Introduction to Cultural Jambalaya 

About Cultural Jambalaya

Cultural Jambalaya, a 501(c)(3) Minnesota-based nonprofit, is a volunteer-run organization that uses international cultural photography to promote understanding and respect for all people. Cultural Jambalaya's DVDs use photography as a creative teaching tool for educators in the classroom to broaden world views of students by illustrating our diverse cultural backgrounds. Cultural Jambalaya also works with multicultural businesses and organizations as part of their diversity initiatives, and marketing or employee programs.


Cultural Jambalaya was founded by Gail Shore, who has had the privilege of traveling internationally for over 40 years. Gail's self-funded, solo treks take her primarily to countries whose cultures are influenced by their unique traditions, including their religions. For years, she has felt an urgency to explore places whose fragile, native cultures and environments are in jeopardy. Most often, her journeys include third-world countries that have ambitious plans to further their economic development. But as these countries modernize, they are also at risk of losing parts of their cultural identities, traditions and rituals.

As Gail explores these regions, she has the opportunity to spend time with local people, sample their daily lifestyle and participate in their rich traditions. She wants to capture an interesting image that is representative of a place that most people will probably never visit. Then, she wants others to learn something about other people and places they might not have known.

Cultural Jambalaya believes the more we know about each other's history, culture, and religion, the more understanding we can become of our differences.

Cultural Jambalaya's "Windows & Mirrors" Educational DVD Series; Teaching Tools Widening World Views of Students

Cultural Jambalaya's award-winning, educational DVD for teachers, "Windows & Mirrors," includes global images and narratives highlighting fascinating people and intriguing cultures. Supported by an online study guide, the DVD is a resource for teachers to engage students in a variety of subjects, including social studies, geography, history, diversity and language.

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Board of Directors

Rayla Allison, University of Minnesota faculty and lawyer. Rayla is the Treasurer of the board and also provides legal services.

Grayce Belvedere Young, Lily Pad - Grayce provides organizational development and board governance.

Melissa Falldin, University of Minnesota. Melissa provides instructional design and technology consultation for Cultural Jambalaya. 

Beth Hawkins, MinnPost education reporter.  Beth provides educational consultation for Cultural Jambalaya.

Jan Hertel, Global Studies teacher at Hastings Middle School. Jan provides educational consultation for Cultural Jambalaya’s programs and videos.

Rachel Hicks, Intermediate District 287 – Rachel provides educational and social media consultation for Cultural Jambalaya.

Na’im Madyun, University of Minnesota faculty.  Na’im provides educational and diversity consultation for Cultural Jambalaya.

J.B. Mayo, Jr.,

University of Minnesota faculty.  J.B. provides educational and diversity consultation for Cultural Jambalaya.

Ann Merrill, Pentair Corporate Communications. Ann is Chair of the Board of Directors and provides cultural diversity and communications consultation for Cultural Jambalaya. 

Colleen Needles, Tremendous! Entertainment. Colleen provides management and production consultation, and is producing Cultural Jambalaya's educational DVD for schools.

James Peterson, RSVPeterson event planning. James plans and manages Cultural Jambalaya's fundraising events.

Gail Shore, Shore to Shore Communications, Inc. and Executive Director of Cultural Jambalaya. Gail manages day-to-day operations.

For schools, businesses and organizations interested in learning more about Cultural Jambalaya, please contact:

Contact Information

Gail Shore
Executive Director
(612) 770-4106

Advisors and Volunteers

Jeanette Armstrong

Pat Brenna

Joyce Carey

Alissa Edgren

Christine Fruechte

Ryan Jancik

Jake Larson

Julie Kaloides

Brendan Kearin

Cathy Lawrence

John Lisec

Kevin May

Brenda Mathison

Teresa McFarland

Jennifer Roubal

Jean Shore

Braden Stadlman

Amy Xu

Sean Merrill

- “Exclusive Airline Partner” of Cultural Jambalaya

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