Friends of the Children - New York | Kells Barnett

Join us for Friends - New York’s Step Up Gala on Thursday, April 25, 2024 at Gotham Hall in New York City.


Kells Barnett

Director Of Marketing

Born and raised in Harlem, Kells Barnett has always been surrounded and influenced by fashion. As the Director of Marketing at custom clothier, 5001 FLAVORS, and its bespoke retail expression, Harlem Haberdashery, Kells gained the knowledge of the fashion industry at an early age and witnessed the influence fashion had on social change in the community.

Throughout his career, Kells has become a social advocate for community prosperity and self-preservation. “The beauty about fashion is the voice it gives you, you become such an influence when you dress well, so I’ve always used that voice of influence to promote community pride.”

In 2013 Kells founded #TakeCareOfHarlem which was created to highlight charitable work and/or good deeds done for the betterment of the community. #TakeCareOfHarlem

promotes the upward mobility of community prosperity & community endeavors through a hashtag call to action. “I believe pride in community is, at the core, the true meaning of success” says Kells, “when your community thrives you feel good about yourself and when you feel good you continue to do good.”

In the midst of the covid-19 pandemic #TakeCareOfHarlem partnered with many other Harlem organizations to raise funds to manufacture and provide hospitals and care centers with much needed PPE. Amongst the many other initiatives, with the help of the community #TakeCareOfHarlem is able to have several annual programs to help those in need, which include, an annual holiday toy drive, a book drive, a prom and graduation formal wear drive and a back to school supply drive.

Kells is a graduate from Dowling College (Long Island, NY) with a Bachelors of Business and M.B.A. He proudly sits on the board of Friends of The Children New York, an organization dedicated to demanding equity for the marginalized youth and families of New York and Table of Kingz, which is a rites of passage program for young men of color. Kells Was awarded The Top 40 Alumni At Dowling College [2009], alongside The League: DGM & Harlem Haberdashery [2013] with the Community Spirit Award by Mount Morris Community Park Improvement Association [MMPCIA], awarded, by Mayor Bill DeBlasio, The Official Certificate of Recognition From The Mayor's Office For The Collective Community Efforts Of Harlem Haberdashery, Take Care of Harlem & The League: DGM [2015], N.A.N Man Of The Year: Man Of Vision Award [2015] & The R.W. Arthur A. Schomburg Community Service Award By The Prince Hall Lodge No. 38 [2019].

Kells combines style and fashion to connect to the youth and promote community collectiveness. #TakeCareOfHarlem current initiative is the launch of #ArtLivesinHarlem which is a core-centric program based around communities to help promote arts, culture, music and entrepreneurship.

Kells has received media coverage from: Complex, Forbes, Newsone, The New York Times, Footwear News, Black Enterprise and many other outlets.

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