By Diane I. Daniels
For the past four years since leaving her news anchor position at WPXI-TV, Darieth Chisolm has been fulfilling her dreams and living an interesting life as an entrepreneur.
She currently describes herself as an author, coach, speaker, visibility and media strategist and an Emmy Award-winning TV host. Several years ago, she owned and operated Fullbody Fitness Club, an aerial arts studio and was a distributor with It Works Global, a network marketing company. “I’ve been living a blessed and fun life,” admits the Detroit native.
Last month, the long-time Pittsburgh resident kicked off a multimedia campaign that includes a documentary, an anthology, a website with resources and a social media awareness campaign called “50 Shades of Silence.”
The campaign reveals that Chisolm was a target of cyber sexual rape, cyber stalking, harassment, and extortion. “I found myself at the very center of such an assault. I was cyberstalked and cyber-raped by an ex-boyfriend. He put up a website with harassing memes, nude photos and videos that I was unaware of.”
The photos, she explained, were taken when she was asleep, while living with him. “He also threatened to kill me if I didn’t return to the controlling relationship. He couldn’t kill me so he used a different weapon: his cell phone, loaded it with my naked body and fired it for the world to see.”
After months of isolation, suffering in shame and silence, Chisolm said she rose from a very humiliating, painful and potentially professionally-damaging incident to tell her story and build a global movement, 50 Shades of Silence.
Finding purpose in her pain, Chisolm describes 50 Shades of Silence as a global movement giving voice and dignity to victims of cyber harassment and online crimes. “I’m not doing this for profit. In fact, we must raise money to shoot the documentary. It’s about being an advocate, activist and filmmaker. It’s about getting the word out and providing tentacles in the marketplace and online to reach people to tell their stories as well as to collaborate with.”
Chisolm said she has plans to not only do the documentary and film, but to eventually write a book.
Contributions can be made to the project as a onetime donation or pledging through Patreon monthly. Funds raised for the multi-media campaign go towards all aspects of research, pre-production, equipment, crew, travel, and post-production for the documentary. Also, the anthology and all aspects of book publishing, website maintenance, and social media outreach, in-school education, public awareness, advocacy, and other resources to assist cyber harassment and cyberbullying prevention education.
“In my early research about cyber stalking and harassment, cyber bullying, and revenge porn I discovered some startling facts,” she said. “Nearly 50 percent of online users say they have faced some sort of harassment online. The number of cases of victims rises daily, suicide and self-destructive behaviors are happening more often and content is created and shared at a fast pace.”
She also pointed out the lack of tough penalties for predators, slow responses and no responses from Internet companies to remove such content and a huge lack of international involvement with the overall safety for our online identities.
Chisholm wears many hats and thrives on helping others become successful. She coaches people to become more visible, confident and successful by conveying their brand, message, and mission to the world. Often, she serves as a keynote speaker and conducts seminars and workshops.
Her Internet TV and Podcast series, “Hustle and Heart TV,” is an online collection of video and audio interviews filled with strategies, tools, resources and actionable advice that helps the viewers and listeners take their life and business to the next level. Chisholm says interviews are conducted with some of today’s most influential and successful entrepreneurs, trendsetters and moguls who inspire one to hustle and love your journey. Hustle and Heart TV, she said, was a Top 10 finalist for the 2015 Podcast Awards for Best Video Podcast and was ranked number one on iTunes for more than two months with subscribers and viewers in several different countries.
In 2015 Chisolm published her first book, “Hustle – Why Now is the Time to Unleash Your Passion.” Like Hustle and Heart TV, the book includes information and anecdotes of successful and inspiring people. “The book is filled with practical advice, tips and strategies to help guide the reader into action and into greater abundance,” she said.
Chisolm credits her 25 years of experience in television and years of serving as an emcee, host, moderator, panelist and keynote speaker for preparing her to be the go-to expert for existing business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to gain clarity and visibility and create strategic action plans that get results.
A natural informer, Chisolm, since the age of 16 when she penned her first article for a Detroit newspaper, said 50 Shades of Silence is her way of providing a voice to thousands of cyber stalking and cyber bully victims across the globe. “In order to make real change, we must remove the veil of silence and be prepared to help others in need. I am sharing my story—a very personal story, to give others, the freedom to do the same.”