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This creature of fiction allows students, Prindle Staff, and community members to post brief ethics in the news posts in a pseudo-anonymous fashion. It also makes for an awesome mascot. (Oh...and the image here belongs to the Found Animals Foundation and is licensed under the Creative Commons license CC-BY-SA 2.0)

"The U.S. Army - Humanitarian aid in Rajan Kala, Afghanistan "by Tech. Sgt. Fransisco Govea is licensed under Public Domain (via Wikipedia)

The Prindle Institute is excited to announce the winners of the second annual High School Ethics Essay Contest! Over 200 high school students responded to the prompt “Does the United States have a moral responsibility to intervene in countries where human rights violations are occurring?” The five winners received a cash prize of $300. Excerpts from the five winning essays are featured below.

 

Emily Crafton, Greenfield-Central High School- Humanitarian Intervention

“Not only is it a moral choice, but as Jennifer Welsh, from the R2P program explains, intervention can also promote resilience. Intervening in other countries strengthens those countries politically, ultimately preventing future atrocities. While it may seem unjust to interfere with the sovereignty of other countries, the definition of sovereignty is evolving.” Click here to read more of this essay. 

 

Lourdes Latasa, Carondelet High SchoolThe United States’ Responsibility to Protect

“There is never an end to the controversy over whether the United States has a moral responsibility to intervene in countries where human rights violations occur. Sovereignty and human rights are crucial ideas that contradict one another in terms of whether the United States has the responsibility to use humanitarian intervention. Sovereignty in a state allows the state to be independent and to handle its affairs. It does not allow other countries to interfere in the state’s affairs.” Click here to read more of this essay.

 

Alec Sandberg, West Bloomfield High SchoolA Move Toward Intervention

“Having world peace would be ideal. However, the United States understands that this state is unrealistic unless something is done to help curb human rights violations. To promote its political agenda and social views throughout the world, the United States needs to unify countries that are willing to cooperate with each other. Countries that do not agree with the United States on how citizens should be treated would have a difficult time maintaining any type of relationship with the United States.” Click here to read more of this essay.

 

Regan Vander Tuin, Catholic Central High SchoolA Moral Dilemma: Armed Intervention

“Those who oppose intervention fear that it may lead to greater harm, but when specific guidelines are enforced to prevent under- or over-use of intervention, humanitarian aid is beneficial. The United States should ultimately intervene when citizens of other countries are unable to protect themselves.” Click here to read more of this essay. 

 

Karmyn Von Ehr, Catholic Central High SchoolA Collective Responsibility

“The United States is currently a large global power that assumes a large portion of the responsibility to protect. Although many would argue that the United States should have the moral responsibility to intervene in situations of human rights violations, the United States government does not currently act upon or maintain a moral responsibility. In ways that the government does not have a moral responsibility, the citizens do. There are numerous organizations and orders that can freely act based on moral responsibility, whereas the government has restrictions.” Click here to read more of this essay. 

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Sun is out! by Jonathan Adami CC BY 2.0

Check out these links suggested by members of The Prindle Post staff:

18-year-old arts student creates ceramic-dispensing vending machine to question how much we value art

I am an adjunct professor who teaches five classes. I earn less than a pet-sitter

Shoes That Put Women in Their Place

Can Mission-Driven Food Companies Avoid Selling Out?

Columbia becomes the first US university to divest from private prison companies

What If Authors Were Paid Every Time Someone Turned a Page?

Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11

What have you been reading lately? Share a link with us in the comments!

In February, Dr. Michael Hannon presented his talk “Does Knowledge Matter” as a part of the Young Philosophers Lecture Series hosted by the Prindle Institute and the DePauw Philosophy Department. Next week, we’ll post Dr. Michael Hannon’s research-level talk, “The Threshold for Knowledge.”

Each of the Young Philosophers Lecture Series videos is available on YouTube.

