Ty Gray-EL, the Minister of Poetry is an internationally renowned poet, storyteller and founder of Breath of My Ancestors Ministries, a cultural enrichment organization dedicated to restoring the heritage of Africans in America and the CEO of JustSalTy Publishing.
Ty earned a B.S. in Street-ology from the District of Columbia, a Master’s Degree in Survival in the Ghettos of North America and a Ph.D. in Psyche-ology from the University of Adversity and Hard Knocks. While some laugh at Ty's academic achievements (having once been labeled ineducable) he is as proud of his accomplishments as any holding degrees from Howard, Harvard or Yale. He is an author, activist, lecturer, public speaker, husband, proud father of four and was the first recognized Poet Laureate of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a two-time Spoken Word Billboard Award winner and recording artist with Tea-4-2 Productions.
Rising from the depths of drug addiction and incarceration to becoming an author, lecturer and recording artist, he is now called “The vessel through which our ancestors speak.” As a performance poet, storytelling-griot and activist he has appeared on the Michael Baisden Show, the Steve Harvey Morning Show, the Russ Parr Morning Show, WHUR, BET, the Pacifica Radio Network and Sirius/XM Radio, as well as featured in the Washington Informer and Washington Post.
As an ordained minister of the Gospel, he confronts the issues of racism and bigotry with poetic compassion, dramatic storytelling and historical fact, while weaving a tapestry of tolerance and hope. Ty’s presentations are a slice of lecture, a slice of poetry, and a slice of theater that all come together like grandma’s sweet potato pie.