In a few short years, author, songwriter, motivational speaker and freedom writer Darrius Garrett transi-tioned 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 bestselling 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, businesspeople and politicians. Motivating his audiences with his story of hope, tolerance and action, Garrett encourages them to become the fire that ignites change.
Industry Expertise (3)
Areas of Expertise (3)
National Poet Society Poet of the year Nominee (professional)
Nominated poet of the year two times.
New York Times Bestselling Author (professional)
New York Times Bestselling Author for co-writer of Freedom Writer Diary
Long Beach Woodrow Wilson High: None, General 1998
Long Beach Sc hool for Adults: High School Diploma, High School Diploma 2000
Long Beach City College: None, Commercial Music Production 2000
Los Angeles Trade Technical College: none, General Education
El Camino College - Compton: None, Theater Arts/Business
- Freedom Writers
- National Poets Society
- Boy Scouts of America
Dr. Alisa Feldman, Teacher | Deerfield Beach Middle School
Darrius was awesome and really spoke from the heart. He talked the truth and really inspired all of us. I know that my students won't soon forget this experience and will hopefully look back on his words when they are in a situation they might not know how to handle and make that good choice. At the end of the session he told the kids that they could email him with questions if they needed help. He tried to give them his email, but it was a bit noisy towards the end. Would it be possible to get that email address again so I could pass it on to the students? He really touched all of us. I too will always tell the story of the day I met a true "Freedom Writer"!”
Garrison Wynn, Keynote Speaker/Bestselling Author | Garrison Wynn
"Darrius is an outstanding author an speaker. His story and message paint a realistic view of what it really takes to develop a more effective mindset regardless of circumstances. In doing so, he changed how we all see the world and defined the contributions needed to influence everyone around us".
Sample Talks (1)
From Hustling to Hope: How being a Freedom Writer saved my lif
Timing was everything for Darrius Garrett as he was headed down a road of destruction that only promised him maybe to see the age of 16, which many including himself didn’t think he would see. Darrius takes us on a journey in his involvement with Ms. Gruwell as a Freedom Writer which couldn’t have come at a perfect time where he was able to transition from what he knew all his life to grow and be the man he is today. Though the heart wrenching story of trial to triumph is written in his upcomin
- Workshop Leader
- Author Appearance