Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields is a social entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, and educator who loves to create and build with purpose. As the Co-Founder and Senior Director of Education and Innovation at the Cambio Group, Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields has dedicated his life to inspiring adults and youth alike to pursue a higher purpose, achieve sustainable value for long-term success, and cope with adversity in order to create opportunities in their personal, professional and spiritual lives.
This bilingual author, master teacher, public speaker, social entrepreneur and thought leader is a dynamic presence who has appeared on NPR, ABC, NBC, CNN, and BET and is, according to University of Maryland Baltimore County’s President Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, a “courageous, visionary leader with boundless energy and an undeniable message of hope in the midst of adversity.”
Dr. Shields has written a variety of innovative educational curricula, namely Dare to Be Queen, Hands Off: Strategies to Combat Youth Violence, and Rhyme and Reason: A Hip Hop Tool for the Classroom, which are all currently being used by educators, school systems and churches nationwide. His 2009 book 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know inspired the documentary film Men II Boys and remains a best-seller on Amazon. He is also the Co-Founder of SPARK: Reigniting Your Passion for Your Profession, an innovative professional development model committed to developing and sustaining spaces of deep congruence where change agents can more closely align their passions with their professional visions.
His extensive experience as a scholar-practitioner in the field of racial, ethnic, and academic identity among Black and Latino male youth, coupled with his depth of experience with fostering inter-connectivity and deep engagement among educators, policy makers, parents, and other change agents, uniquely positions him as a leader in the field. He brings with him an unparalleled level of enthusiasm and complexity to all the work he does.
Dr. Shields works on behalf of children and young adults who are at greatest risk for school-based discrimination and/or academic failure due to poverty, disability, race, ethnicity, immigrant or English Language Learner status, sexual orientation, gender identity, homelessness, or involvement in the foster care or juvenile justice systems.
Dr. Shields, the founder of PRAISE College Readiness Program (PCRP) a program that helps African-American and Latino Males in Baltimore to become competitive applicants to four-year colleges/universities resides in Baltimore City and currently a 2015 Baltimore Social Innovator.
Micheal Steele, Former Lieutenant Governor, State of Maryland