"She" Is Wisdom
Dec 15, 2018, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Eubie Blake Jazz Cultural Center ,
847 N Howard St, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA


Movers and Shakers

We’re proud to feature a list of prominent speakers who are at the forefront of their fields. These professionals are always eager to share their knowledge and inspire like-minded enthusiasts. Read more about this year’s speakers below, and contact us if you would like to learn more information.

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Associate Professor & Director, Cirriculum & Instruction for Social Justice, Loyola University Maryland

Stephanie Flores-Koulish is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction. Her primary area of expertise and research is within the field of Critical Media Literacy Education. She also has research interests in identity and adoptees, education policy, creativity, spirituality, and critical multicultural education. Her research provides her with many opportunities to practice engaged scholarship in and around Baltimore City. She serves on the board at Archbishop Borders dual language Catholic school. Flores-Koulish is also an alumna of the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT).

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Writer- Scholar - Educator

Merelyn B. Bates-Mims, PhD is a great-grandmother and an advocate for children. As a writer, for several years was a feature columnist for the New Pittsburgh Courier. She is a Fulbright Scholar, having spent an academic year collaborating with linguistics scholars at universities in Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Senegal in West Africa. Continuing in scholarly endeavor, Dr. Bates-Mims served as Principal Investigator for a 2014 study on racial profiling commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio in partnership with The Kirwan Institute at Ohio State University. Dr. Bates-Mims held positions at Xavier University Cincinnati as an adjunct professor, senior EEO administrator, and director of Xavier’s paid scholarship program for Burton Elementary 6th-graders, featured on the CBS Charles Kuralt show. She then was appointed as the executive official having broad oversight responsibility for implementing and managing Ohio Government Equal Opportunity in all state government agencies, boards, commissions, and state colleges and universities. She earned credentials as a civil mediator at the National Judicial College of the University of Nevada at Reno; a Global Change Agent certificate from Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education; and attended symposia on reconciliation at the Tutu Institute of The General Theological [Episcopal] Seminary in New York. Hired as a senior research analyst for the District of Columbia Public Schools’ office of Special Education, Dr. Bates-Mims wrote an exhaustive report on the inalienable rights of children with disabilities. She was granted the “King Legacy Award” by the National Underground Railroad and Freedom Center; and the 2015 NAACP Ohio Conference “Pursuing Liberty in the Face of Injustice” Award for her research on racial profiling. On 14 March 2018, Dr. Bates-Mims was recognized by the Mayor and City Council of Cincinnati Resolution 20-1018 for “…her many accomplishments and her significant contributions to education, public service, and social justice.” Merelyn B. Bates-Mims envisions a time when the world ‘studies’ war no more---where all the peoples in the ‘dar’ or land may sit under their own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid.



Founder- Hug! Don't Shoot

Val Jenkins, is a single mother who was born in Baltimore MD and grew up in the Park Heights area of Baltimore City.  After graduating from Northwestern High School, she jumped right into the workforce and has been juggling more than one career for decades, including (but definitely not limited to) natural hairstylist and Le-Vel Thrive vitamin and wellness promoter.  Val has worked at BGE for 16 years and during that time has logged over 720 volunteer hours with a wide variety of companies and organizations including: Teal is a Big Deal, My Sister’s Place, Agape House Ministries,  Extreme Home Make Over,  Bean and Bread Kitchen, Hannah Brammer Institute, Sandtown Habitat for Humanity, Paul’s Place Food Kitchen, Our Daily Bread, American Heart Association, Empowerment Temple, Best Buddies Maryland, The Larry G. Hines Center for Families and Victims of Violent Crimes, Randallstown High School Volleyball Team, Caring for Young Minds Foundation, The American Cancer Society, Meals on Wheels,  Ray Rice Anti-Bullying Campaign, EAARA (Exelon African-American Resource Alliance), and Baltimore Gay Pride Parade.  She also volunteered at the White House during the entire Obama administration; assisting every year with the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.  And she was invited to dine with Michelle Obama.

Things haven’t been easy for Val though.  In 2010, she was diagnosed with the brain disease Chiari Malformation, and was told she may only have 6 months.  But she was determined to live her life to the fullest.  She fought through partial paralysis and blindness (rocking a bejeweled eye patch) and never stopped working or volunteering.  Val didn’t keep all of that drive and determination to herself.  She also passed it along to her daughter Tierre, who began her own non-profit organization, ‘Teal is a Big Deal’.  You see, teal is the color for Ovarian Cancer and Tierre is an Ovarian Cancer survivor.  So 5 years ago, at the age of 26, this amazing young woman started Teal is a Big Deal to help raise awareness about this disease and support those who are fighting it.  Val’s determination also trickled down to her beautiful 8 year old granddaughter Khloe, that she spoils as much as she can.  When she was born, the doctors told them that she would be deaf.  Khloe has never had a hearing problem and now dances in 2 dance groups and is also a Girl Scout.  

In July 2017, Val won the Phenomenal Woman Award when she was in Cancun Mexico.  And while she was sitting on the beach in Cancun, she looked at her Facebook page and saw that another person had gotten shot.  She made a simple statement “WE NEED TO START HUGGING AND STOP SHOOTING”.  And that’s how the idea of Hug! Don’t Shoot was born.  On August 5, 2017, Hug! Don’t Shoot was founded and within a week, she had 46 people signed up to volunteer, that she affectionately titled “Hug Dealers”.  As of today, she has over 60 volunteers and Hug! Don’t Shoot has participated in over 89 events.  And this number will continue to rise.  Val receives calls and messages every day from people who want to help or would like Hug Don’t Shoot to participate in their event.  So be on the lookout.  You’ll probably see Val and her Hug Dealers at an event or rally near you.

