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Dr. LaMarr D. Shields, Ph.D.
Co-Creator, Curator, Producer

With an unparalleled ability to inspire thought and motivate change, author/educator/thought leader/master storyteller LaMarr believes deeply in the power of storytelling to foster deep lasting social consciousness.

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LaMarr’s long history of success with Black male engagement, coupled with his research on perceptions of masculinity, racial, ethnic, and academic identity among Black and Latino male youth, uniquely positions him as a leading voice for community-based social change. LaMarr currently serves as the Senior Director of Education and Innovation at the Cambio Group. His latest book, What I Learned in the Midst of KAOS: The Making of an Ubuntu Teacher (Full Circle Press, 2015), has been met with widespread acclaim for its ability to blend complex social justice issues with a keen insight for both storytelling and human connectedness. He is the co-creator of The Short Kuts Show Narrative Therapy Initiative & Live Storytelling Series.

Darius R. Wilmore
Co-Creator, Creative Director, Producer

An award-winning visual and social impact designer, Wilmore is co-founder and former creative director of the Baltimore-based award-winning Taharka Bros. Ice Cream Co. for Social Justice, Human Rights, & Beyond.

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He’s co-creator of the award-winning Baltimore Mixtape Project, a Black youth rap/spoken word competition/compilation album that used Black youth culture to disseminate information to/by youth concerning issues affecting their lives. Along with his Taharka Bros. partners, he is the recipient of The United States’ State Departments’ Citizen Diplomat Award for International Diplomacy for “The Big Payback!”, a direct trade Haiti based agricultural chocolate and vanilla initiative. A former brand steward/art director/graphic designer/creative marketing strategist for Def Jam recordings and as a member of the label’s small in-house creative services firm, Drawing Board Graphic Design & Drawing Board Motion Pictures company, Wilmore’s Rap music and Hip-Hop industry work been featured in the books DEFinition: The Art & Design of Hip-Hop (Collins Design, 2008), Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label (Rizzoli, 2011), Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey (Aria Multimedia Entertainment, 2011), and Hip-Hop Raised Me (Thames & Hudson, 2018). He is the co-creator of The Short Kuts Show Narrative Therapy Initiative & Live Storytelling Series.

Marc LaVeau
Live Performance Director

Marc LaVeau is a graduate of the University of the West Indies where he was professionally trained in theatre arts and arts in education. He has been involved in community empowerment work for over 25 years.

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His extensive work in the theatre has allowed him to dabble in several aspects of theatre production i.e. acting, directing, stage and production management, playwriting/building, set design and construction, lighting design, sound technician and even costume design. Mr. LaVeau is a poet, published author and proud father of two successful healthy children.

Ayesha Gallion
Story Coach

Ayesha Gallion’s communications expertise spans more than two decades in local and regional journalism, education, lighting and interior design, architecture, and manufacturing. Her weekly podcast, I’m Speaking Now, explores the communication nuances of people across, digital, professional, intimate, social, and cultural dynamics. She has also facilitated journaling workshops for women, men, children, and the bereaved.

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Ayesha graduated from Morgan State University with a B.A. in English (journalism concentration) and a secondary education minor. Her M.A. in English (concentration, women and gender studies) was obtained from Rutgers University. She lives in Central New Jersey with her son and daughter.

Danielle Derrick
Story Coach

Danielle Derrick has been involved in public speaking for over 11 years. During this time she has been heavily involved in Toastmasters International, most recently serving as District Director for over 215 Toastmasters clubs and over 4600 public speakers covering PG County, MD, Montgomery County, MD and parts of Washington, DC.

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In addition to her leadership in Toastmasters International, she has also participated in numerous speech contests. She provides keynote speeches and has served as a panelist on multiple panels speaking on such topics as the importance of finding your voice, the benefits of being multilingual, and leadership. She also uses her experience in public speaking to coach others to incorporate storytelling into their professional presentations in their workplaces.

Eric Jefferson
Story Coach

Eric V. Jefferson is committed to student success and student achievement by elevating all students to close educational gaps. Eric Jefferson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the Missouri School of Science and Technology and two Masters of Education degrees from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis in Curriculum and Instruction and Education Leadership and Policy. Eric is certified in Chemistry, Biology, and Earth Science in Missouri. He also holds Administration and Superintendent certification in Maryland.

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During the past 16 years as a teacher and principal, Eric has helped turnaround high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools age students to achieve at levels of distinction through equity, social justice, positive relationships, professional development of faculty, and data-driven decisions.

As you can see, Eric wears many hats. Not only is he a principal, but he is also a pastor. He was a featured storyteller in the Short Kuts show, where he shared a very personal story about being a single dad.

Nicole Klimpacher
Story Coach

Nicole is an educator in the Baltimore City Public School District. She works in an urban setting, with a 98% African-American student body and a poverty rate of 95%. Combine these factors with statewide budget cuts, and newly intensified academic standards and you’ve get a recipe for failure – except she doesn’t fail. Nicole’s approach to education is to maintain poise, dignity, and resilience. Her approach to education is courageous.

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Nicole states candidly that she wants to build a family in whatever school she works in, and that is what she does. She and her students have faced cultural and circumstantial problems with creativity and resolve and just like a family, they find ways to make it work by serving and adapting to each other’s changing needs. Nicole believes that students can do exceptionally well when modeling the love and commitment of family. Nicole’s greatest accomplishment is in how she gets her students to value themselves and the contributions they can make to the world. No one would ever accuse Nicole of treating kids like they are just a number.

