Laura Simms is an award winning performer, writer, and educator advocating storytelling as compassionate action for personal and community transformation. She is a Senior Research Fellow for the International Peace institute at Rutgers University Newark
under the auspices of UNESCO. She performs worldwide for adult and young audiences.
As a spokesperson for storytelling, Simms presents keynotes and workshops in conferences, villages, schools, universities and community events. She is a member of the Therapeutic Arts Alliance of Manhattan and a senior teacher of Shambhala Buddhist meditation. Simms received the Brimstone Award for Engaged Storytelling, CHOICE award for best story collection, and Sesame Street’s "Sunny Days" award for work with children worldwide.
Simms is co-faculty with Terry Tempest Williams at the University of Utah, consults with ETSU’s "Cancer Stories" project, and is spoken word consultant for foundations, NGOs working in post-disaster situations and conflicts. She recently appeared at the Newark Peace Education Summit and the Conference on World Peace and Values in Monterrey, Mexico. Simms has written several books including The Robe of Love and Our Secret Territory: The Essence of Storytelling. Simms is the mother of best selling author Ishmael Beah with whom she often lectures.