Orange Blossom


Physician-Internal Medicine, MedStar Health,  Good Samaritan Hospital Baltimore MD

Use this space to write a brief description of what this team member does. You can include relevant degrees, experience or other special qualifications they may have.

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Corlice Joseph Mims has lived in Houston for the past 10 years. She is a Healthcare IT Consultant who implements software in laboratories and healthcare organizations. In 2012, Corlice started her own consulting corporation, CJM IT Consulting. 
In January 2017, Corlice and Ric Mims embarked on their dream to assist families in need by starting Mims Family Matters Foundation. The organization has adopted 14 economically disadvantaged families to assist in becoming financially independent. Corlice is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority which focuses on social service in the community through programs for girls and boys.  
The second child of John (JB) and Anna (Patsy) Joseph, Corlice was raised in New Iberia, LA.  Her mother was an insurance agent which allowed her to be home with the family until Corlice reached high school. She then became a teacher’s assistant for Iberia Parish Schools. Corlice’s dad was a mechanic who retired from Avery Island salt mine after 35 years. Corlice had no idea that the family was economically disadvantaged until she was older because they had what they needed.
Corlice was very involved in school—however, she dreamed of experiencing life outside of New Iberia. She has since lived in Cincinnati and Hartford, Conn. She has visited 39 out of 50 states, as well as traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, Rome, Paris, Cancun, and more.
Corlice presently lives in Houston. She is married with three grown children and seven grandchildren.




Ms. Couts started her teaching career 28 years ago, and has been teaching Montessori for the past 16 years. She graduated from American University with a B.A. in French Studies, then went on to earn a M.A. in Early Childhood from the University of the District of Columbia. She has an AMI Certification in Primary Montessori. Ms. Couts is a Professional Member of NAMTA and American Montessori Internationale. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping and collecting owl paraphernalia.



EMT AND PRESIDENT of American Federation of Government Employees Local 3721, the union that represents paramedics and EMTs.

C.H.O.I.C.E., Inc. is a community-based organization committed to changing lives through education. Participants have an opportunity to continue their education and develop an educational plan they understand and believe in and a career plan that’s realistic and achievable. They help young adults/adults rebuild their lives with an opportunity to increase their vocabulary skills, obtain their High School Diploma/GED Prep, and build self-confidence to apply for jobs that allow sustainability. They also offer participants an array of services and future opportunities through partnerships with corporations.

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Associate Pastor- LIFE Church Ministries

Larvetricus was born and raised in Clarksville, Tennessee on August 12, 1977. She is the oldest of two, born of Clement D. Moore and Phala M. Sprull. She was reared by host of aunts and cousins, which assisted through the divorce of her parents.

Larvetricus serves alongside her husband, Pastor Nathaniel K. Harris, Sr., as an Associate Pastor of L.I.F.E. Church Ministries, under the direct leadership of Senior Pastor Amin T. Flowers. Through ministry and coaching, she has been preaching, teaching, and mentoring since she was 14 years of age and preached her 1st initial sermon on her 18th birthday in 1996. As an Evangelist, she traveled throughout the United States ministering to youth and adults alike. She has headed several youth groups, mentorship programs, daycares, afterschool programs, revivals, and has served faithfully on many auxiliaries within the church.

Not only being a speaker affiliated with faith-based organizations, she has obtained a “CTM,” (Component Toastmaster), this is an accredited international speaker’s program. Along with pursuing her leadership role in Toastmasters International she has her Associates in Arts in Business Administration through Strayer University and is underway in achieving her Bachelor’s in Management/Leadership.  Her favorite little people are her adorable children; Ashley, Nathaniel Jr., Isaiah & Emmanuel Harris.

Larvetricus favorite scripture is II Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.”



Co-Founder/Administrator, Watson Hall Montessori

Watson Hall Montessori School located in Catonsville, Maryland. The Watson Hall Montessori School strives to create ñan environment that promotes a love of learning, self-empowerment, and creativity in the young mind.î Through her work with Watson Hall Montessori, she helps to develop and encourage young children to use their innate talents and skills to shape our worldwide community.
Prior to starting Watson Hall Montessori, Andrea was an administrator with the Baltimore City Department of Health (BCHD) in the Maternal and Child Health Division. During her tenure she served as the state liaison and Coalition Leader for a national early childhood literacy program. In addition, she served on BCHD, Parents Place of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine committees for major city-wide infant and child public health initiatives. One of these initiatives involved the training of pediatric practices on the use of state required validated developmental assessment tools.
Andrea is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, MA. She received her graduate degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD. Andrea is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Woman on Podium


Don’t Miss Out

10:00AM: Breakfast & Opening Remarks
10:30AM: Keynote Speech
11:00AM: Guest Speakers
1:00PM: Yoga, Meditations and Mindfulness
1:30PM: Lunch/Performance
2:00pm: Audience: Aphorisms and Proverbs, Panelists Q&A, Next Steps
Network and Explore Eubie Blake Center Art Gallery - Lower Level

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