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Eric Rowles


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Our training team today is led by one of the country’s foremost and most sought after experts on youth culture, substance abuse prevention, and workforce development. Eric Rowles is a nationally recognized trainer, speaker, and consultant whom has worked with over 150,000 youth, adults, administrators, professionals, and policy makers within the past 15 years. His presentations are legendary – by combining the energy and innovation of a master trainer, while at the same time reaching each of us through his stories, research, and on-the-ground strategies.

One part motivational speaker, one part DJ, and two parts community organizer and parent of 2 daughters, Eric runs a customized consulting and facilitation practice that, through a network of over 20 dynamic and diversely talented trainers, works with for profit and non-profit organizations to achieve progressive and dynamic change.

Eric’s previous experience includes his work as Senior Director of Training with the Youth Leadership Institute where he designed a national training institute that provided over 1,000 days of training in five years to community organizations and coalitions throughout the country. Prior to his work with YLI, Eric was the Director of Leadership Development at Rutgers University (NJ), managed his own touring educational theater organization, Leadership Through Motivation Productions, was the Director of International Youth Summer Abroad programs, and spent five years as a substance abuse prevention coordinator in Los Angeles.

Additionally, Eric through his double bachelors and Master of Science degrees in Ethnic Studies and Educational Leadership, he has served as a faculty member at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte as well as Rutgers University (NJ) and has over a decade of innovative and cutting edge classroom instruction and facilitation experience. Eric has also been a volunteer trainer and partner for a wide range of social change agencies and organizations including the National Conference on Community and Justice, College Leadership Diversity Conference, and Teaching Tolerance Curriculum Instruction.

In addition to his training experience, Eric has also been a professional DJ and worked with artists throughout the entertainment industry, including Gwen Stefani, Billy Joel, Notorius B.I.G., Cypress Hill, Tribe Called Quest, The Fugees, Boyz II Men, Third Eye Blind, The Roots, George Clinton & Parliament, Henry Rollins, Radiohead, Smashmouth, Weezer, Edward James Olmos, Sinbad, George Lopez, Margaret Cho, and Maya Angelou.

Get ready to laugh, play, think, work, challenge, and MOVE! This is NOT your ordinary training, and NOT your ordinary speaker. Get ready for the EXTRAORDINARY…. LEADING TO CHANGE!

Eric’s Contributions/ Publications


  • Over 300 examples of comprehensive educational training curricula, including Diversity, Social Justice, Race/Class/Gender/Orientation Identities, Communication Styles, Facilitation & Public Speaking, Environmental Prevention, Leadership Development, Media & Marketing, Organizational Development, Program Planning, Work Readiness, and Bullying & Harassment
  • Now More Than Ever –The Critical Need for Youth Engagement – Philanthropy Journal (2009)
  • No Longer Waiting –Youth in Today’s Philanthropic Revolution – Philanthropy Journal (2007)
  • Environmental Prevention – Addressing Environmental Factors Leading to Youth Alcohol Use. – Youth Leadership Institute (2005)
  • Youth Development: The What and Why – Youth Leadership Institute (2004)
  • What Young People Need From Us – Youth Leadership Institute (2002)
  • Implementing Organizational Practices Supporting Youth Adult Partnerships – Youth Leadership Institute (2002)
  • Contextualizing Power: An Introductory Approach to the Roles of Race & Class in Youth-Adult Partnerships – Youth Leadership Institute (2002)
  • Walking Parallel Paths: Connecting Higher Education Institutions and Community Based Organizations – Community Youth Development Journal, (Volume 2, No. 3, 2001)
  • Youth Adult Partnerships: A Training Manual (2001) – co-produced with The Innovation Center for Youth Development, National 4-H Council, and National Network for Youth
  • Young Active Citizens: Youth and Adults at the Decision Making Table – Youth Leadership Institute (2001)


  • “Bridging The Gap” Multi-Cultural Leadership Retreat (New Brunswick, NJ)
  • “Mosaic” Multi-Cultural Curriculum Development (New Britain, CT & Wilkesboro, NC)
  • “Black-Latino-Asian Student Orientation” (New Brunswick, NJ)
  • “Gay/Lesbian/Bi-Sexual/Transgender/Allies Network” (New Brunswick, NJ)
  • “Cinco De Mayo Con Orgullo Campaign” (Los Angeles, CA)
  • “TRIBES Cultural Competence Training” (San Francisco, CA)
  • “Charlotte Coalition For Social Justice Conference” (Charlotte, NC)
  • “National 21st Century Youth Culture & Media Training” (Indianapolis, IN & Washington, DC)
  • “National Generational Workforce Values Training” (Destin, FL & Raleigh, NC)
  • “North Carolina Native American Youth Organization Unity Conference” (Fayetteville, NC)

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