NABS Board of Directors



Linda Goss, Co Founder
Baltimore, MD
[email protected]


Favorite Spiritual: "This Little Light of Mine, I'm gonna' let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine." ~ Traditional


Janice Curtis Greene, President
Windsor Mill, MD
[email protected]

Janice Curtis Greene, a Life Member, is an accomplished storyteller and American Griot. She has been telling African, African American and Multicultural stories for over 25 years. She is immediate past President and Life Member of the Griots' Circle of Maryland, Inc., and is the resident Griot for the National Association of Black Media Workers in Baltimore. She is also a member of the National Storyteller's Network and the Network of Biblical Storytellers. Mrs. Greene also authored the children's book, “Thelma and the Wonderful Black Gourd” for which she received honors for her contribution to African American Literature from the Mayor of Baltimore. Janice retired from the Social Security Administration after 35 years of service.


Kwanza Brewer, President Elect
Cleveland, OH
[email protected]

Kwanza Brewer is a creative storyteller, spoken word performance published poet, activist, dedicated educator and loving mother. Sister Kwanza has been telling African and African American stories for over two decades. She is president emeritus of the Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers Inc. and also served as the former assistant to Affiliate Director Baba Jamaal Koram. Kwanza is also a member of the National Black Child Institute Cleveland Affiliate. She is a member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. She served has the former project director for the Children's Defense Fund Freedom School of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church. Kwanza currently serves as an educator for the Cleveland Metropolitan Public School district. In addition to teaching she has performed stories in both local, national, and international venues including, most recently the world renowned Karamu House Theater, and in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2017. She is always a servant leader who is honored to serve with a joyful spirit of love. Sister Kwanza enjoys being a part of the National Association of Black Storytellers family for we inspire stories of social justice, heart to heart truth, and ancestral commemoration. 

Favorite quote: Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.



Janice Burnett

Janice Burnett,  Secretary
Detroit, MI
[email protected]

Janice Burnett has worked as a children’s librarian, a social worker, and a registered nurse in the past forty-five years. Upon retirement, she refocused her energies and found new purpose. In her commitment to her role as an African American Sheha (Swahili for storyteller). She is motivated by the varied opportunities for sharing and educating the community about our history in this country and the stories of inspiring men and women who gave their voice and often their lives to enrich “The Cause” and America. . Janice is currently a beginning student in guitar and the djembe drum.

Janice Burnett (aka “Auntie J”)

Favorite Quote "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, my Redeemer."~ -Psalm 19:14


alt Gwendolyn Hilary, Treasurer

Chicago, IL
[email protected]

Gwendolyn Hilary is a Life Member and a Brother Blue Circle of Elder Awardee. She is a former teacher, librarian, and mentor for the Chicago Public Schools and adjunct professor at Dominican University. In addition to performing at national and international venues, she has organized major storytelling programs, conducts storytelling workshops and staff development. Featured on television stations Channel 21 and 23, she hosted several educational programs and regularly reviewed books and performed as a storyteller. Gwen is a 15 year member of ASE: Chicago Association of Black Storytellers where she served as secretary, treasurer, president and now, financial manager. She has also served as financial secretary and treasurer for several nonprofit organizations.

Favorite Quote: "Love many; trust few; learn to paddle your own canoe." ~
My Mother

Beverly Beverly Fields Burnette

Raleigh, NC
[email protected]

Beverly Fields Burnette
is a Storyteller (a founding member of both the Carolina African American Writers’ Collective, and the N.C. Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. (current president).), a member (24 years) of the Washington Street Writers, published poet, and a retired School Social Worker/Elementary Guidance Counselor. She is a great admirer/lover of poetry, short stories, history, genealogy and anthropology. Burnette has done freelance writing, as well as edited a small town newspaper advice column for kids, entitled “Ask Miz Bee.” Burnette has written and published historical memoirs and has employed poetry and storytelling as vehicles for teaching family and African American history, creating positive feelings, healing wounds, and bridging gaps.


