Edmund P. Lewis, Jr., MSW
Edmund brings passion to his work in the community, and he values giving back. Originally from Thomasville, North Carolina, he attended Thomasville High School, and completed his education with a bachelor’s at North Carolina Central University and a masters from The University of Michigan. While his stint at the University of Michigan was short due to be an Advance Standing student (12-month degree due to extensive practical and academic experience) he found an internship that helped hone his skills and his curiosity for nonprofits, philanthropy and the alleviation of poverty in underserved areas. Lewis, 32, is respected for his ties to the community and work to benefit it, as well as his ability to work well with the corporate, business and the philanthropic sector.
Edmund’s upbringing and journey has always had an impact on his career path and his mission to serve. He has been an advocate for the support and the success of African American and Latino males and the need for increased mentors. During his two previous roles, Edmund incorporated a community volunteer policy in the workspace to help staff who wanted to volunteer and receive paid time towards their cause of choice. This gave Edmund the flexibility to continue volunteering at schools throughout Detroit through lecturing and showing students how possible it is to obtain their goals despite their current situation or circumstance. From the vision – to fruition – and in 2010, Edmund created an advocacy-based organization focused on the support and success of African American and Latino males, called Minority Males for Higher Education. He organizes speakers, barbers, and school volunteers that pledge (at minimum) an hour a week to a local school to volunteer and develop relationships to better understand the student’s goals. He’s coined the phrase, Urban Articulation: the notion of listening to the youth share their passion(s) and translating that into college and career opportunities with clearly defined goals and metrics. Edmund has been working with boys and young men of color since his freshman year in college, when he realized college was a dreamed deferred for many males who only saw college as a gateway to the NFL or NBA.
In 2017, he was selected as the Manager for My Brother’s Keeper Durham where he is currently utilizing his skills and talents to shape policy, cultivate relationships with the community and to take a deeper dive into the racial equity lens for all young men of color in Durham to support their current and future endeavors.
Edmund sees any role as a continuation of the work he’s been doing with communities. His efforts have been centered around communities that have been deemed underdogs and that may need just a little fuel to aid in the right direction.
His sense of humor keeps him balanced as he works to make Durham, his current home, a stronger and prospering community. He is an advocate for mental and physical wellness, enjoys volunteering, and traveling.