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An accomplished actor, director, musician and teacher, Avery Brooks has graced the theatrical stage, movie screen and television screen to bring stories, music and entertainment to millions. Some of his stage credits include appearances or lead roles in: “The Oedipus Trilogy,” “Lear” and “Othello,” as well as “Fences,” “Talented Tenth” and “Paul Robeson” in places like Athens, Greece; the Folger Theater in Washington, D.C.; Broadway; the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the nation’s capitol; the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles; and more. Brooks also sang the role of Malcolm in the American Music Theater Festival’s production of “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X,” the role of Cinque in the opera “Tania” and others.
The talented actor has appeared on television in “Solomon Northrup’s Odyssey,” “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “Star Trek: Deep Space 9” as Captain Sisko, “A Man Called Hawk” as Hawk, and reprised his role as Hawk in “Spencer for Hire.” He also has appeared on the big screen in “American History: X,” “Fifteen Minutes” and “The Big Hit.” Brooks has directed productions of “Boogie Woogie Landscapes” and “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”
Brooks, who was the first black Master of Fine Arts graduate from Rutgers University, currently is a tenured professor of theater at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts. He has taught at Oberlin College and Case Western University, and he is the recipient of honorary degrees from Oberlin, Buffalo State College – State University of New York, Tougaloo College and Indiana University. Brooks has been affiliated with Rutgers University for more than 30 years.
Dallas-based Johnny Wimbrey is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur and best-selling author who travels the country as a success coach and trainer. He also talks to students and promotes youth enrichment, and delivers his message at leadership retreats, ministries and success seminars to national and international audiences. Some of his clients include Wells Fargo, American Airlines, Kaiser Permanente, Ziglar Training Systems, Paul Quinn College and the Houston Independent School District.
Wimbrey wrote the best-seller “From the Hood to Doing Good,” and his newest book release is titled “Conversations on Success.” At the age of 20, Wimbrey became a temporary licensed insurance agent but had no experience. Within six months, he received recognition as a top 50 producer in a national marketing agency. In less than two years, he advanced from senior agent to district manager, then regional manager and regional vice president in charge of Texas and Oklahoma. During that time, Wimbrey trained experienced regional managers to recruit, manage and teach sales development skills for well-known national agencies. He then decided to use his talents to become a life coach, motivational speaker and author.
Wimbrey has been interviewed on national radio talk shows and television networks, and he has been featured as a special guest speaker for Zig Ziglar Training Systems. He has shared the stage with other famous speakers such as Les Brown, Bill Bailey and Jim Rohn. He also is a professional member of the National Speakers Association.