Ed Garnes Celebrity Judge TeenFest 2k11
Award winning writer, counselor, and activist Edward M. Garnes, Jr., founder of From Afros To Shelltoes (FATS), a community based art programming collective focused on bridging generation gaps between youth, elders, and hip hop heads, will serve as a celebrity judge during TeenFest 2k11, a free annual public health education event focused on substance abuse prevention and violence reduction on March 26, 2011 at the at North Carolina School of Science and Math (1912 West Club Boulevard Durham, NC 27705) from 10am to 4pm.
TeenFest kicks off at 10am with teen workshops on how dating is impacted by under-age smoking and drinking, illegal substance use, and violence. A concurrent parent workshop gives tips on talking to teens about drugs and violence. The workshops are facilitated by local experts from Wake County Gang Prevention Partnership, Wake Teen Medical Services, Wake County 4-H, and North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.
The talent showcase begins at 1pm and will feature a broad spectrum of competing acts, poets, vocalists, and rappers performing original works all linked by an anti-violence, anti-substance or pro-abstinence theme. Participants range in age from 14-18. Cash prizes are awarded: $1,000 – 1st place; $500 – 2nd place; $250 – 3rd place. The top three winning acts represent TeenFest for one year with opportunities to perform their drug-free/violence-reduction acts in front of live audiences around the state of North Carolina.
A staple during TeenFest as an advisor for many years, Garnes has conducted psycho-educational workshops on domestic/dating violence, arts and entertainment career counseling, and personal development for the organization with his trademark initiative Sweet Tea Ethics, a series exploring the concepts of manhood, black love, mending generation conflicts, and the transformative power of hip hop co-signed by such luminaries as Dr. Cornel West.
“We are thrilled to have Edward Garnes, Jr. as a returning judge. His insight and knowledge about what’s relevant in today’s arts and entertainment arena is invaluable. He offers real-world commentary and perspective to our contestants, helping them gain a clearer understanding of how to bridge the gap from where they are to where they want to be,” replies Donna-maria Harris, Founder of Teenfest and respected TV veteran who will co-emcee the talent showcase with K-97.5 FM on-air talent Wade Banner.
Besides Garnes, other celebrity judges include: Los Angeles-based entertainment entrepreneur and producer Christopher Brooks; FOX 50 Promotions Director Kevin Kolbe; communications expert, talent scout and founder of Brett Chambers and the Usual Suspects band, Brett Chambers; national spoken word artist and poet Petrina Bryant; supermodel, photographer and talent coach Sheree Betts; and Assistant Marketing Director/ Networking Specialist for Shifin Gearz online motorcycle magazine Shanicka Porter.
TeenFest 2K11 is presented by: TeenFest Foundation, a non-profit organization under United Charitable Programs and works to help teens become immediate peer health educators using their own creative voices; Project R.I.D.E , a coalition of concerned citizens, agency representatives and law enforcement officials in Franklin and Vance Counties who are working with the Five County Mental Health Authority and the Kerr-Tar COG to increase safety and improve health by reducing the incidence of drunk driving and underage drinking; Partnership for a Drug-Free NC, Inc., and Wake County 4-H. Chick-fil-A at Hillsborough Road in Durham, NC School of Science and Math, and K 97.5 FM radio are TeenFest 2K11 community partners. FOX 50 is the television sponsor.
About Edward M. Garnes, Jr. (Founder From Afros To Shelltoes)
“Here is the significance of my dear brother Ed Garnes, Jr. and Sweet Tea Ethics. There is no other group in Atlanta that can bring together such engaged, high quality, and substantial dialogue about the crucial issues facing not just the black community, but also American society. He writes well, works hard and revels in the life of the mind. Thank God for brother Ed Garnes, Jr.”–Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University, Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies
Atlanta native Edward M. Garnes, Jr. is an award winning journalist, counselor, educator, editor, producer, and activist. He is the founder of From Afros to Shelltoes, a community based organization uniquely focused on cultural productions that bridge generation gaps between youth, elders, and the hip hop community. The Atlanta Tribune Man Of Distinction holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and a M.A. in Counseling from Michigan State University where he studied as a Competitive Fellow in Urban Counseling. He currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in Public Speaking at Spelman College.
Garnes’ seminal essay, ” Sweet Tea Ethics: Black Luv, Healthcare, and Cultural Mistrust,” appears in Not In My Family: AIDS in the African American Community , a 2007 NAACP Image Award nominated collection edited by Gil Robertson. Garnes’ film and television credits include Finally Sayin’ What I Really Mean, a feature length music documentary featuring Jill Scott, Common, and Saul Williams, and the Black Family Channel’s Spoken, a poetry program hosted and produced by Jessica Care Moore. As a highly sought after commentator on hip hop, black identity, manhood, and popular culture, Garnes has appeared on the Fox’s MY TV Network, Sirrus Radio, CBS Radio, and allhiphop.com.TeenFest