Dr.David Fakunle

Dr. David Fakunle
Baltimore, MD
[email protected]

David Olawuyi Fakunle, Ph.D. is a self-described “mercenary for change,” willing to employ any talent and occupy any space in the effort to elevate people of African descent and anyone who feels divested from their truest self. As an artist, David has utilized vocal and theater performance, African storytelling and African drumming in the proclamation of truth for over 20 years. His endeavors have afforded him opportunities to perform with companies such as the Sankofa Dance Theater, Musuyide Bi Nka Bi Collective, the Washington Revels’ Jubilee Voices and WombWork Productions, among others. His affiliations include The National Great Blacks In Wax Museum, the National Association of Black Storytellers and the Griots’ Circle of Maryland. David has had the distinct honor of performing at Light City Baltimore, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, the Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, the World Music Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. among numerous performances both domestically and internationally. In appreciation of his work, David has been recognized as a Young Cultural Innovator by the Salzburg Global Seminar, an Emerging Nonprofit Leader by the Aspen Institute, and was awarded a 2016 Master/Apprenticeship Fellowship in Storytelling from the Maryland State Arts Council to work with Mama Linda Goss. Recently David co-founded DiscoverME/RecoverME, an organization that utilizes the African oral tradition to encourages the claiming of one’s narrative for personal and organizational growth.

Favorite Proverb: 
alt Beverly Cottman 

Minneapolis, MN
[email protected]

Beverly Cottman is a multi-disciplinary artist creating at the intersections of visual, literary, and performance art. As storyteller, Auntie Beverly, she tells African and African American stories, folktales and fables. She creates assemblage and collage art works, writes poetry, and in all things celebrates the rich heritage of the African Diaspora. She is challenged, supported, and inspired by her loving family. All of her creative endeavors are dedicated to her maternal ancestors.

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 Rosa Metoyer

Rosa Ashby Metoyer 
Alexandria, LA 
[email protected]

Rosa Ashby Metoyer is a Registered Nurse with over 45 years of experience, primarily in Psychiatric/Mental Health nursing. She currently teaches at Blue Cliff College in the Clinical Medical Assistant Program.
As a Storyteller, Rosa tells African, African American tales and other stories that teach, inspire and entertain.
Rosa is a Brother Blue Circle of Elders Awardee and she serves on the Membership committee as chairperson of NABS Care sub-committee.
Rosa has a nurturing spirit and a desire to promote healthy self- esteem, empowerment and spiritual healing.

Favorite Quote:“A *heapa people see, but few know” ~ Nannie Bessie Ashby
*heap = lot


Saundra Saundra Gilliard, Immediate Past President 

Philadelphia, PA
[email protected]

Performing as “Momma Sandi”, Saundra is a gifted storyteller and playwright who has been featured at numerous festivals and conferences across the country. For over two decades, Saundra has been able to bridge the gap between creativity and methodology by melding her professional storytelling techniques with her extensive corporate change management experience. She is a sought after corporate trainer and workshop facilitator noted for her ability to use storytelling as an effective tool for shifting attitudes and behaviors. Saundra is the founder of Changemakers Consulting, a “story based” change and transformation coaching service. Saundra has been a member of NABS since 1996 and is the immediate past President of Keepers of the Culture, Inc., a Philadelphia-based affiliate.

 Favorite Quote: “The creator of a dance should not be excluded from it ~ Ghana

Kay Merrill

Kay Merrill
[email protected]

Education: M.A. Notre Dame of Maryland University, B.A. Purdue University
Past President of the Griots’ Circle of Maryland.
Developed a stronger partnership with Hampton Historic Site (National Park) which provided additional income for the organization, increased the revenue growth from our annual Love Stories Fundraiser; Increased visibility in the community, wrote a quarterly Newsletter called “In the Tradition”, initiated the development of a new Website, Women’s History Program  promo on Channel 2 Television, Griots Circle Picture and articles  in the Baltimore Times Newspaper,  P.R. announcements and interviews on WEAA and WOLB radio.became a Life Member of the Griots’ Circle of Maryland. 
Previous positions held: Chairperson Black History Program, Women’s History Program, Jubilee Day Celebration and Previous Office held: Financial Secretary .

Previously served as Secretary of the NABS National Board, worked on various National Committees and was inducted into the Brother Blue Circle of Elders in 2018.

My personal motto: “Do everything in decency and in order”.  



 Roy Harris




 Roy Harris
Asheville, NC
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Roy is a country gentleman raised in the sticks of Eastern North Carolina; He graduated valedictorian of his high school class and went on to matriculated at one of the greatest universities in the world, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, North Carolina, Class of 1972.

Roy resurrected his storytelling career three years ago and now travels the state telling family, relational ship and love stories. He has the unique ability to see a story in just about any situation. He tells from the genre “That a storm is coming, a storm is upon you or a storm has just pass. In all three phases you have to prepare differently.

Roy has three grown children and two grandchildren, and he resides in Asheville, North Carolina.