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Genesis Israeli Rose Schmitz Briggs Be (born December 5) is an American recording artist, songwriter, executive producer, social entrepreneur and CEO of independent record company Open Sky Artworks. She is a scholar of the prestigious NYU Catherine B. Reynolds Program for Social Entrepreneurship . She is a NYU political science major as well as a graduate from the exclusive Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at the Tisch School of the Arts. She recently accepted a fellowship from The Hip-Hop Education Center at NYU. In 2011, Be launched a multi-media initiative called "Strive Till I Rise" geared toward youth empowerment. By speaking at high schools, colleges and after school programs, Be educates young adults about responsible consumerism, voting power and how to utilize their individual influence to positively impact their community. Strive Till I Rise uses online tools to release information, music, videos and events relating to Strive Till I Rise's message of youth empowerment.
Early Life / Family Legacy
Genesis Be is the daughter of published author and spiritual advisor, Ishmael Be and registered nurse Lisa Schmitz Briggs. She is of Native American, African American, Hungarian, French and German descent. Raised in Biloxi, MS, Be graduated from Biloxi High School right before Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast Region. Genesis Be witnessed first hand the destruction of the Storm and her traumatic experiences are portrayed in her 2nd studio album “18 In America”.
Genesis Be is also the grand daughter of Civil Rights Activist Rev. Clyde Briggs and Mary Geraldine Briggs of Roxie, Mississippi. Phillip and Violet Schmitz are Be's grandparents on her mother's side. Genesis accredits her social activist spirit to the legacy of her grandparents and her father. Rev. Clyde Briggs educated and encouraged black citizens to vote in Franklin County during the 1960s. After being accused of smuggling guns into Franklin County to arm black residents against the Ku Klux Klan, Rev. Briggs was murdered at the young age of 42.
Genesis Be recently founded the Strive Till I Rise Campaign, dedicated to empowering the youth to use their individual influence to improve their communities. She released her fourth studio album, "Mississippi To Manhattan", on April 19, 2011. Genesis graduated from NYU on May 18, 2011. In 2011, the Kairos Society offered Genesis Be a fellowship, she accepted. Be is also the recipient of a Nia Award: Ronald McNair/Arthur Schomburg For Academic Excellence. Most recently, Genesis accepted a 2011 NYU President's Service Award from John Sexton for her community service in the Gulf Coast Region and for her volunteer work in NYC public schools.
- 2005: “More Than A Warrior”
- 2007: “I Don’t Discriminate”
- 2008: “Lovers Or Friends”
- 2009: “Precious Beyond Measure”
- 2010: “Laughin At Ya Lames”
- 2011: "Like A Movie"
- 2011: "At A Standstill"
- 2005: 17 In America
- 2006: 18 In America
- 2007: 19 In America
- 2011: Mississippi To Manhattan
Jackson Free Press: Rev. Clyde Briggs March 31, 2007
Zora & Alice Magazine August 6, 2010
Maximus Magazine Fall 2009
Washington Square News May 11, 2009
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