Nicole was born in Liberia, West Africa, but due to political unrest in her native country, migrated with her family, to New York City. She attended UMBC and graduated with a BA in English Literature and received a Master of Education in Teaching and Learning from Johns Hopkins University. Nicole is a former storyteller in the Short Kuts Show on “Coming to America” and now a coach for the show. Currently, she resides in Maryland with her daughters. She enjoys the outdoors, cooking, reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family.

Tuere Ganges
Story Coach

Tuere Ganges lives, writes, and teaches in Baltimore, MD. The New Jersey native holds a Bachelor’s degree from Hampton University and a Master of Fine Arts from Queens University of Charlotte.

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Her fiction, articles, and poetry can be found in literary magazines like Fiyah, Wigleaf, and Fiction Circus; online at and Baltimore Child; in anthologies such as Bikes Not Rockets and the Scribes of Nyota; and her books: Wilted, Sali at Seven, and Ancestral Calling. Tuere also has three novellas for teens under the pen name, 2EG. Between checking in on her children and nurturing literacy with her students, Tuere produces the SoundBalming podcast and coaches storytellers for The Short Kuts Show.

Anthony Paye, Jr.
Video/Audio Documentarian

Anthony Paye, Jr. graduated from Morgan State University during 2005 with a degree in Communication, concentrating in Video Production. After graduation, he founded the production company BrainStream Media during 2009.

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In essence, BrainStream Media is a creative team that uses thought and talent to showcase captivating, exciting, and artistic visuals from many different mediums. Anthony has been the showrunner, director, and producer for web series The Commuter Chronicles. Anthony currently works with FOX Sports, CBS Sports in production of NFL games, college sports, and professional boxing matches, and is Behind the Scenes personal
videographer for 2018 Emmy award winner Mario Armstrong of the Never Settle Show. As of date, BrainStream Media has produced 3 full-length sports documentaries; and many documentary short stories on limited budgets. He currently produces and directs Changing Baltimore, which is a podcast, based around High School & youth football and improving Baltimore youth, and quality of life. He also produced an interview doc-series called 410 and Beyond which is centered around student-athletes born and raised here and the daunting task of leaving the 410. He is presently in production to produce a documentary about Baltimore City College High School (Anthony’s alma mater) and its historical rival, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

Leanora Eubanks
Mindfulness and Wellbeing Coach

Leanora Eubanks, E-RYT has been teaching therapeutic yoga throughout Baltimore since 2008. She specializes in adapting yoga practices to a variety of ages, abilities & communities: city/federal jail detainees, church congregations, schools, yoga studios & hospitals such as Sheppard Pratt, Johns Hopkins, Kennedy Krieger.

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Her current work at The Retreat at Sheppard Pratt Hospital focuses on empowering patients with yoga techniques for relieving stress and maintaining mind/body balance. Leanora also holds an Occupational Therapy Assistant degree from the Community College of Baltimore County, a B.A. in Urban Studies from Eastern University and ten years of experience in experiential education as an Outward Bound instructor. Her approach integrates eastern (Yoga & Ayurveda) and western (Occupational Therapy & Experiential Education) perspectives with an emphasis on adapting yoga movement, breathing and meditation techniques to each individual’s mental state and physical ability.

Psychotherapy Coach

Justin F. Miles MA NCC LCPCS LCADS is the founder of Miles Institute of Integral Living, a Baltimore based psychotherapy practice and Hip-Hop Alive, the world’s first organization dedicated to the study and practice of the elements of Hip-Hop as tools of self-awareness, social harmony, and global interdependence.

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Justin has worked in the field of community mental health and substance abuse for 20 years and provides traditional, Integral and Hip-Hop-based treatment to men, women, and adolescents. Justin is currently listed through MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) as the only Black mental health provider in the world currently providing psychedelic integration therapy for individuals seeking to use and integrate entheogens as a part of their healing process.

Justin has practiced meditation for 28 years and is a practitioner and teacher of the Shambhala Vajrayana Buddhist tradition. His primary interest is the organization, mobilization, education, and upliftment of Black people based on stability, clarity, and strength of mind. To help to bring this about, Justin created a practice liturgy titled “The Sadhana of Awakened Melanin” designed to center Black people around their inner, outer and secret Black Power. Justin facilitates meditation retreats and teaches courses on Buddhism and meditation throughout the Washington DC and Baltimore area. He is the creator and facilitator of the Black Power Meditation Group in Baltimore City and teaches meditation to inmates at Maryland’s Harford County Jail. In his spare time, he writes about the intersection of Hip-hop culture and contemplative religion and produces dope Hip-hop music under the name J-Who? Worldwide.

Kendra Rochambeau Banks
Set/Scenic Designer

Kendra Rochambeau Banks, originally of Queens, New York, graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in Fashion Merchandising, the University of the Arts with an M.A. in Museum Education, and studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and the Academy of Art Institute in San Francisco.

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She is currently a school administrator, cultivating school climate and culture and plans to pursue her Ph.D. As a former executive director of a cultural arts organization, museum professional and educator, she is heavily involved in curating educational and cultural arts experiences and programs for diverse audiences. She has a strong love for presenting life experiences in its cultural context through art. Her creative eye, design skill and passion for the cultural arts and education has led her to join the founding production team of Fades -&- Fellowship and The Short Kuts Show as the set designer.

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FAMILY:   As the pandemic persists, The Short Kuts Show Narrative Therapy Initiative ~&~ Live Storytelling Experience is also persisting in its efforts in creating individual and village uplift with storytelling coupled with therapeutic practices--“narrative therapy” (or “thairapy”, as The Short Kuts Show is a storytelling project inspired by/paying homage to the hair-chair therapists of the Black American barber/beauty shop--its barbers and stylists), as we call it--positively impacting the community. 


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