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Joelle Powe


There are so many people and places that have invested in my development and played an instrumental role in shaping my understanding of art, Jamaica, business, and film. They all imbued me with purpose, inspired my ambition and provided exposure to ideas, cultures, and different walks of life. 

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I owe a debt of gratitude to

Dr. Carolyn Cooper, whose encouragement of my work has bolstered me, Donna, my mother, who works in the prisons and took me into the prisons when I was 10 years old, opening my eyes to the world and who continues to make sacrifices for my opportunities, Herbie Miller whose phone call lectures on Jamaican music history have been invaluable, to my grandfather John Royer who wrote Black Britain’s Dilemma, to my father Sheldon Powe for his lessons on business and entrepreneurship, support of my education and the gift of love and familiarity with technology that he gave to me as a small child, my brother, Craig Powe of Adtelligent, who gave me the opportunity to learn everything I know about filmmaking, social media, production, and copywriting and has offered Adtelligent's company-wide support of my projects, to my favourite uncle Nevada Powe who has played a foundational role in developing my writing skills, building my organization and execution capacities and project management skillset, exposing me to new foods, world views, religiouns, cultures, and supporting my dreams and ambitions with 3-hour conversations, and brainstorming with me on my projects. He always left me with a sense of purpose, responsibility, and possibility.

Thank you to my grandfather, Rupert Powe, for his pride and support of my journey in education, having not been to college himself, and to my grandmothers, Ruby Royer, who gave me books about Jamaica by Jamaican authors growing up and entertained my curiosity of life in her youthful days by answering my interview questions at the dinner table and Grace Verona Duncan who introduced me to the St. Andrew Home for Girls and whose sense of life and dedication to love and giving back have survived generations to go onto impact my desire to make a difference.

There have been several vital professors and educators who have had an impact on me. Special thanks to Dasha Lis, who first exposed me to the interpretation of world art, Elizabeth Ferry, whose long term generosity and mentorship mean more than words can convey, John Ryle, whose engagement has been instrumental to my intellectual growth and creative writing output, Duff Morton for many conversations, Sophia Stamatapolou-Robbins, Laura Kunreuther who significantly deepened my understanding of anthropology, and Alys Moody for exposure to world-renowned black writers such as Frans Fanon. I have been creatively inspired by intellects Deborah Thomas, Carolyn Cooper and Sonjah Stanley Niaah. 


I have many role models in my family. Thanks to aunty Tricia for your radical effort to shift the understanding of the role of politics to one that promotes partnership with communities to foster growth and independence, to Uncle Keith, who is trying to figure out how to partner the public and private sectors more effectively, to  Aunty Wendy who told me I was beautiful, Karen Neita,  and Michelle Neita for editing support, and Imani for her boldness and continued endeavours to make a difference.


Thanks to the cultural icons Kool Kid, Latonya Style, Colo Colo, Tippah, Global Bob, and Maria Hitchins for sharing your stories, trusting in my mission, and offering your insights on Jamaica’s Dancehall and the philosophies around it. Thanks to Beverley Manley for trusting me to cover your life story in a documentary film.


Thanks to Richard Stewart for collaborating with me on Out There Without Fear, Johan Gordon, who has assisted on several shoots and lent your powerful voice to the film, to uncle Greg for attending shoots with me, my cousins Hayley and Joshua for the discussions and attending Dancehall events with me, the Caribbean Students Association at Bard College where we shared our love for the Caribbean, to my friends, Lasse, Michael, Pratibha and Charlotte who gave me room to explore my social self, and to Semester at Sea where I electrified my life’s journey with exposure to cultures I’ll be unpacking for a lifetime.


I credit my ability to approach learning confidently to my formative years at Immaculate Conception High School and Hillel Academy. To the entire United World College Maastricht community and staff and the United World College National Committee of Jamaica, thank you for the incredible opportunity to learn among amazing peers from all over the world. Lastly, my time at Bard College, where I found an intellectual home, has been conducive to instilling confidence in my ideas, self-expression, and public intellectualism. 



Out There Without Fear is available for screenings. Documentary film workshops, panel discussions on Dancehall, and dance workshops are available through Out There Without Fear Dialogues' educational online programs which  can be booked for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.

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