A student ignored, now a voice heard around the world -- In a few short years, author, actor, songwriter, motivational speaker and freedom writer Darrius Garrett transitioned from the 'hood to humanitarian, reaching heights he once could only imagine. As an inner-city youth of Long Beach, Calif., Garrett could easily have become a product of his environment but rose instead to become a pillar of his community. He became a New York Times best selling author at a young age when he co-wrote "The Freedom Writers Diary," which inspired the 2007 movie "The Freedom Writers" starring Hilary Swank. In the film, Garrett was portrayed as the heart-wrenching character Marcus. He also wrote the song "Change" for the movie's soundtrack.
As a freedom writer, Garrett was co-recipient of the Spirit of Anne Frank Award, the Crystal Apple Award and other honors. He has shared his story with the likes of Miep Gies, the Dutch woman who hid Anne Frank; former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley; and singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte. The story has also been featured on segments on "Primetime Live with Connie Chung," The Oprah Winfrey Show" and NPR as well as in articles in the L.A. Times, the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Associated Press. Garrett's recent works include a book of poetry titled "Poetic Thoughts" and the soon-to-be published "Diary of a Freedom Writer: The Experience." He frequently speaks to at-risk youth in schools and detention centers, as well as educators, social workers, business-people and politicians. Motivating his audiences with his story of hope, tolerance and action, Garrett encourages them to become the fire that ignites change.
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