Joy Jinks: Graduate of Florida State University with a master’s degree in social work, has worked in community and economic development for over 30 years. This endeavor has resulted in ventures such as The Mayhaw Tree, a local business she and three other women created in 1987; the firm provides employment in Colquitt/Miller County using the fruit of an indigenous tree to create mayhaw jelly. Furthermore, Ms. Jinks, along with Dr. Richard Geer, co-founded Swamp Gravy, Georgia’s Official Folk Life Play, which through the richness of local stories helped Colquitt to create an alternative economy based on cultural tourism. She was a recipient of the Governor’s Award in Humanities in 1999, and a lifetime achievement honor was awarded to her by the Colquitt/Miller County Chamber of Commerce in 2009.
Karen Kimbrel: Native of Colquitt and a graduate, cum laude, of Troy State University with a B.S. in business administration, is a founding member of Swamp Gravy, and she has served as executive director of the Colquitt/Miller Arts Council from 1993 - 2004. Ms. Kimbrel is the founder and owner of Karen S. Kimbrel Consulting, which focuses on creative community and economic development using culture, heritage, art, and tourism. She has participated in numerous national conferences, panels, and workshops, including The Ford Foundation's Listening Tour.
Audri Scott Williams is the Vision Keeper who led the Trail of Dreams World Peace Walk over 6 continents (2005-2009), and the 13 Moon Walk 4 Peace across America to over 50 communities (2010-2011).
She has received numerous awards for her service to humanity. Awards include: the Presidential Certificate of Merit (President Bill Clinton), HBO Hearing Her Voice, Telling Her Story Award; Volvo for Life American Heroes Award; and the 2008 URI Bowes Award to the Trail of Dreams Team (awarded in India). She holds a Masters in Liberal Arts from Naropa University/Creation Spirituality in Indigenous Science, a BA in Criminology from the University of Tampa, with post graduate studies at Harvard University, University of Maryland, and American University.
She is a woman of considerable intellectual and professional accomplishments. She served as the Interim Global Indigenous Coordinator for the United Religions Initiative (2013-2014) and was the co-convener of the Hidden Seeds Global Indigenous Gathering in Northern California (2014); an Apprentice with the World-Wide Indigenous Science Network where she escorted and documented indigenous wisdom keepers around the world; a former Dean of Instruction at the Institute of Divine Wisdom in Atlanta, Ga.; and Dean of Continuing Education and Community Service at Charles County Community College for over 8 years.
Audri also co-founded a theatrical company, Uprising, in the performing arts in Washington D.C. She currently serves as a Trustee on the United Religions Initiative Global Council and is Co-founder of the Quantum Leap Transformational Center. She has authored several books and produced documentaries about her journeys.As a world peace walker and advocate for evolutionary change in the world, resulting in a sustainable and viable world for generations to come, she is dedicated to expanding the teachings and visions of traditional wisdom keepers as we enter this great time of transformation on Mother Earth.
Dr. Richard Owen Geer received his doctoral degree in performance studies from Northwestern University. He is an esteemed director and scholar in community performance and the co-founder of Community Performance, International (CPI). Dr. Geer developed Community Performance, a theater genre that celebrates ordinary people and their communities. His Story Bridge Method uses theater as a catalyst for peace building and community change. Dr. Geer founded more than 40 Community Performance projects worldwide, one of which is Swamp Gravy, the official Georgia Folklife Play and a participant in the Cultural Olympiad of the Atlanta Olympics. Dr. Geer co-hosts the annual Building Creative Community Conference. His recent keynote at the Brushy Fork Institute presented his vision for the arts-transformation of challenged communities. With Qinghong Wei he regularly directs here and in China. His publications include Story Bridge: From Alienation to Community Action.