Enjoy, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

In February, Dr. Danielle Wenner presented her talk “Autonomy and Non-Domination in International Clinical Research” as a part of the Young Philosophers Lecture Series hosted by the Prindle Institute and the DePauw Philosophy Department. Next week, we’ll post Dr. Michael Hannon’s talk, “Does Knowledge Matter?”

Throughout May and June, we’ll continue to post videos of each talk (also available on YouTube).

Enjoy, and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!

Rachel is a senior intern from Huntingburg, Indiana. She will graduate this Sunday with a double major in Political Science and Education Studies and a minor in Chemistry. This fall, she will pursue a Masters degree in Mind, Brain, and Education at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.

1. Tell us about an ethics/social justice issue that is particularly important to you.

Education. The ethics surrounding the education system, issues involving schools and the ethics of the classroom.  This has allowed me to expand my thoughts and work to encompass ethics on DePauw’s campus as well. I am especially passionate about investigating the ethics of zero tolerance policies and juvenile incarceration. As Nelson Mandela reminds us, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” however, I believe that ethical education and ethical empowerment of students are the ways you can truly make a difference.

2. What was your favorite Prindle event from the past year?

Meeting Piper Kerman and hearing her Ubben Lecture was hands down my favorite Prindle-sponsored event this year. Getting to ask Piper about her experiences and thoughts about the prison industrial complex was life-changing. Her perspective is brought out through her book and somewhat through the Netflix series and I personally think that she has allowed more Americans to critically assess, or at least think about the unethical nature of our current legal punishment processes.

3. Which class(es) at DePauw have most challenged and expanded your worldview?

Decolonization Education Theory, a 300-level Education Studies course taught by Dr. Rebecca Alexander, was one of the most challenging courses for me both intellectually and emotionally.  Being one of two white students in a class completely focused on privilege and colonization, I was forced into an uncomfortable, vulnerable, but entirely necessary space.  This course helped me to grow because it allowed me to truly learn about my own learning for the first time. A close second, Political Economy of Schools, a 300-level Education Studies course taught by Dr. Marcelle McVorran, expanded my views of education and acted as a much-needed capstone, pulling together all of my political science and education studies courses.

4. What’s the coolest thing you’ve heard about in the past week? This could be something you read, listened to, watched, talked about, etc.

I am completely in love with learning new things, both figuratively and literally. Somehow, it has taken me until this past week to discover “Duolingo,” an online app for learning new languages (If you have not heard of it, you should definitely check it out). I took Spanish for three years in high school, but tested out of Spanish at DePauw. I have really missed speaking in a second language and this app has the visual appeal and addiction factor of a video game. In other words, I am obsessed!

5. Tell us about one of your hobbies, interests, or passions.

Many people might not know this about me, but I am a licensed safe server for the State of Indiana, which is basically a bartending license.  I am not to the point where I can flip bottles and put on a show, however, I have interned at a winery making wine and served at a bar. I love the way that social drinking can bring people together, especially because I feel that college-social drinking has distorted society’s view of consuming alcoholic beverages. Whether it’s making wine or serving a perfectly poured Blue Moon, I plan to continue to learn about the industry and maybe learn a few tricks of the trade in years to come!

Learn more about Rachel here, and read more of her articles on Prindle Post here.

Every week, the Prindle Intern team weighs in on an ethical issue together. Each intern is challenged to keep their response to five sentences – Ethics in 5. Click on an intern’s name to check out their previous posts on The Prindle Post!

This week’s question: Vaccinations

The anti-vaccination movement has been gaining momentum over the last few years, resulting in many children remaining unvaccinated. California is currently debating a bill that would prevent parents from opting their children out of vaccinations in the wake of a Disneyland measles outbreak. Opponents of the bill say it imposes beliefs onto parents who believe vaccines are dangerous and have personal or religious beliefs against them; supporters say that it will make the population healthier overall and prevent outbreaks of potentially deadly diseases. There have been numerous other cases beyond vaccines of parents denying children medical care for personal or religious reasons. Is it ethical for parents to refuse medical care or vaccinations for children due to personal/religious convictions? Is it ethical for the state to force vaccinations? Do parents have the right to deny vaccinations to their children when it may affect others’ children?

