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Student Activities Committee and Diversity Center
Omar Tyree, is a New York Times best-selling author, a journalist, reporter,poet, screenwriter, songwriter, playwrite, event host, lecturer, blogger, publishing consultant and literacy advocate, who has won a 2001 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature in Fiction, a 2006 Phillis Wheatley Literary Award for Body of Work in Urban Fiction, and a 2010 HBCU Legends Award for his tiresome work in urban literacy.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from the prestigious Central High School in 1987, Tyree first attended the University of Pittsburgh as a Pharmacy major and an aspiring football player. After spending his first two years at Pitt, he found his new passion and a calling as a writer and a storyteller, penning his first published series, 'The Diary of a Freshman' along with two novels; 'Colored, On White Campus', (now titled 'College Boy' in his Urban Griot series) and 'Flyy Girl', which became a contemporary urban classic that spawned an entire genre of so-called 'urban/street literature.'
Tyree transferred to the respected HBCU of Howard University to finish his education as a writer in the Fall of 1989. Leaving the English Department in the School of the Liberal Arts for the School of Communications, he graduated cum laude with a degree in Print Journalism in the Fall of 1991. While at Howard, he created, produced and published 'Food For Thought' a student opinion column in 'The Hilltop' newspaper, along with publishing several Washington, DC-based news articles for the Black Press.
Upon graduation from Howard, Tyree established his own publishing company, MARS Productions, in early 1992, at the tender age of 23. He then self-published and marketed his first three novels, including 'Capital City', which chronicled Washington, DC's violent drug culture, and went on to sell 25,000 copies of his first three titles with distribution sources from Newport News, Virginia, to Queens,New York.
By the Spring of 1995, Tyree's activity had attracted the attention of several major publishing houses, including Simon & Schuster, where he signed his first two-book publishing deal for a six-figure advance payment at age 26. And as they say, the rest is his-story. Tyree went on to publish 16 novels, two short story books, and one non-fiction book on 'The Equation' of entrepreneurship and business. To date, he has sold more than 2 million copies of his books worldwide, and has created a brand name in the publishing industry that has generated more than $30 million.
Tyree has also been published in five anthology books, several major newspapers, including; The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The News Journal; several national magazines, including, Ebony, Essence, Upscale, The Black Collegian, and The Washington View, and featured on the national blog web site TheDailyVoice.com.
Along with his many literary awards from various national organizations, Tyree has founded and formed his own nonprofit arm of the Urban Literacy Project (ULP), where he highlights 'The 5 Key Components of Literacy' (Reading, Writing, Thinking, Visualization and Application). Penning a short short book, '12 Brown Boys' for young urban readers in September of 2008, Tyree was cited by the City Council of Philadelphia for his tireless community work in urban literacy in the Spring of 2009, where he spoke about the need to continue the fight against illiteracy within the urban American community.
Hailed as one of the most passionate and informed speakers on artistic,community, educational, cultural, intellectual, popular and business topics,Tyree has been a featured lecturer at more than 50 major American institutions,colleges and universities, including Harvard and Yale.