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“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. I was taught how to fish. I believe the successful longevity of these students depends on being provided the same opportunities. We are going to touch as many lives as possible."
– Wesley Powell

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Shewanna Grasty

Director of Strategic Partnerships & Philanthrophy

Shewanna Grasty is a purpose-driven, organizational change agent with 10 years of progressive experience in the areas of strategic planning, integrated marketing, business development, program design and implementation, project management, and talent attraction and engagement. A big picture thinker Shewanna has a gift for being able to conceptualize, design, and implement strategic integrated business development and marketing strategies that are in alignment with organizational goals and stakeholder needs while creating authentic connections with people from all walks of life. Much of her professional and educational background has focused on creating opportunities to connect underserved populations to resources, supports, and services designed to improve and empower their lives.

Ms. Grasty is motivated by a self-felt responsibility to improve the utility and function of systems and processes applying creativity and holistic thinking to meet and exceed organizational objectives with integrity and passion for the brand while making a positive impact on the system and the constituency being addressed.


Shewanna earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Advertising & Marketing Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), and a Master of Arts in Media Ecology Communications from New York University (NYU).

Joel Allan Powell

Director of Operations

Joel Allan Powell is a dedicated financial relationship management expert with more than 15 years experience in money management, loan origination, credit card applications, commercial real estate development/acquisitions, and investment services.  He has held the following licenses and/or certifications:  National Securities Dealers Association (NSDA) Series 6 & 63 licenses, Life insurance and Annuities contract licenses, and a Health Insurance license.  He is a graduate of both Bank of America's Banking Center Management Program and Premier Banking new Client Manager University.  He spent five years at Bank of America, working in the capacity of a Bank Center Manager/Vice President, and Premier Client Manager. In his latter role, he was responsible for managing a portfolio of Premier banking clients with assets totaling over a quarter of a billion dollars.


He has vast expertise in developing and facilitating adult learning training models and business start-ups. In 2004, he established a small nonprofit organization committed to strengthening the lives of District of Columbia residents and businesses through a myriad of training programs that included but are not limited to: business and financial management, work readiness, and career development.  He has a well-rounded understanding of business management, facilitative leadership, interpersonal communication, and customer service skills. 

Wesley Powell

Epic HBCU Collective Founder & President


Wesley Powell, who is a New York native carries over 30 years of global experience in the entertainment industry simultaneously giving an ongoing 25 plus years contribution of his expertise to business power investing,
consultation, and management roles.

President / Founder of Epic HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and
Universities) Collective, LLC; a cooperative combined of educators, creators,
innovators, business moguls, and neighborhood advocates focused on
maximizing and evolving the experience that Historical Black Colleges &
Universities provide. The mission is to expand the prestigious educational
platform and open doors to creative hands-on and remote learning, tapping
into current and future initiatives, and developing non-traditional skill sets.

Wesley Powell's  elite production and stage experience started among the
greats at the infamous Showtime at the Apollo, where he served 11 years
as stage manager at the Apollo Theatre. He continued to trailblaze his
career grooming his creative expertise working with well-known names
such as The Cosby Show, Sesame Street, Equalizer, and The David
Letterman Show as well as managing the full production of Nickelodeon
and the annual New York Summer Stage concert series. Wesley Powell’s
broad and extensive television production experience ushered him into
bicoastal opportunities to hold down his true passion, music. His creative
genius fast tracked him to work stages for musical geniuses such as Biz
Markie, Big Daddy Kane and more. The hip hop community quickly
acknowledged him as a subject matter expert not just in production, but
creative development, and business relations. Doors opened for what
started with his management of KRS ONE, Nice and Smooth, and the stage
and production management for Doug E. Fresh. Successfully working with
hip hop all-star entertainers quickly uncovered his niche and brand; which
led to solid relationships with world renowned artists and business moguls.
Wesley Powell expanded his brand to work alongside heavy hitters like
Marsha Ambrosius, 112, Young Dro, K. Michelle, Jeezy, Dej Loaf, Big Sean,
Boris Kudjoe, Morris Chestnut, T.I and Cedric the Entertainer, naming a few.


As a subject matter expert handling cradle to grave production, operations,
creative development, and management, Wesley Powell developed a sure-

fire formula that maximized his invaluable relationships, innovative creative
check points, and business acumen. This formula has generated over $20
million dollars for multi-platinum artists and has been used as a blueprint
and guide by other well-known booking agencies i.e., Famous Booking
Agency, ICM, Creative Talent Agency.

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