Rachel HanebuttFirst of all, I believe there is a discrepancy between parental rights and parental responsibilities here. The question should not  be whether it’s a parent’s right not to vaccinate their child but rather if it’s ethical for parents not to vaccinate their children; it’s not a matter of individual health, but rather one of public health.  In my opinion, it becomes a matter of child negligence when a parent chooses not to vaccinate their child and are therefore not providing proper care to ensure they will not contract diseases that can be preventable and are potentially life-threatening. Parenting operates in the private sphere, yes, however, their children interact with others in public spaces, such as school, that do not allow sickness or other dangers to impede on the wellbeing of the others around them. Unless society is going to ban children who have not been vaccinated from all public spaces (highly unlikely), then all parents should be held accountable to vaccinating their children in the same ways they are legally responsible for the use of car seats and seatbelts.

Corby Burger: I would have to agree with Rachel. There comes a point when societal benefits trump personal choice. When this threshold is reached, it is morally permissible for the state to subdue the choice of a minority faction for the betterment of society as a whole. Is this not the most basic function of government? This is truly a public health concern that directly defies conventional knowledge and health procedures. Those that choose not to vaccinate their children are deliberately putting others in harm’s way, which seems to be a basic prerequisite for amorality.

Amy Brown: I find that when personal choices begin to affect the larger public group in a damaging manner, it’s not right to allow the specific type of behavior when it is a danger to society. While taking away rights is unethical in general, the overall health and safety of the population make it unethical to not vaccinate children. Vaccinations are something that affects the entire group, so religious and personal convictions hold little to no personal wait in this situation. If a grown adult refuses medical care for a non-contagious disease due to religious or personal beliefs, fine; but when it comes to parents denying vaccinations and medical care to their children, that steps over the line into unethical and societally dangerous behavior.

Caroline ZadinaMy heart goes out to the parents who believe that the vaccination their child received has caused him/her sickness rather than health. In my eyes, that presents a very real and scary problem. I am also sensitive to the cultural/religious beliefs that go against vaccinations in general. However, when contemplating an ethical issue like this, I think it is important to look at the larger issue at hand. If your child is not vaccinated, becomes sick, and causes other children to become sick and suffer, it is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. I do not believe that is ethical for a parent to withhold a vaccine used to promote the health of a child when it has been proven safe. Especially when the consequence of that decision will be directly felt by the child, and may also impact the wellbeing of the greater society. However, I do think that a more sensitive explanation that explains the consequences of the situation at hand, rather than making it appear like a threat to individual freedom, is warranted.

Noelle WitwerPersonal and religious convictions can affect medical care decisions in a number of ways, and these situations tend to be ethically complex. I agree with Caroline that it is important to consider the reasons behind parents’ opposition to vaccinations. Learning more about why parents don’t wish to vaccinate their children may help design the most effective solution to this issue. However, I agree with Rachel and Corby that, essentially, the widespread use of vaccinations is essential for maintaining public health, and thus may ultimately warrant legislation.

Cheney Hagerup: Looking back on the N1H1 virus and the widespread (and possibly unfounded) fear that caused much of the population to seek vaccination, I began to question the necessity of such vaccinations. It is difficult for me to align with the warnings I hear about the necessity of vaccination because the existence of major pharmaceutical companies that make ridiculous sums of money off of these vaccinations makes me feel blinded from real medical recommendations. I remember that with the H1N1 vaccination, there were extensive side effects and health risks involved (especially to pregnant women and children) and, yet, families continued to seek out the vaccination en masse. Due to the impossibility I see in separating genuine medical recommendations for vaccinations from pharmaceutical biases involving financial gain, I support each individual parent’s decision on whether to vaccinate their children or not. In light of recent events (i.e. RFRA, Baltimore police brutality), I have come to see that governmental institutions do not always have the best interest of the individual in mind.

