|FOREST OF THE RAIN PRODUCTIONS An Educational Affairs Organization||
What I Learned in the Midst of KAOS: The Making of an Ubuntu Teacher, published by Full Circle Press and co-authored with Dr. Marina V. Gillmore, Dr. Shields crafts an educational narrative of timeless complexity and significance. Full of messages that are simultaneously universal and deeply rooted in a sense of place and time, this groundbreaking new book takes the reader on an emotional journey from the South Side of Chicago to the West Lawn of the White House and from the halls of an HBCU in Louisiana to the beaches of Puerto Rico. The book reveals specific strategies that Dr. Shields and his team have been using to motivate, uplift, and empower boys of color for decades, including how to tap in to their natural competitiveness and peer-sensitivity to how to structure rituals that mimic their instinctual need for hierarchy and brotherhood and how to empower educators, especially our largely white female teaching force, to find points of connection and relevancy relative to both academic achievement and social-emotional competencies. In addition, this book is in part a coming-of-age story about how Dr. Shields responded to the chaos in his life, first as a young man and student growing up on the South Side of Chicago, then as a college student and community leader, and finally as a man who became an Ubuntu teacher. The stories also juxtapose his years as a high-risk male, growing up in gang territory, and being expelled from school with his years as a Teach for America corps member and classroom teacher. They also chronicle his journey to becoming a social entrepreneur, fighting for academic and social equity for urban youth.
Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields is widely considered one of America’s most important voices. Maryland Congressman
Elijah Cummings proclaimed that “as a charismatic speaker, leader, and overall
passionate activist, LaMarr Darnell Shields has the courage...to be transparent, and this will bring the deepest revolution of all.” Famed judge and social critic Greg Mathis has called Shields “a man on a mission.”
LaMarr Darnell Shields is a social entrepreneur, activist, poet, cultural curator, hiphop enthusiast, husband and father. A product of a single mother-led household, he is a native of Chicago and was educated at Grambling State University, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola College of Maryland, and La Universidad de Coahuila in Mexico.
Dr. Shields is a gifted and highly sought after lecturer who has spoken at the White House and the Pentagon. Additionally, he has appeared on NBC, ABC, CNN, and FOX News to share his insight on issues including public education, hip-hop and politics, parenting, leadership and youth development. Dr. Shields has also shared his research and commentary with private and public organizations from community centers, religious institutions and schools to conferences, festivals, and executive
board rooms of corporate America.
As a Special Advisor to the Blue Ribbon Commission on Educational Equity and a recipient of the 2015 Social Innovator award, Dr. Shields has been studying, writing about, and implementing change in schools and non-profit organizations for years.