Bruce George

Bruce George is the founder of the Genius Is Common Movement and co-founder of HBO's Def Poetry Jam. As a Peabody Award Winner he is a visionary, executive producer, writer, poet and activist.

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Biography

Bruce was born and raised in New York City. He has written poetry/prose & articles for over 41 years. His work has been published in major magazines, anthologies, and literary publications. He has written testimonials from the likes of Essence Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Class Magazine, Harlem River Press etc…Bruce has won multiple poetry & talent contests. He has won several awards such as a “Peabody Award” for “Russell Simmons Presents, Def Poetry (HBO)”, a “Miky Award” for “Russell Simmons Presents, Def Poetry Jam (

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Testimonials
A huge “THANK YOU” to Bruce George for visiting the University of North Dakota campus. Multicultural Student Services appreciates him taking his time to engage any students who came to both his planned and impromptu discussions. I sincerely appreciated his flexibility and patience with students wanting to express themselves via spoken word. This gift among students is something that many on our campus have not been equipped to foster. Mr. George was able to arrive and engage for one day and leave a lasting impression that has turned into ongoing dialogue. His encouragement, tutelage of his audience was a pleasure to behold. Just having lunch with Mr. George was enough to ignite my spirit, activism, and creative thought. As an administrator, this is something that I often lose sight of amongst the dailies of my work. This was a great opportunity to get to know him, learn more about his life, and provided new insight into different situations.- Dr. Malika Carter, Director, Multicultural Student Service, U. of North Dakota

Hello Bruce!
We want to thank you sooo much for spending several days with youth from facilities around the State of Washington. It was an incredible opportunity for these young men to connect with a man who has journeyed down similar roads and found a new pathway of hope, power and service- exactly the kind of future we wish for them to see for themselves! Performance poetry is an awesome avenue for expressing the pain of what they’ve been through and the possibility of what they can be. You provided that opportunity, and we are in your debt! Keep spreading the word, my friend!

- Ted Ryle, LICSW, MSW, MA, Clinical Training Administrator, Juvenile Justice & Rehabilitation Administration, Washington State

Mr. George...to be ‘important’ is man’s aspiration...to be ‘significant’ is God’s inspiration...what you imparted to our young people was ‘significant’ and truly inspirational! Pray a double portion upon you!

- Ms. Renee Thompson, Diversity & Family Engagement Director, Student Life, Ohio State University at Mansfield.

Bruce’s enthusiasm was contagious and I can wholeheartedly admit I felt both motivated and empowered to better myself at all levels after his hour long conversation. It was a rare treat to have such a well versed speaker who could readily tie our modern struggles and ethical dilemmas to the life of Andrew Carnegie or the thoughts of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

- Carlos Castellanos, Student of Cornell University

BY ALL MEANS... Pay us a visit at least one more time before I graduate. Watch that crowd flourish. Respect brother, I’m the guy that was shooting pics of you up at Kent at the lecture. I enjoyed myself incredibly.

- Stacee Starr, Student at Kent State University

Bruce is a true inspiration and will be a living legend. I was honestly moved by his presentation. Thank you.

- Olivia Thompson, Student at Kent State University

Hey Bruce your presentation was phenomenal and we can’t wait to have you back.

- Jason Lamar, Student and President of Kappa Alpha Psi at Kent State University

I truly enjoyed the presentation Bruce George gave at Kent State University last week. He is such a down-to-Earth and passionate speaker, he had no problem setting the atmosphere with positive thoughts and vibes. Throughout his entire presentation he remained personable and engaged with almost every single person in the audience before and after the event. His lecture, for me, was very influential; I have been searching for our generation’s role models and African American leaders and he seemed to fit the mold for me. He is extremely knowledgeable in socialism, creative writing and business. He is a true scholar in my eyes and knows how to use his passion for knowledge to impact the community and encourage our youth to be proactive in their aspirations. Bruce George is definitely someone I would love to remain in contact with or follow, as I grow as a leader and an active citizen.

- Shaneka Turner, Black United Students, Kent State University

Bruce definitely got the students hip to some in-depth knowledge about how I people are stereotypes and typecast in today’s media. I’m certainly glad that he came through with his down to Earth presentation and kept the students engaged. His willingness to stay connected is by far the best I’ve seen.

- Marvin Logan, Black United Students, Kent State University

BUS really bought a great MC through. MC’s spit knowledge to uplift their people. Bruce took us to another level.

- Alex, Kent State University

BG was dope. He got us to open up and share with our brothers and sisters. Mad love.

- Stacee, Kent State University

Mr. George open eyes and tuned our minds to be aware and for us to be proud.

- Nate, Kent State University

Bruce George is a powerful and dynamic speaker who knows how to connect to his audience. Using his own real life experiences, his gift for story-telling and ability to make you think differently about the world around you, he had our students hanging-on to his every word. He brought a fresh and innovative approach when conducting his Creative Writing Seminar and led a deeply thought-provoking discussion regarding the Art of Politics. His passion for what he does is evident and his energy is contagious. It was an honor and a pleasure to have Mr. George speak at our school!