Eleanor PriceAs Rachel said so well, vaccination is not a matter of purely individual rights. But beyond the danger of causing other children (and the public at large) sickness, diseases that we had thought on the way to eradication might begin to reappear. Suddenly this becomes more than a domestic problem — it’s global. The physical health of world should be weighted more heavily in the ethical dilemma than individual desires.

How do you feel about this week’s question? Have something you want to share with an intern or a question about their stance? Leave a comment below on what you think of vaccination ethics!

Every week, the Prindle Intern team weighs in on an ethical issue together. Each intern is challenged to keep their response to five sentences – Ethics in 5. Click on an intern’s name to check out their previous posts on The Prindle Post!

This week’s question: Advertising

Advertising is frequently in the ethical hotseat. From body shaming to false information to glorification, producers often go about getting customers in a way many consider unethical. Recently, the use of an AI bot to advertise the movie Ex Machina was used on Tinder (making matches with people and asking them questions, and eventually linking them to an instagram advertising the movie) stirred up controversy (here). Many said this manipulated people’s emotions. Another ongoing debate in the advertising world is the use of photoshop to change the images presented to consumers. The photos are unrealistic at times, making consumers think they should look a way that is almost impossible and unrealistic. This also manipulates people’s emotions to get them to purchase certain products. Is it ever ethical to manipulate emotions in advertising? Is there a way to ethically advertise?

Corby Burger: Emotional manipulation permeates human relationships, so to call it outright unethical would be to lessen the normative weight that comes along with stigmatizing an action as truly unethical. In the case of the Ex Machina, advertisement, neither the magnitude of the emotional control on the part of the AI system nor the intentions of the marketing team warrants labeling this clever stunt as unethical. However, in utilizing Photoshop to break through the limits of aesthetic human “perfection,” there is an argument to be made that this is unethical in that the practitioners of these marketing techniques know that these sorts of images have negative effects on the psychological and physical health of the audience they are seeking to impact; yet they continue to unrealistically sensualize images through Photoshop. Now, what if the AI system was to continue its charade to a point where the subsequent emotional injuries were impactful enough to warrant calling them unethical. Would the moral responsibility fall on the creators of the device or the machine itself?

Natalie WeilandtYes, there are ways to ethically advertise because emotional manipulation (including that through advertising) isn’t inherently unethical. Everything is emotional manipulation: art, teaching, business…even simple conversations. It becomes unethical when advertisers are aware of the adverse effects that their actions have on people. We cannot change the fact that advertisers will always chase money (it’s their job, and this is a capitalist society), and they’ll find ways to do it in increasingly deceptive ways, especially given the rate at which technology presents new creative opportunities. All we can do is regulate and educate: if people expect advertisers to have evolving technology-enabled capabilities, the adverse psychological and sociological effects of their manipulation– like those displayed in the Ex Machina case– won’t be as severe or common.

Rachel HanebuttAdvertising has become the ultimate forum for deception, especially when tied to a profit. As consumers, we make active choices to buy into and accept this type of marketing strategy, therefore, it is not inherently wrong for companies to use various advertising strategies to their advantage. In regards to Ex Machina’s trickster account on Tinder, it seems like this advertisement has gone too far, however, if we are going to hold glorified ads accountable, we need to hold consumers to the same accountability. Some call Ex Machina’s sexy robot deception; I call it strategic marketing.

Amy Brown: I don’t find emotional manipulation inherently unethical, but it can certainly become unethical if taken too far. Using an ad to manipulate someone’s emotions into saying that they want to buy that makeup look or clothes, or go eat at a certain restaurant isn’t inherently bad; it becomes bad when emotions are manipulated to make someone feel extremely bad about themselves and distort perceptions in the long-term, like with unrealistic beauty expectations that stem from photoshop. It may be a stretch to call that inherently unethical, it I think that it does toe the line. If advertising manipulates emotion for positive long-term change, like an actual healthy lifestyle or such, then the manipulation may not be as unethical or wrong.

