Marvyn Harrison, founder of the Dope Black Dads podcast, has revealed that he doesn’t have a strategy or any specific ambitions for the future of either the podcast or the wider network that has grown out of it, arguing that doing so runs the risk of “dehumanising” it.
Harrison, who is also a published childrens’ author and chief growth officer for DEI consultancy BELOVD Agency, founded the podcast in 2018 as a way to give Black fathers a space to share their thoughts and experiences. It has since grown into a broader organisation, spawning a number of related communities including Dope Black Mums and Dope Black Women.
However, speaking on this week’s episode of PodPod, Harrison revealed that these extensions have developed organically, rather than through deliberate expansion. He also stated that he has no desire to create specific plans for the future of the organisation.
I'll be honest, I don't have [a strategy], and I don't want to create one,” he said. “Because it wasn't built with strategy, I don't want to insert a strategy and dehumanise everything that we've built… So it's more value-driven rather than strategy-driven.”
“For the rest of all the spaces and communities that we own and operate, it's very much about how do we represent the people who are not heard and not centred in a particular topic. And so when we talk about football, when we talk about business, it's who isn't being heard and what do they need and who can be our partners in sending those messages.”
Dope Black Dads recently launched a partnership with Prostate Cancer UK in order to drive awareness of the issue among Black men, and Harrison says that this kind of proactive partnership is the kind of thing that the organisation seeks to do more of going forward.
“We want to do stuff in the real world, not just talk about it. So action is a massive part of our philosophy across the board. And I think I look forward to the next couple of years - we really want to be more actionable.”