- Erin McCarron, CMP, Student Activities Coordinator, Georgian Court University

In just a few short days, our students are still talking about Bruce’s performance and lecture. We were blessed to have him share words of wisdom that inspired our students to seek their own voice through poetry, entrepreneurship or social activism.

- Dr. Dean Kay Banks, Newberry College

Mr. Bruce George is truly a spoken-word artist. His presentations are eloquently executed, attracting the audience from beginning to end. His writing workshops were also well done and felt that everybody there became a better writer by breaking down writing to a mere simple science. Whoever has the time and interest at hand, and Bruce George is in town, you would not want to miss out!

Any event that allows students to create and appreciate any form of poetry is worth supporting. I also want students to see that being creative with words and taking chances can result in success, in both their careers and in their passions. Bruce George is an example of a person who took a chance with his literary creativity and was justly rewarded.

- Professor Susi Paterson, English Professor at the University of New Hampshire at Manchester

I thought your message about the arts was received very well by the youth at St. Thomas University and myself, a couple weeks ago. I wish more youth could have heard your message, including high school boys.

- Karla Spence, George, Liberation Clothing & Gifts, LLC

Bruce George was a pleasure to meet and spend time with. His presence fostered an environment of intellectual enthusiasm and intrigue for social consciousness. His life story has shaped a character that is both humbled and focused. His accomplishments only make up a fraction of what he has contributed to the art of word for 30+ years. To have transcended from the inner city boroughs of New York, New York...his heart and soul will always be empathetic to the struggle suffered by the oppressed masses of The American Ghetto. With that said, we appreciated his dynamic presence, authenticity and unwavering support!

- Sharmane Jones, Coordinator of Career Services, Wesley College, Office of Student Life

Bruce George gave an extremely engaging and thought-provoking presentation on politics and art. Student feedback after his talk was overwhelmingly positive. One student even suggested that Bruce speak at commencement! I will definitely invite Bruce back!

- Robert P. Lukaskiewicz, Dean of Students, College of St. Joseph

Bruce had given an inspirational speech. I learned a lot from him. Respect!

- Arnaldo Jr., A student at the College of St. Joseph.

Bruce George brought a fresh and eye opening experience to our student body. Drawing from the online publications of the Def Poets and the lyrical talents of several of our own students, Bruce exposed our students to a new world-view of political influence and action.

- Jivanto van Hemert, Director, Spotlight Committee, Campus Activities Board, Salve Regina University

Bruce George’s presentation was nothing less than phenomenal. There are many great speakers, but to find one as passionate about people and possibilities, is not so common. This shows through interaction before and after. The writing workshop took us all to new levels. The showcase he hosted was the icing on the cake. I highly recommend Mr. George to those looking for truthful, honest, and life changing programs for students.

- Dave Blackburn, Student Activities President, Niagara University

From the guest speaker I learned two things, one is to walk away from certain situations, and two is to follow your dreams. My favorite example was the neighbors who were gang bangers. They started to antagonize the other neighbor. The kid who played the role of the neighbor’s first reaction was to hit the person, but the gangbangers shot the neighbor. If the neighbor would have just walked away he wouldn’t have died. This taught me how to walk away so I don’t get in trouble.

- Caious J., A resident at Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center

Bruce George told us about following our dreams if you have a dream don’t give up no matter what one says. Also you should think before you do something because you could end up in prison and jail. It only takes six seconds to change your mind before you harm somebody or choose to walk away. You could get out of the gangs and do right. Your so called friends don’t write you when you’re locked up anyway. He doesn’t like rappers because 99% of all rappers are studio gangsters.

- Gabriel S., A resident at Bernalillo County Juvenile Detention Center

Bruce George’s engaging style and hands-on approach with the students was quite refreshing! After a brief lecture, a smaller group of students and staff joined him for a poetry writing workshop. Everyone there was participating and interacting with each other. I would highly recommend bringing Bruce to your campus—everyone who attended gave nothing but praise for Bruce and his workshop after the event!

- Randy Lesko, Graduate Assistant | Office of Student Development & Activities, Marymount Manhattan College

Mr. George was quickly, within minutes of entering the facility, classroom or auditorium, able to establish a level of comfort and candor with his audience regardless of age, ethnicity, urban or rural background. In a state as diverse as New Mexico and environments that varied from high school assembly to juvenile detention center to college campus, Mr. George had both the “street cred” and eruditeness to be simultaneously received as elder and homie, professor and provocateur, artist and activist, mentor and student. Over the course of presenting for about 1000 students in 2 days, Mr. George inspired and delivered emancipatory information in a way that was obviously needed and appreciated by all the students he visited with, as evidenced by their engagement and attentiveness to what he was saying. –Hakim Bellamy, Social Programs Coordinator, New Mexico State Office of African American Affairs.

