Edward M. Garnes, Jr., M.A.
Founder, From Afros To Shelltoes
“Ed Garnes is a leader equipped with the courage, resilience, and dedication to take us to the next level.” —Dr. Joseph White, noted psychologist and author of Black Men Emerging
“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, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice Union Theological Seminary
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. Recently honored as Chozen Awards 2011 Motivator of the Year, Garnes currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of 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, Sirius Radio, CBS Radio, and allhiphop.com.
Revered for his work as a literary artist, Garnes has opened for icons Nikki Giovanni, Amiri Baraka, and The Last Poets. A longtime music contributor to Creative Loafing, he has profiled and interviewed such cutting edge artists as Spike Lee, Outkast, Gerald Levert, Erykah Badu, Divinity Roxx, Raphael Saadiq, T-Boz(TLC) and DMC (Run DMC). A finalist for the Fulton County Arts Council Dialog Literary Fellowship, Garnes was honored during the 2004 National Black Arts Festival with an installation featuring his classic poem “Contemplation Of A Looter Somewhere In The USA.”
In 2005, Garnes was elected Co-Chair of the National Black Arts Festival’s Next Generation Committee conceiving and curating the Cultural Continuum, a three-day multi-media programming series highlighted by From Afros To Shelltoes’ Cornbread Consortium featuring Grammy award winning and nominated artists Faith Evans and Anthony David.
Noted for his groundbreaking work in African-centered psychology and identity development with From Afros to Shelltoes, Garnes served as the counselor in residence and a major organizer of students and volunteers of Katrina on the Ground, an alternative Spring Break initiative which sent over 700 students to devastated areas of the Gulf Region.
A recognized expert in black male development, Garnes launched the State of Black Men Tour with Kevin Powell in 2004 and has worked as consultant for Men Stopping Violence, The National Urban League, and 21 st Century Foundation. Garnes has also worked as a diversity and leadership development consultant for the Washington D.C. firm Woodard & Associates executing projects with the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Housing & Urban Development.
On the forefront of institutional change, he co-founded DePauw University’s Student Coalition for Awareness, Revolution and Education (S.C.A.R.E.) and assisted university administration and legal counsel in the drafting of DePauw’s formal Hate Crime Policy.
Garnes is currently penning In Search of Dr. Garnes, a provocative book of essays on black leadership, hip-hop, and higher education. Garnes is the co-owner of Babuke Brothers, LLC, a media relations, entertainment, and arts programming firm.