From Rocks to Resilience: In a world that increasingly celebrates diversity and innovation, “From Rocks to Resilience” is your passport to understanding the profound experiences of immigrant entrepreneurs. This workshop is a brief yet profound journey that encapsulates the essence of their entrepreneurial struggles, triumphs, and unwavering determination to forge ahead in the face of uncertainty.
Dwayne ‘Dukez’ Holness is an innovative, passionate and motivating Director, Videographer, Graphic Designer and Speaker at the helm of a creative movement known as Corex Creative, a Black-led, fully operating multi-dimensional marketing agency, with a primary focus on community, their clients’ vision for the work, and being Black behind the camera. Never forgetting his roots, Dwayne is on a mission to execute big creative ideas, work with clients that have their finger on the pulse in an ever-changing societal climate, and create opportunities for elevation within marginalized communities. Dwayne has thrown himself into a number of community-based projects, the most popular of which being, Calculated Steps – a philosophy he coined and a brand created to inspire youth to achieve their goals by executing the steps required to do so. Dwayne been documenting his life for over ten years and explains how each year contributed to major progression in his journey. By sharing his story on different spaces and platforms, he has been successful in motivating others to turn their desires into realities.
An 80’s baby, Dwayne Holness was born in Kingston, Jamaica. Dwayne’s mother moved a 5-year-old Dwayne and herself to Canada wanting a better life for them both. With his mother working long hours as a nurse, Dwayne spent a lot of time learning to navigate a new country and space on his own, and as you can imagine, this was not easy for him. Life essentially started for Dwayne when he moved to where he grew up in the known ‘at-risk’ community of Jane & Finch. Like many youths in this community, Dwayne battled the challenges of racial prejudice, stigmas and oppression; violence and crime; and the never-ending undertaking of identifying who he wanted to evolve into as a member of his community defying all the odds stacked against him.
With a keen interested in acting, Dwayne’s artistic journey began in secondary school with a minor role in the movie “Soul Food,” as well as an appearance on “Degrassi,” where he had an opportunity to work alongside Canadian Hip-Hop phenomenon Drake. After finding this love for acting, Dwayne decided that he wanted to take control of his destiny from behind the camera as well, and developed a strong interest in expanding the quality and scope of the industry. At Humber College (Toronto), Dwayne honed his skills in digital media marketing, video production, and photography. It was then that he knew exactly where his life would take him, and from there, the journey of exploration began. He discovered his passions, and in his words, began taking calculated steps towards his goals.
Dwayne is currently a member of the Business Network International and the Rotary Club of Innisfil. Driven by a passion for helping creatives advance, he utilizes his platform to mentor, and is often called upon by other organizations to help educate and empower marginalized youth. Dwayne understands the stigma and barriers that Black youth face and has made it his mission to bring their diversity and talents to the world.
Dwayne utilizes his innate ability to connect and collaborate as a foundation for all his accomplishments. With the development of Corex Creative, he has had the opportunity to work with the Canadian Screen Awards on their digital production, as well as having toured the world with both Chronixx and Lauryn Hill as their Lead Creative Director. His esteemed client list now includes: CSA Group, The Academy, TD Bank, Rogers, and most recently the LCBO.