- Hakim Bellamy, Social and Community Programs Coordinator, New Mexico State Office of African American Affairs

It was a pleasure to sit in and listen to your keynote speech at the “Black Business Professional Association Convention” in Toronto Canada. Of all of the speakers at this event, in my opinion your speech was the one that stood out the most to me, the key reason being that you speak the same language. from the moment you opened your mouth you were speaking with intellect. What I saw this do is it gave an older age audience an understanding that there are intelligent people from the ‘hip-hop’ community. You brought them into our world. The one thing that you said that has me going hard this week was so simple yet so powerful...you said “whatever it is that you are doing STEP YOUR GAME UP”‘ That’s all I needed to hear because it is the truth. no matter how much we think we are doing we can always step it up a notch.. Keep up the great work!

- Richard Add, Kessie, President, Change Promotions Inc.
www.changepromotions.com

This weekend was amazing and I cannot express enough of how effective your approach was to those young men in the workshop. You are a master teacher and great asset to the community of our human race. Looking forward to more endeavors! Peace and Blessings.

- Brinae Ali of Fouth Wall Arts in Philadephia, Pennsylvania

Bruce George is an inspirational, exceptional speaker and teacher. When he came to Harvard, he hosted a creative writing workshop and featured as the Celebrity Guest judge for our first ever Harvard Poetry Slam. Bruce had an extremely positive impact on the campus, inspiring students to develop their talent and helping students to improve their ability to communicate through poetry and spoken word. It was an immense pleasure working with Bruce and his contribution was so profound that Harvard Black Community And Student Theater (BlackC.A.S.T.) hope to welcome him again to Harvard this coming academic year.

- Oluwadara & Jenné, 50th BlackCAST Presidents, Harvard University

It was such a pleasure to have Bruce George visit my Junior and Senior English Seminar “Dangerous Books.” He was inspiring and knowledgeable, fielding questions on diverse topics from poetry to the music industry, Emerson to contemporary artists. Through his own life experience, students gained a real sense of the danger and power of words and they walked away buzzing from the class. Mr. George also shared one of his own poems with the class, a real treat for us all!

- Alissa Davis, English Teacher, Hopkins School

Mr. George brought a motivational message to our students, and delivered it in a fresh, engaging way. Students and faculty alike raved about the performance.

Few students told me it was the most memorable and inspirational assembly they had seen. Mr. George’s performance sparked discussion in classes for days to come and inspired many students to look further into Def Poetry Jam and spoken word in general.

When I listened to Bruce George’s talk, I felt inspired because he discussed issues important to each one of us that we have rarely thought about. I was impressed with Bruce George’s passion and unique understanding of life in general. When listening to Bruce George, an audience can expect to be inspired to think over their life and find what is most meaningful to them. The one thing I remember from my interactions with Bruce George is the importance of finding your passions and making your dreams in reality one day by pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.

- Ekaterina Munina, Business Major at Cornell University

Bruce’s enthusiasm was contagious and I can wholeheartedly admit I felt both motivated and empowered to better myself at all levels after his hour long conversation. It was a rare treat to have such a well versed speaker who could readily tie our modern struggles and ethical dilemmas to the life of Andrew Carnegie or the thoughts of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

- Carlos Castellanos Senior, Business Major at Cornell University

What I found refreshing about Bruce George’s talk was his atypical path to success with his conversation about starting up Def Jam Poetry and how he was able to explain his passions with such conviction and ease. Being able to define my passion with such conviction is something I will continue to strive to do.

- Alex Cain Senior, Business Major at Cornell University

Bruce George recited African American poetry in Copeland’s. He was very well received by the guests. I would definitely recommend him to anyone interested in this type of entertainment.

- Copeland’s Restaurant, Vincent Copeland (Owner)

…I have found that Poet, Bruce George has been able to lend his unique and powerful voice of verse to a world audience like no other. I find his poetry to be timely, relevant and sincere.

- Metro Exchange, The Arts & Culture Newsmagazine, Lori Thompso, Reid, Editor

….I have had the rare privilege of becoming your friend by reading your insightful, beautiful, and inspirational written words. Running the emotional gamut, your poetry has motivated me, brought me to tears, laughter and provoked countless deep thoughts.

- Owensby & Co. Communications, Jean Y. Owensby, President

I have had an opportunity on several occasions to read and hear Bruce George’s poetry. I find his poetry to be dramatic, thought provoking and highly relevant to the African American experience.

- Julie A. Clark, Attorney at Law

Bruce George’s writing is thoughtful and thought provoking. Fierce in its deliverance and rapid fire rendering of socio-political polemic, George’s writing is born of the struggle to be, and be Black in contemporary America. Whether writing in full length essay or three and four line poetic sound bytes, his work cleverly dissects the hypocrisy of government and the irony of societal protocol. In Last Poets tradition, this up and coming writer tackles truth head on- straight, no chaser!

- Deborah Dyson, Harlem River Press
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