Our Founder and President
Grant Williams is the founder and President of The Edge. He originally hails from New York. He received his BA in Education from the University of North Texas after serving a stint in the U.S. Air Force in the early sixties. He moved to Los Angeles in 1976, where he pursued a career in show business as a professional dancer. This led to working and living in Brazil, France, and Mexico as a teacher and choreographer. His work as a dancer continued after relocating to Oregon in 1992, where he also became interested in personal growth work with adult men. A few years later, this work led to an interest in the Boys to Men program, which he introduced to South Africa in 2007.
Grant has been to Africa and South America many times as a volunteer/philanthropist in the Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Peru. He has also been to Haiti several times to support one of the numerous orphanages there benefiting the many children who lost parents in the earthquake of 2010: Operation Love the Children Haiti.
And there are other exploits. Prison work in the maximum security yard at Folsom Prison; Gulu State Prison in northern Uganda including working with rescued or escaped young female abductees from terrorist organizations (Joseph Kony's “Lords Resistance Army”); and building a school in that region. An organization in the southern Oregon area named “Redemption Ridge” is the most recent of Grant's interests. It is dedicated to providing shelter to victims of human trafficking. It is very serious in the state of Oregon (the worst in the country per capita, mainly because of the I-5 interstate corridor). He is also with Women's Centers International, which he has represented twice (sitting board member) in the past two years by going to Nairobi and teaching English, astronomy, and geography to women. While he was there, he facilitated the first ever Edge event for these women...twice. In the summer of 2015, and on his second trip to Kenya, he facilitated the third Edge event for women and—another first in a foreign country—an Edge event serving 45 men. Grant has just returned from Nairobi for a third time after filming a documentary for Baraka, the women's center he has been supporting for over nine years. And, The Edge is now being done in a men's prison and a women's prison, as well as the women's center, Baraka. (The next paragraph has some repetition...forgive me.)
I have been to Nairobi now three times. I feel that this African chapter in my life is now ending and, to replace it, I will be more active in supporting native American communities. Thus far, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) for artistic projects and Southern Oregon University (SOU) for educational advances, have been at the top of my target list for people who could benefit. I am also supporting the American Indian College Fund, a non-profit out of Denver trying to get more of their people into higher educational facilities, which to me, is the best solution. This has been happening through my endowment, the Awkward Angel Fund. I have also been to Pine Ridge recently and experienced their community for five days. Going to Wounded Knee was an unforgettable experience. I plan on supporting this community and returning in the spring of 2020, as part of the Tatanka Alliance, a joining together of MKP/USA and the Lakota community of South Dakota, especially in Pine Ridge. I live for the day when our white leaders can stand up and apologize to our first nation residents for the centuries of deception, brutality, and betrayal.
Another non-profit that Grant has supported, both physically and financially is called “Mother Health International”. This organization is run by two midwives, both Americans. Grant calls them his “warrior queens”. They have caught well over 5,000 babies in the past eight years. Their work is a dazzling brilliance of caring and sacrifice. On a personal note, Grant's first love will always be dancing, but being physical goes in many directions. He is an experienced diver, loves to ski, plays guitar, drums, is familiar with sound technology, and is an avid reader. He loves animals, poetry, gardening, and his four great nieces and two great nephews, who bring him much joy.
Grant's new exploits involve his support for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and more specifically, the native American community, artistically and otherwise. He has also created an endowment, currently keeping three native Americans in college in Colorado.
Grant's dream is for The Edge to grow into a powerful force for the betterment of the community by focusing on our youth. He says...“I like helping people, especially kids. It makes me feel good.”
Grant invites you to check out the videos page. You can see more about him there. It will be fun, entertaining and informative.
Help kids in our community help themselves by getting involved today! Tell your school's administrators and counselor about us, make a donation, join our mailing list, and/or serve as a volunteer. Thank you for caring!