( CNN) I was surfing online when I stumbled upon a mural in Baltimore painted by artist Ernest Shaw. It’s a three-headed portrait of civil rights icons: James Baldwin, Malcolm X and, of course, Nina Simone.

Even within the boundaries of my computer screen, the paint on the side of a building at 401 Lafayette Street was powerful.

Curious that the artist had chosen Simone as part of the trifecta, I dialed Shaw, a 41 -year-old teacher at the Maryland Academy of Technology& Health Science. He’s taught children at Baltimore city schools for 14 years and step up our efforts to mentor inner-city youth in some artistic way.