Noelle WitwerAlthough I can understand why Tinder users might have felt dismayed, betrayed, or simply annoyed when they discovered that Ava was not a real person but rather an advertising bot for a new movie, I do not think this use of deception in advertising is unethical. The type of deception used was similar to a plot twist in a novel, a surprising punch line to a joke, or the unexpected language of satire–in all of these examples, people use deception as a tool to bring attention to something and to  impact the deceived. And, in all of these examples, the range of emotions felt when the deception is revealed can be variable depending on the consumer. Deception becomes unethical in advertising when we are deceived about the nature or effectiveness of the product that is being advertised. Emotional manipulation in advertising is unethical when, as Corby mentioned, the advertisements leave a harmful negative psychological impact on the viewer and those designing advertisements are aware of this effect.

Caroline ZadinaAdvertising that appeals to the emotion of consumers is not inherently unethical from my point of view. However, advertisment that psychologically harms a person is unethical, which Amy alludes to above. The goal of advertisement is to attract, entice, and lure people in, which is only possible by pinpointing clever avenues to connect with consumers. While this example from, Tinder is definitely a new “attempt” at this made possible with our ever expanding technological world, I think that as a society we need to be more aware and cognizant of advertising and the motive behind it, in order to protect ourselves. Advertising is not going away anytime soon, and while we can not directly control what reaches us, we can control what we let in and attend to.

Cheney Hagerup: The use of Tinder in advertising Ex Machina draws me back to the movie, Her, in which the protagonist falls in love with a mechanized female persona, as transmitted through an app he downloaded. Both of these scenarios suggest an ever-increasing societal dependence on technology for social interaction in place of human interaction. I think that the advertisement exploits this dependence in a conscious effort to create controversy and, consequentially, publicity for the film. The advertisement, likewise, makes us all uncomfortably aware of this dependence, sparking important discussions.

Conner Gordon:  While the idea of emotional manipulation is a scary one, I don’t see it as being inherently wrong. One could say that a protest manipulates emotions to motivate onlookers and make a positive change, for example. The distinction between ethical and unethical emotional manipulation, then, would be the means and consequences of such manipulation. This is particularly relevant for the body image example, as it uses deceitful standards that create real, long-term emotional and physical damage for many viewers. The example of the Tinder bot is more complicated, since it is deceitful and produces negative emotions, but also creates these emotions for artistic effect (in this case, as a tie-in to the themes of the film), and ultimately operates on revealing its own deception.

Eleanor PriceAs Conner, Amy, and Corby have said, I don’t think I can say emotional manipulation in and of itself is inherently wrong — to call all forms of it wrong would then lead to whether literature, music, or any art  that one finds affecting is also unethical. However, intentionally stirring negative emotions within people to coerce them to buy a product (see a movie, donate money, etc) is unfair to those possible consumers, and the source of that discomfort can be traced to the creators of the advertisement. It seems unethical to me to deliberately cause such a drastic reaction in potential consumers.

How do you feel about this week’s question? Have something you want to share with an intern or a question about their stance? Leave a comment below on what you think of advertising ethics!

Every week, the Prindle Intern team weighs in on an ethical issue together. Each intern is challenged to keep their response to five sentences – Ethics in 5. Click on an intern’s name to check out their previous posts on The Prindle Post!

This week’s question: Water and California

California is, and has been, experiencing an extreme drought for the past few years. Water rations have gone into effect as water authorities say that the state only has one year of water saved up. The rations include requesting restaurants to not serve water unless requested, car washing and landscape watering is restricted, and water may be rationed for agriculture as well, which accounts for 80% of the state’s water usage. In the midst of all this, Nestle is currently bottling water from California and then selling it back in the local market. In fact, numerous bottled water companies actually source their water from drought-ridden regions of the country. Some argue that since this is where the brand is stationed, it’s okay to draw from California; others argue that companies should not bottle water from areas that are running out. Should companies be allowed to bottle and sell water from drought-ridden areas? Is it ethical business practices to do so? Should agricultural companies be allowed to draw 80% of the water when people are running out?

