shakur (left) will participate in Hero Nation 'Presents.' Jermaine Dickerson (right) is the nonprofit's founder and executive director. . Photos courtesy of Hero Nation. (B Reed Photography)

Ypsilanti, Mich. – On Saturday, Oct. 10, Ypsilanti-based nonprofit Hero Nation will host a virtual event highlighting the empowering impact of comic books and video games on young people.

Starting at 2 p.m., Aaliyah Shakur, 8, Darrel Shakur, 10, and Destiny Houge, 13, will tell personal stories of how nerd culture helped them discover their own strength, self-esteem, literacy, creativity and community.

Hero Nation ‘Presents’ is a free virtual event aimed at helping attendees answer the question: ‘What does it mean to be a hero?’

“I’ve always been into anime, and it has even inspired my own artistry,” Houge said in a release. “When I was approached by Hero Nation to be a part of this project, I was excited and it felt like a fun way to share my story and represent for those who look like me.”

The virtual event can be attended through the Hero Nation Facebook page.

“The kids on our roster are very passionate, talented and powerful young people,” said Jermaine Dickerson, founder and executive director of Hero Nation.

“From artists to future changemakers, the youth we’ve chosen to highlight are special in so many ways. I believe giving them the platform to share their story and perspective will allow the world to see just how resilient they are.”

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Hero Nation ‘Presents’ will also introduce its new 2021 initiative for comic creators, Creator Alliance. Dorphise Jean, Greg Elysée, John Robinson IV and Ed Williams, the inaugural group of creators for Creator Alliance, will share their experiences about the value of the creative process through a panel discussion during Hero Nation ‘Presents.’

Started in 2017, Hero Nation uses nerd-and-pop culture to help youth develop literacy and social-emotional skills. The nonprofit held its first Comic-Con in 2017 and had planned to revive the event in 2020. Hero Nation ‘Presents’ was created in its place.


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