At just 17 years old, Dennis Reed was compelled to create an organization that serves as a creative outlet area youth and young adults to inspire them to reach for more in life. Inspire the Fire Inc. is a non-profit organization that coaches students in artistic development, life skills, and community engagement. ITF was selected as the 2016 Community Group of the Year by Leadership Charlotte and has been awarded “Inspire the Fire Day” by four Charlotte Mayors. ITF also repped the Queen City as it made it to the finals on season 7 of America’s Got Talent, and were invited to perform for Oprah Winfrey as she celebrated Dr. Maya Angelou’s 85th birthday, and later, Dr. Angelou’s memorial service. Notably, with his group GAP, Reed performed for then-President Barack Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and later was chosen to introduce Obama on the Clinton/Kaine campaign trail. On the charts, Reed recently made Billboard history with the number one song “Necessary” with Carolina native, Fantasia. He currently serves as a professor at Catawba College. We celebrate activist, artist, community leader Dennis Reed.