Corby Burger: From an economic perspective, the argument could be made that in times of drought the most important use of water is consumption, and allowing market forces to distribute drinking water through private entities such as Nestlé may actually lead to the most efficient outcomes for both consumers and producers. However, in examining this proposal we must take into account the externalities that Nestlé’s continued production places on surrounding communities. The continued extraction of spring water from the area in which the Nestlé plant is located is inhibiting the natural recharge of aquifers located in the drought stricken communities that rely on this groundwater runoff. In the case of agricultural consumption, California farmers should be more practical in the types of plants they choose to cultivate, as the ever popular almonds trees and alfalfa sprouts require incredible amounts of water to grow in the desert ecosystems of California. People in California (which by law includes corporations), and the public sector alike should work together to more effectively manage water resources in the state, and to ignore this responsibility is a dangerous moral failure.

Natalie WeilandtUnless bottling the water is the most efficient way to extract it, and drinking it bottled is the best way to put these scarce resources to use, I would argue that Nestle’s actions are unethical and should be stopped, or at least regulated and limited. Drawing bottled water from a drought-ridden area is not sustainable from a business standpoint, nor an environmental one. Even when considering the issue from Nestle’s perspective as an economically-driven entity (read: corporation), is it worth the bad press to pursue something with a shrinking market and a limited supply anyway? Nestle isn’t just a corporation; it is a huge corporation with many products other than bottled water. It is therefore unnecessary for them to be bottling water, given the scarcity of the resource, and taking into consideration that complete deprivation of this resource means a loss greater than profit: it means a loss of human life.

Rachel HanebuttI personally do not think it is ethical for companies to draw water from drought-ridden areas. Water bottle companies, such as Nestle, are not exempt from the increasing restrictions on water usage, even though they are selling back into the local Californian market. In the case of agriculture, however, I think that farmers should be allowed to use water, as needed, in order to continue to produce food for the state, but only if they are making attempts towards proactive adaptation in agriculture. If, however, it becomes necessary to restrict the usage of water for agricultural purposes as well, I think that California will need to resort to importing water and food from other states because the state as a whole did not proactively adapt to these drought conditions as they should have.

Amy Brown: I find it completely unethical to draw water from drought-ridden regions; that perpetuates numerous environmental issues and takes water from people who really need it, even when it’s being sold back into that market. It will be at a higher price, which is unfair to consumers; I also find it morally wrong to sell a necessary, life-sustaining good for a high price knowing that people have little choice but to buy it. While I think 80% of the water usage seems a bit high, if the farmers are not wasting water and using just what they need and every citizen still has enough water, there’s nothing wrong with using that water. If the agricultural companies are being wasteful and taking water that could be for people and essentially throwing it away, that is unethical.

Noelle WitwerAlthough I know that this is a complicated issue both ethically and economically, my first instinct is to say that bottling water and selling it back into the drought-ridden economy of California is unethical. Firstly, it seems to be manipulative by increasing the scarcity of an already scarce resource in order to drive up prices for water even more. Secondly, I would argue that both selling and buying excessive amounts of disposable water bottles is, in a way, unethical in itself due to the harmful effects of water bottles on the environment. A related ethical issue is the question of who is responsible for stopping the harmful activity of bottling water from drought areas, or bottling water in general? Is it the consumers’, the companies’ or the government’s responsibility?

Vanessa Freije: Yes, it is unethical. Even from a Marxist stance, the fact that Nestle is bottling up water from a drought-stricken region and selling it for capital gain just seems wrong. Water is an inelastic good, something that humans need. Nestle does not need to be taking water from California. Despite the possible economic gain from Nestle’s activities, it is critical to consider the trade-off and the potential losses in terms of human quality of life.  In this case, it is a simple cost- benefit analysis and a question of what we believe is more important –a greater quality of life or economic gain? MOREOVER, NESTLE’S CALIFORNIA WATER PERMIT EXPIRED 27 YEARS AGO. I think that speaks for itself. To read more about it, check here.

