Conquering My Fear: Autism in the African American and Latino Communities

February 12, 2016 - 4 minutes read
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The Islam Family, Founders of Gabriel’s Horn Foundation (Photo credit: Chris Dilts; Art Direction Birk Creative)

I am a CEO and an entrepreneur, and my work often bleeds into my personal life. As any entrepreneur would admit it can at times be all consuming, and that’s simply part of my commitment to nurturing relationships, growing my company and achieving my clients’ goals. Sometimes, happily, it turns out to be a beautiful thing.

I love knowing that my work is making a difference, such as when I worked with Gabriel’s Horn Foundation, a foundation that increases awareness and treatment of autism in the African-American and Latino communities.

As a mother of three, I appreciate how critical Gabriel’s Horn Foundation is to these families. There is a discrepancy in the age of diagnosis for autism between white children (ages 2-3) and African American and Hispanic children (ages 6-7), and the stigma around autism and mental disability is even more pronounced.

Gabriel’s Horn Foundation is working to change this.

When Debra and Ahmad Islam asked me to re-brand and re-launch the foundation, I jumped at the chance. I had been following their work in the autism space for years and had wanted to help. During my discovery process, I learned everything I could about the subject and, as it almost always does, knowledge dispelled my own fears! My eyes were opened as to what autism is and how it affects the African American and Latino communities, specifically. And that NOW is the time to help raise awareness that we CAN help families help themselves.

Gabriel’s Horn Foundation needed a stronger fundraising platform to raise money and fulfill their mission: reaching out to multicultural communities to increase awareness and diagnosis of autism. Towards that end our work together included:

  • Refreshing and refining the existing branding and developing a new brand expression
  • Writing original branded content to create a powerful and comforting tone/voice with more storytelling
  • Establishing social channels and creating a social media strategy with editorial calendars and community management
  • Creating a responsive website to improve user experience
  • Managing a server migration to a more secure environment
  • Search engine optimization and content strategy
  • Creating new web architecture and a user focused web design experience
  • Strategic and management consulting.

This project was a perfect fit because of our expertise with multicultural marketing and research for corporate clients such as Google and SolarCity. We were able to deliver Gabriel’s Horn Foundation a very clear and direct brand promise: Raising Awareness. Empowering Families. Closing the Gap.

Personally, I learned so much about a subject of which I knew very little. There’s a lot of information, discussion and social movement on autism and spectrum disorders, and even political implications that I didn’t recognize until now.

I don’t believe I can maintain my courage without a foundation of knowledge, and I am proud to say that through our work with the Islam Family, I am better educated, more informed, more loving and compassionate. Because of the knowledge we gained, our work with Gabriel’s Horn Foundation is among Birk Creative’s best. Learn more about Gabriel’s Horn Foundation and support their mission to diagnose and increase awareness of autism in the African American and Latino Communities.