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SHAWNEE BENTON GIBSON

LMSW / FDLC, Healer, Activist and Mother of Shamony

Shawnee Benton Gibson, LMSW / FLDC is the CEO of Spirit of A Woman (S.O.W.) Leadership Development Institute and the Co-Founder of the ARIAH Foundation. She has over 33 years of administrative, clinical and executive coaching experience and expertise in women’s leadership, reproductive justice, racial equity, individual, couples, family and group counseling, trauma and bereavement. These skills, combined with her spiritual and artistic gifts, allow Shawnee to guide individuals as they navigate the various stages and phases of their lives. Shawnee employs a holistic, cultural and spiritual approach to her work and utilizes a social justice lens as a foundational principle for her service to community. Her primary healing tools consist of spiritual counseling, vision coaching, psychodrama, sociometry, sacred rituals, energy work, the performing arts and storytelling as mediums to ignite transformation and initiate catharsis. 

Shawnee is the subject of the Peabody Award winning and Emmy nominated documentary “Aftershock” which is streaming on Hulu. The film chronicles the journey of Shawnee and her family as they fight for reproductive justice in the wake of the tragic and preventable death of Shawnee’s eldest daughter, Shamony Makeba Gibson, due to maternal mortality. According to Shawnee, “activism is a labor of love and liberation".

 Click HERE for more information! 

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Omari "Muz" Maynard

Visual Artist, Educator, Reproductive Activist and the life partner of Shamony

Omari Maynard is an educator by trade and an artist by craft. He has received his bachelor's degree in Marketing from Hampton University, an MBA and a Masters in Sport Business Management from the University of Central Florida, and a Masters degree in Special Education from Long Island University. With these degrees, he has worked for the NBA, for sports marketing companies, not for profit organizations, and the Department of Education.

 

As a child, he watched his uncle, Leo Carty, a highly accomplished artist, and Fulton Art Fair alumni, create beautiful masterpieces. He dabbled in exploring his artistry at an early age but did not pursue his artistic talents until he graduated from college. In 2016, Omari and his life partner, Shamony Gibson, started their own business. Art-fulliving is a lifestyle and event planning business with an emphasis on artistic expression. Unfortunately, Shamony transitioned in October 2019, due to complications after giving birth to their second child. Her untimely passing has provided Omari with a drive to live his life as creatively and purposefully as possible. 

Today he draws his creative inspiration from his family, life experiences, cultural influences, and his environment. His use of color, dimension, and texture exhibits true, raw, and natural talent. The evolution of artistry is evident in his work. His pieces tell stories that are thought provoking, intellectually inspiring, and technically sound. 

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Jasmine Gibson

Visual and Performance Artist, Activist, Advocate, and sister of Shamony

Jasmine Nicole Gibson is a visual and performance artist, activist, advocate and entrepreneur. She is the owner of JayNicole Productions; a content creation company that brings the visions and dreams of her clients to life through graphic design, photography and videography. 

Her love for acting, writing, singing, and dancing has created opportunities for her to perform throughout New York City and use her gifts to heal others. In 2011, Jasmine co-wrote a production with her mother, Shawnee Benton Gibson, entitled “Mother Wit: Echoes from the Womb”. The one act choreopoem allowed the taboo subject of Postpartum Depression (PPD) to be shared using poetry, prose, dance, music and song as conduits for “edu-tainment” and healing. Jasmine quickly recognized that creating “healing art” was her passion, so in 2014, she and her mother expanded their work by creating the Mother Wit Conference, an annual event designed to address reproductive injustice, loss and trauma. 

The trajectory for Jasmine’s life and work shifted drastically when her older sister, Shamony Makeba Gibson, passed away on October 6, 2019, due to a birth related pulmonary embolism. Shamony died just two weeks after giving birth to her second child and this tragic loss drove Jasmine further towards visual storytelling.

Jasmine’s artistic gifts have placed her in the position to partner with many influential people, community organizations, academic institutions and businesses. Her work as a videographer and photographer is showcased in a documentary called “Aftershock” which chronicles her family’s story, and the stories of others, who have been impacted by Maternal Mortality. The film will be showcased during the Sundance Film Festival in 2022.

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