Caroline ZadinaWater is necessary to human life and existence. With that said, I believe that bottling up water from drought ridden California is unethical because as the drought continues and worsens, it has the potential to put many human lives at risk. People in California need their water. However, I also realize the difficult position Nestle currently finds itself in from a business perspective. I think that Natalie brought up a terrific point in that Nestle is a huge corporation with a ton of different products besides bottled water, so it will survive even if they cut back a little. I also believe that Nestle has a corporate responsibility to its 25,000 employees, many of whom live in California, and are experiencing this drought first hand. Eventually, at this rate, water will run out, preventing further business and putting their people in danger at the same time. I think that Nestle has a lot to gain in this situation. If they stand up and choose to do something to make this situation better, their brand name will be the catalyst to change and may trickle down to encourage  other companies to do the same.

How do you feel about this week’s question? Have something you want to share with an intern or a question about their stance? Leave a comment below on what you think of this issue!

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Ed Garnes ’99 will be returning to DePauw this Sunday as part of the Sweet Tea Ethics College and Community Tour. He will be presenting out here at the Prindle Institute for Ethics 10 a.m. as part of the DePauw’s Philanthrophy and Excellence Weekend for Multicultural alumni. Below are some details about Sweet Tea Ethics and Ed Garnes.

About Sweet Tea Ethics
Fueled by an uncanny mix of observational humor and candid social commentary, Sweet Tea Ethics transforms grandma’s folk tales, personal college experiences, and sobering life lessons into practical strategies for personal development and real world application. Mixing the reasoning sessions of the local barbershop and fervor of street corner theologians, the inter-generational dialogue covers a wide range of topics including manhood, black love, bridging generation gaps, and the cross cultural appeal of hip hop. Operating as a southern fired forum far beyond canned speeches or lectures, award winning writer, counselor, educator, and activist Edward M. Garnes, Jr. , founder of From Afros To Shelltoes, shoots straight in his most personal speaking tour of all time. Sweet Tea Ethics has featured a wide array of visionaries including brothers Clifton West & Dr. Cornel West, visual art superstar Fahamu Pecou, hip hop artist Killer Mike, CNN financial analyst Clyde Anderson, and celebrity stylist Spry Lee Scott.

Here is the significance of my dear brother Ed Garnes, Jr. and From Afros To Shelltoes’ Sweet Tea Ethics. There is no other group in Atlanta that can bring together such engaged, high quality, and substantial dialogue about the crucial issues facing not just the black community, but also American society. He writes well, works hard and revels in the life of the mind. Thank God for brother Ed Garnes, Jr.–Dr. Cornel West
About Ed Garnes
Award-winning writer, activist, counselor, and coach, Atlanta native Edward M. Garnes, Jr. is the founder of From Afros To Shelltoes (www.fromafrostoshelltoes.com), a community-based organization uniquely focused on cultural productions that bridge generation gaps between youth, elders, and the hip-hop community. Garnes has received The Atlanta Tribune Man of Distinction Award and holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauwUniversity and an M.A. in Counseling from Michigan State University where he studied as a Competitive Fellow in Counseling. His seminal essay “Black Boy Blues Suite: A Love Poem To My Father In E -Flat” appears in the anthology Where Did Our Love Go: Love and Relationships in the African American Community edited by Gil Robertson.  As a highly sought after commentator on hip hop, black identity, manhood, and popular culture, Garneshas appeared on CNN’s Headline News, Fox’s MY TV Network, Sirius Radio, CBS Radio, and allhiphop.com. Garnes currently serves as an Adjunct Professor in Public Speaking atSpelman College and co stars in the internationally acclaimed documentary film Elementary Genocide: From Primary to Penitentiary directed by Rahiem Shabazz. His national manhood tour Sweet Tea Ethics has featured famed brothers Dr. Cornel West & Clifton West.