Janet Sanders Facilitator, program designer, project manager, and trainer with 20 years of international experience with the Institute of Cultural Affairs (in a UNESCO consultative status). She has 16 years consulting experience in strategic planning and policy development as principal of PEOPLEnergy, which included twelve consulting assignments with the United Nations involving comprehensive development in Malaysia, Japan, USA and Mnjika consultant to the Ontario (Canada) Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Margaret Ashmore holds a faculty position as an Associate Teaching Professor at The Florida State University College of Social Work where she instructs both graduate and undergraduate students. Her interests are in women's studies, crisis intervention and the use of the arts in social work practice.
Margaret is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and provided counseling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples, families and groups in Tallahassee Florida for over 29 years. Currently, she works as a Consultant, facilitating workshops and advising agencies and organizations.
In her years providing psychotherapy, Margaret deeply appreciated her clients’ courage in sharing their life stories and she believes in the role of personal and community stories to heal and empower individuals and groups.
Tannur “Shewrightz” Ali, originally from Philadelphia, PA; began writing poetry at eight years old and performing at the age of 11 at “Panoramic Poetry” in the October Art Gallery. At the age of fourteen, she self-published a chapbook entitled Rhymin’ with Reason. As the founder of iLOGIC ™ (Institute for the Love Of Genius In Communities) Tannur lives her life as a public servant, providing events, workshops, classes and spaces where people can “Get UnPlugged and find themselves plugged in”. As a Social Artist she uses her talents as a poet, home-schooling mother, gardener, cook and Community Mom to help light the path of Self Realization. Her focus is especially on those who are dedicated to their own self-improvement. Tannur works with individuals and organizations throughout Albany and Southwest Georgia to build collaborations and networks for learners of all vocations. Winner of the Judith Stark Creative Writing Award, Host of Unplugged Poetry, creator of Pen Stroke National Poetry Festival, SheWrightz believes in the powers of transparency and vulnerability to transcend what Jean Houston calls “the great divide of other”. Her poetry provides a glimpse into her conviction.
Stellar With the stars in her eyes (and a guitar in hand), Katie "Stellar" Dutcher can usually be found uplifting, inspiring and encouraging those who cross her path to step more radically into creating the world they want to see. A lifelong musician, Stellar is a living example of the profound transformations that ensue when we fully embrace the desire to know ourselves more deeply. She is a Social Artistry Trainer and Authentic Relating Games Facilitator, an Emerging Leader of Social Artistry, and a certified Storybridge facilitator. A poet, songwriter, activist and dreamer extraordinaire, she awakens others to the light and love inside them through sharing and shining her own. Stellar currently lives on the road, traveling all over the United States to bring music, art, inspiration and activation to those desiring to devote themselves to a new, different, better kind of world.
The Art of Social Change
Roseanna Almaee is a veteran educator with multiple degrees and a variety of certifications. Recently retired from full time administrative and teaching work with the University System of Georgia, she continues to teach for them online as well as work as a professional editor, tutor, and discussion facilitator. She has been a volunteer and activist all of her adult life in a wide variety of areas and in several states. Currently she is most engaged with social justice in the areas of the environment, race/cultural, and the economy. She and her husband own an environmental consulting firm in Albany, GA where they apply their belief in spiritual economics with their clients. She tries to live her belief in life as being “more than money” applying the same spiritual economics to her every day life.
Description of brief talk: Ms. Almaee will explain her philosophy of spiritual economics and living life as “more than money” as well as provide concrete examples that attendees can immediately apply to their own lives. Her suggested reading list will also be provided.
Dr. Qinghong Wei is a leading scholar in community development through the arts. Her original research on empowerment pathways and creative programs is a significant contribution to the field. Dr. Wei has been invited to speak at the 2014 Annual Conference of American Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP), and the 2013 Euro-Asia Economic Forum, an international summit of international leaders on economic and social development. Dr. Wei has over a decade of diverse development planning experience working with local governments, international corporations, and communities. She has crafted scores of community development plans for many municipalities and communities in Florida. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Wei had an exceptional opportunity to serve as the President & CEO of Overseas China Education Foundation (OCEF), one of the most influential nonprofit organizations in the Chinese American community with assets of over $1 million and over 5,000 registered volunteers worldwide. She is the producer, co-director, and author of Songs of Tang Hulu.