“Robbed of cherished moments, but now selfless and random acts of kindness are my superpowers.” – Kevin Brazant
We at BoxHuman are passionate about highlighting and celebrating inspiring humans; especially the ones who are inspiring, helping, and bringing light to the world. We do this to rebalance some of the negative messages we often hear, see, and receive daily. We met up with one of these amazing individuals…
Hi Kevin, it’s great to finally meet you. I’m excited, so let’s start this BoxHuman Inspire Series interview straight away. Can you please tell me a little bit about you and what you’re especially known for?
I am K. J. Brazant and I am known for my work in training, learning, and educational development. As a freelance trainer, coach, and learning developer I have travelled around the UK providing training and coaching services to public sector organisations and local authorities.
I am the co-founder of a platform called Lounge Akademics which provides bespoke learning services to entrepreneurs, organisations, and educational institutions. We provide brave and safe spaces for social learning, exploratory talk, and dialogue.
In short, we are wanting to provide transformational learning experiences for entrepreneurs and professionals. Our motto is:
“We are changing the world for the better, one conversation at a time!”
As the co-founder and host on the platform, I often interview influencers and thought leaders from a range of industries such as Finance, Tech, and the creative industries. We document these stories through our podcast, YouTube channel, and content development strand of our business. This includes creating digital content as well as hosting symposiums and intimate meetups with our learning community of entrepreneurs.
I am also a coach and researcher for the company Daddy CPR which provides knowledge exchanges and sharing of practice for Social Work Practitioners engaging with fathers and male carers as part of social care.
What a great start to the interview, thank you, Kevin! A little birdie told me that I’m in the presence of an award winner. Can you tell us about the awards you’ve been nominated for?
Over the years I have received various awards as part of my work. As a filmmaker and content developer, I received an award for the best newcomer for directing my documentary ‘Unheard Voices’ in 2003. The film documents the story of four teenage fathers living in Hackney, East London. Subsequently, for my work with fathers, I have been branded as a ‘social entrepreneur’ by my peers and those working in the public sector.
In 2017 I received the Adiaha Antigha Award from The Hackney Council for the Voluntary Sector for my services to fathers, boys, and young men. I’ve worked in the borough of Hackney serving the community for over a decade. The following year Daddy CPR was once again endorsed for making an outstanding economic contribution for its work by the organisation OLMEC.
Wow, congratulations on your achievements, they are certainly well-deserved! Daddy CPR sounds very interesting. Can you please tell us when did you start Daddy CPR and what is it all about?
My work with Daddy CPR started in 2005, so I have been involved in this work for over fourteen years. As a coaching and training company Daddy CPR employs freelance professionals and trainers with a background in working with children and families. They are trained in strength-based approaches as part of sharing research, best practice and training for social workers engaging fathers and male carers as part of children’s social care.
The great thing is that given the diversity of our trainers they all bring something special from their practice making our offer more diverse. Daddy CPR is particularly interested in sharing best practice approaches in tackling issues of couple conflict, domestic violence as well as parental alienation and parental gate-keeping.
The training provides opportunities for practitioners and professionals to reflect on their practice and apply it immediately to their context and work with families. Our work has involved sharing research as part of social work conferences, department training days as well as provided expert analysis and views on issues of gendered based violence, relationship break down and topics around masculinity and male identity.
We deliver lectures, seminars, and symposiums for training social work practitioners as part of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in University and Higher Education.
What an incredibly inspiring business and so very much needed. I’m really interested to know…What inspired you to start Daddy CPR and what have you learned from working on projects like this?
Daddy CPR was inspired by my own personal experience of being a young father. My son was born on the hottest day of the month in 2003. It was a bitter sweet moment as just as my son was brought into the world I was being ushered out of the ward because it was a women’s only ward. I totally understand this but I felt as though I was robbed from being with my son within the precious minutes he had when he first came into the world.
As a result, Daddy CPR has demonstrated that this was a common theme for other parents and families. Some parents spoke about the lack of support from public services such as health visitors, nurses, and early years providers. I wanted to make a difference and felt it was important to put something in place to raise awareness about these experiences of fathers and their families.
I have also learned that public services still have a long way to go in promoting positive father engagement as part of their work. I do think issues of domestic violence are often seen through a gendered lens and we still need to understand the experiences of men and fathers more generally.
For example, suicide is the biggest killer of men and I believe issues of mental health, well being and gender roles put immense pressure on men. These stark statistics about suicide and men’s lack of take up on paternity leave etc. demonstrates a real need to look at society’s values and the inequitable view of parenting.
As a trained Mediator, High-Risk Conflict Management Specialist. Can you please kindly tell us in your words about the types of hurdles and challenges you see people are facing and how they might be able to overcome these challenges?
As a trained mediator I have worked with families that are in entrenched conflict situations. Often there are past issues of physical and emotional abuse and sometimes these ways can be attributed to their families of origin.
The issues are often centered around poverty, issues of overcrowding in homes, the working poor, and structural inequality. A combination of these factors puts immense pressure on families and if those members of the family do not have suitable coping mechanisms then issues arise in the form of violence, abuse, substance misuse, and alcoholism, etc.
Repeated trauma impacts on people’s well being and mental health. The scary truth is that children growing up around these issues or in these households at increased risk of exposure and may even repeat these behaviours in their own relationships.
