Alum brings motivational message

LaMarr Darnell Shields, Grambling State alumnus, came and spoke to several classes Friday, Feb. 17 while visiting Grambling.

Shields is the cofounder of an organization called Urban Leadership Institute (ULI). He spoke on several issues facing Black America. One of the main issues he talked about was how all young Black males are stereotyped as thugs and gangsters, and keep falling into the traps that white America has set up for them.

Dr. Frances Staten said that she encourages students to get more involved with the university. She also stated that the 1993 Black Male Conference, held in South Carolina, was where Shields got his start on his dream simply by networking.

Shields talked about the new program he is bringing to Grambling State called “Black Male Accountability Tour”. The tour was put together to help young black males overcome the struggles they have to go through in order to bet the thug stereotype. The tour will also teach males how to be more productive in life and that anything is possible if you put forth the appropriate effort.

“It is motivating for me to see a Grambling graduate, let alone a black male excel in life the way that Shields has,” said Icerine Wyngarde, sophomore.

Shields has put a lot of time into his dream of helping the urban youth. He helped start a school named “Paul Robeson Academic International School of Excellence (PRAISE). PRAISE is located on the campus of Sojourner-Douglass College in Baltimore, Maryland. This school holds classes on Saturdays for boys to help enhance their social and emotional development and to improve academic performance.

Shields, a Chicago native, has a degree in education from Loyola College of Maryland. While at Grambling he studied political science and Spanish.

He has taught at John Hopkins University in the School of Education. His company ULI is located in Baltimore. He said that the starting point of his foundation was set here at Grambling State University.