By Brent Dorian Carpenter
At his core, Glenn Morgan is an educator. It doesn’t matter if he’s on his jobs as a Detroit-area high school social studies teacher or college-level speech instructor, or cruising the mean, untamed streets as an outreach worker for the Ruth Ellis Center to help the wayward LGBTQ teen youth.
“I’ve always had a heightened sense of race, political, cultural, environmental, historical, and sexual orientation consciousness since I was young,” said Morgan. “I was reading books by Nietzsche, Fanon and W.E.B. DuBois while my peers were reading Dr. Seuss. This contributed to my understanding of racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and so on. If it was meant for me to be a so-called activist, then I accept the challenge. It’s risky for one to put himself out on the line because you never know who really has your back. Looking at the backward condition of black America today, it seems that a lot of activists martyred themselves for nothing.”
Preventing wasted lives is not just a central mission, it is a labor of love, Morgan said.
“The most fulfilling thing about being at the Ruth Ellis Center is working with the youth. I believe in the mission of Ruth Ellis, which is contributing to the development of youth. I feel like these are like my younger brothers and sisters. Now, sometimes the ‘drama’ they go through can be a bit much. But we were all teens at one point in our life. My philosophy is ‘reach one, teach one.’
“We work as a team, so we are all responsible for developing programs and projects. Atiba Seitu, our supervisor, encourages staff to come up with creative ideas for the youth. At some point during this summer, I’m going to begin work on a project that focuses on LGBTQ youth that attend the Detroit Public Schools. The project will focus on the needs of and solutions to the problems LGBTQ youth face in the public school system.”
The 1999 graduate from WSU’s College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts with a degree in Communication and Language is poised to graduate this year from the Master of Arts in Teaching program at WSU’s College of Education. He next plans to pursue a doctorate in Political Science. He has written over three hundred articles for Detroit’s black weekly newspaper the Michigan Citizen and other outlets, and completed his first book of poetry, titled the “Grit Spirit Lives” in 2003.
“In the same year, I started my own company called IHL Communications/Inkata Entertainment, specializing in events management, public relations, public speaking, and image consultation,” Morgan explained. “I also founded the organization Black Americans on the Move, a political cultural think tank focusing on African-American/African issues. I plan on devoting more time to further develop my business and organization at the end of this year.”
“I’ve also made the commitment to expand another organization that I founded called The Royal House of La’Vasia Nouveau,” he continued. “I serve as the national ‘house mother’ of the organization. As the mother, I accept the responsibility of mentoring the young people who’ve joined the organization.”
Morgan put it all into perspective, stating, “I did not make a conscious decision to become a, quote, ‘activist,’ whether it be gay, black, etc. I really don’t define myself in such a manner. However, I do understand that as an activist, you take on a sacred duty, in essence. You fight on behalf of the people. You must have the spiritual and intellectual wherewithal to fight against injustice to change the status quo. The last two national elections made me realize even more that dirty politics rules in the good ol’ USA. There are a lot of mean-spirited, swashbuckling, greedy bastards in Washington. And they supposedly represent us. But, the elections did strengthen my resolve to raise people’s political awareness about issues.”