That was so informative and enlightening to learn about some of the challenges and issues people face. Thank you for sharing that Kevin. You work with children and young people around anger and stress management. What would you say you’ve learned from what you do and how can we as a society be more informed?
Your environment is very important. Where you live, where you work and study plays a significant role in whether you thrive or fail to thrive.
Unfortunately, what I see with children and young people around issues of violence and anger is largely due to their experiences within their homes. Whether that is due to what they have seen or experienced at the hands of their parents, carers, or loved ones.
I have learned that as professionals or practitioners we need to help build resilience in our children and young people, this includes speaking positive affirmations into the families that we support, taking a strength-based approach as part of our work.
As a society, we also need to have some more empathy and compassion. We have seen the impact of COVID -19 around the world and we have heard about the great acts of kindness and generosity from communities, but this needs to be a default. It concerns me when we only do these acts because of adversity or disaster we should be doing this anyway.
So very true Kevin! The world needs more people like you who care to show acts of kindness and inspiration to others.
You’ve been behind the production of the award-winning documentary “Unheard Voices”. Can you please tell us more about this and why you were inspired to create this documentary?
‘Unheard Voices’ is a documentary that shared the experiences of four young fathers living in Hackney, East London. At the time of production, the UK had the highest teenage pregnancy rate, and the Labour government at the time sought to address this issue.
This project was funded to document the lived experiences of these fathers which ranged from issues around relationship breakdown, estrangement from children, and their lack of engagement with public services.
This documentary set the tone for my work that would later become Daddy CPR. I quickly realised that there was a lack of support for fathers, particularly teenage fathers and I wanted to redress the imbalance by raising awareness of some of the challenges that they faced by producing this documentary.
This certainly sounds like a must-watch documentary. It’s so amazing to hear how you were able to extend your work into another positive outcome. Can you please tell us about Daddy CPR Seminars. What do you cover within the seminars and how and where can people attend or get involved?
Social Workers are incredibly busy and as a result I developed Daddy CPR Seminars which are short impactful training sessions for social workers and children practitioners.
These sessions are also delivered online and cover various topics and issues pertinent to working with families, in particular fathers and male carers. Some sessions have included ‘Promoting Positive Father Involvement quick techniques to get dads involved now!’ Other sessions have been ‘An introduction to Parental Alienation’ and how professionals can navigate these issues.
Another popular session is on working with conflict and challenging behaviour, which is a common issue faced by Social Workers when working with issues of safeguarding and child protection.
If people are interested in finding out more about my services and the seminars they can email me at [email protected] or connect with us via twitter @DaddyCPR where we can deliver bespoke seminars or training sessions for practitioners, public sector organisations, and Universities.
It’s nearly at the end of our time together. Let’s throw in some quick BoxHuman Inspire questions before we say goodbye…
1) What do you do to inspire and motivate yourself on a daily basis and why?
To inspire and motivate myself I love watching inspirational video content as well as listening to audio podcasts on financial investment, wealth management, and successful business start-up programs. I am also an ardent fitness fanatic, so I engage in keeping fit and healthy by cycling and doing resistance training. This obviously has had to be from home due to the recent pandemic.
2) Name one person who inspires you and why?
One person who really inspires was my mother, Cyntine Cleone Fields. My mum was amazing, she sadly passed when I was eighteen years old but she has been a huge source of inspiration to me.
I saw mum create the best opportunities from the little that she had and was always able to inspire, encourage, and support members of my family as well as her friends. A true source of inspiration for me as she was always able to say the right words during times of adversity. She understood what I was trying to do and would always try to find ways to help me pursue my goals and dreams.
Although my mother never owned any businesses or real estate she had an entrepreneur mindset, and to this very day she has left a legacy of hard work and commitment to helping to build the confidence of those around her. My mum was always keen to be better and do better.
3) What positive outcome would you like to see happen?
A positive outcome for me would be to see more people collaborating and working together. I truly believe there is enough for us to share and enjoy. I want to see more businesses where entrepreneurs are sharing and collaborating as the future in my opinion is in co-production. I would like to also see an increase in more socially aware business enterprises and endeavours that are making a true impact on some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
And lastly…4) What is your favourite quote and why?
My favourite quote is:
“He who isn’t courageous enough to take risks will not accomplish anything in life”.Muhammad Ali, Boxer
I have always realised that taking risks is what makes the difference to you being ordinary or extraordinary. All of my business endeavours and goals have involved me taking risks, I was the first in my family to go to University, the first to start several business ventures and projects, etc. If you don’t take part you can never win at the game, simple as that!
Simply all I can say is you are so inspiring. The world needs more people like you, so thank you for shining your light for others! Finally and to conclude this interview…A BoxHuman is an empowered individual. They will not be defined by society’s labels. They show the better qualities of humankind, such as strength, kindness, and inspiration. Can you please tell us what makes you a BoxHuman?
I have an innate ability to see the best in people. Despite their circumstances and experiences people who have come through some of the most adverse challenges in life and are still here to tell the tale have my utmost respect!
These are some of our unsung heroes who have done the best for others through their deeds without seeking rewards. Selfless and random acts of kindness are my superpowers with love and compassion being at the heart of what I do. It not only fuels my desire to help others but is the currency for working within the empathy economy, so I guess that makes me BoxHuman.
“Thank you, Kevin.”
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