"TM Garret Schmid" (born September 28, 1975 as Achim Schmid ) publicly known as TM Garret, is a German-American author, producer, filmmaker, radio and TV personality, human rights activist and founder of C.H.A.N.G.E, a Memphis-based non-profit organization which engages in community outreach programs, food drives, seminars, anti-racism campaigns and anti-violence campaigns.
He is also the founder and organizer of the annual Memphis Peace Conference, which includes an Inter-Faith and a Community Panel and was first held at Withers Collection Museum and Gallery in Memphis on Sep 29, 2018. On December 5, 2014, Garret and his artist Jimmy Miles were awarded with a resolution from the Alabama State Senate, signed by Senator Roger Bedford Jr.
TM Garret was born as Achim Schmid in Mosbach, Germany and raised in a small nearby town. He was raised by his mother, a cook, after his parents divorced. His father, a boatman, died later when Garret was 8 years old. He became attracted to Nationalist groups at the age of 13 and radicalized in the years after.
He joined the White Supremacist movement and founded a series of skinhead bands with names like Celtic Moon, Wolfsrudel (Wolfspack) and Höllenhunde (Hounds of Hell).Later he became a member of a German Ku Klux Klan faction and formed his own KKK group which he later left; it disbanded in 2002. Today, Garret is an anti-racist activist and lives in Horn Lake, Mississippi. He legally changed his name to TM Garret Schmid in 2018.
After leaving the White Supremacist movement in 2002, Garret used his experience he collected during that time to found companies in the call-center and internet marketing industry, the music industry, and a licensed job-recruitment company. After he moved to the Memphis metro area to work with his long-time friend and business partner Colonel Robert Morris, he founded PicArts Media, a film production and promotion company, and Mid South Music Entertainment, a record label and booking company. He worked with artists like Canadian Idol runner up Jaydee Bixby, Jimmy Miles, Dani Fouts,and T. Graham Brown; TV personalities such as Mark Muller who starred in God, Guns & Automobiles; and the "princess of country music" Georgette Jones, the daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Garret sold the entertainment group in 2015.
Simon Wiesenthal Center Garret started working with the Simon Wiesenthal Center in fall 2018, travelling to campuses to speak to students about the effects of hate and racism and the opportunities for engagement and community building.
EXIT Deutschland and US EXIT Project In 2015 Garret started working with Exit Deutschland, a German anti-Nazi organization which was founded to combat the far-right and to help people leave hate groups. He became their US ambassador and runs an American bases EXIT program under the umbrella of C.H.A.N.G.E. Garret is developing his own EXIT program, which includes the Erase the Hate tattoo removal campaign, participation in community events, counseling and therapy sessions, and visits to places like the National Civil Rights Museumand the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery, both located in Memphis.
C.H.A.N.G.E After the fatal confrontation between law enforcement and Alton Sterling in Louisiana in 2016 kicked off a series of events, Garret decided to start the non-profit organization C.H.A.N.G.E Inc., which engages in community outreach programs, food drives, seminars, anti-racism campaigns and anti-violence campaigns. C.H.A.N.G.E stands for Care, Hope, Awareness, Need, Give and Education. The organization holds recurring events in high-poverty areas and supports black communities. Tattoo covering In August of 2017, Garret partnered with artists working at Sick Side Tattoo & Body Piercing Studio in Horn Lake, Mississippi (Memphis Metro Area). Together they work to cover up racist and gang-related tattoos through the Erase the Hate campaign. Soon, other tattoo parlors joined the campaign and offer to cover up racist and gang related tattoos for free. The service is currently available in Horn Lake, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Florida, and Los Angeles, California. The campaign was featured in the short film Rewired, a documentary by the Chapman University about Garret, and in an upcoming film for A&E network. hateXchange Together with other activists and members of Exit Deutschland, Garret developed HateXchange, the official counterpart to EXIT Deutschland's award-winning program named Hass Hilft (Donate the Hate), where residents and sponsors turn neo-Nazi marches into "involuntary walk-a-thons" by raising money for an anti-extremist organization. Besides "walk-a-thons" and "park-a-thons" as on November 10, 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina, donations are also involuntarily raised by hate comments on social media. $1 per collected comment is donated to non-profit organizations like Life After Hate, Human Rights Watch, the Southern Poverty Law Center and selected local non-profits.
In 2014, he helped promote T. Graham Brown's duet "He'll Take Care of You" with Vince Gill, a song from Brown's album Forever Changedwhich was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Roots Gospel Album.
In 2015 Garret was nominated for Manager of the Year and Videographer of the Year at the annual Nashville Universe Awards. Garret published two books in Germany under his birth name, Achim Schmid. Umsatzmaschine Leads – Der richtige Umgang mit Leads ("Moneymaker Leads – How to successfully use Leads") was published in 2012 by TPV Verlag, and his autobiography Wenn Alles in Scherben Fällt ("When everything falls apart") was released on Edition Widerschein in September 2016.
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