Crystal E. Brown, affectionately known as ‘Soul’, is a primed wordsmith; a phenomenal spoken and written word artist, prolific scholar, professional curriculum writer and consultant, mentor and educator. Born to Belizean-Jamaican parents and raised in Chicago and Detroit, she has traveled to Senegal and the West Indies to share her works. She reunited with her creative spirit at 14 years old, and has been captivating ears and cultivating minds ever since. Crystal has an innate prowess to synthesize culture, education and promote sustainable change while simultaneously teaching youth via the art of writing.
Crystal’s most eminent project stems from research on the effect of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA, studying the impact of the jazz funeral tradition post-Katrina. Other works include research on juvenile justice during her studies at Eastern Michigan University and “God-Is Walking on the Boulevard”, a self-published poetry chapbook. Whether you catch her on the stage or in the classroom—Crystal is an advocate for bridging the divide that exists in communities by focusing on the power of one. Encouraging youth to be “comfortable in their own skin”, she developed a Hip Hop, Jazz & Poetry curriculum for the University of Michigan’s King, Chavez, Parks Program, served as a youth development consultant for H.O.M.E. (Helping Our Minds Expand) Training Institute, developed a Hip Hop training project for Georgia
After School Youth Development conferences, and authored Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Service Learning curriculum.
With an affinity for the non-profit sector, Crystal has worked extensively with Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and Boys &Girls Clubs of America, respectively. She currently serves as the Director of Youth Leadership Programs and challenges both staff and their members to be authentic in telling their stories, honor self, and share in community. Utilizing creativity to ignite passion in the arts and minds of others, she pulls strength from influential Detroit-bred artists and producers such as J. Dilla (James Yancey), Slum Village, Invincible, DJ Houseshoes, DJ Rimarkable and Athletic Mic League. Soul is a seasoned slam poetry coach and has trained teams like The Poetry Society Slam team at Eastern Michigan University and mentored youth artists at Ozone House in Ypsilanti, MI.
Crystal seeks to fulfill her longtime endeavor of establishing My Kin’s Keeper, a non-profit adoption agency that focuses on placing African American males in homes. As an adopted individual, she empathizes with those who yearn for a permanent and happy home. Crystal is a believer in higher education, obtaining a Dual Bachelors of Science in Applied Sociology & African American Studies from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters of Science in Non- profit Management & Leadership from Capella University. She is also a Robert W. Woodruff Fellowship Recipient, a renowned fellowship based in Atlanta, GA. Crystal lives in Atlanta with her cat, Cheetah-man and soulmate, Jewlz.