We at GEA often write with what we call our “organizational” voice. It is one crafted in tone and content by me – Winston McGregor, GEA’s Executive Director — and our Communications Director, Karen Hornfeck. It is informed by the vision, strategy and tone charted by our Board of Directors and the many voices engaged in our alliance. We have viewed this as a platform not to speak FOR our alliance, but rather to speak TO you. This profound cultural moment of protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement demands that we wrestle with entrenched inequities and structural racism and calls us to reflect on the voice we use to speak to you.

It compels us to lift up more individual voices in our alliance – voices that can and will guide and contribute to our learning and strategies to take action.

Members of our community have graciously agreed to share their varied experiences with us and those are below. Please take the time to read, listen and learn together with us.

Blake Odom

“When I came out of the restroom, the store was almost on lockdown. Everyone was looking for me.”  Click here to read more.

Kelly Graves

“I wonder if my other white friends, who do not have children of color, really understand the pain of needing to have these conversations with children.” Click here to read more.

Phil McCall

“Whites have often not accepted the legal concept that ‘separate but equal’ while demonstrating that integration is not acceptable. Until that changes, we, as a community, will all be losers.”  Click here to read more. 

Adrienne Spinner

“I am part of a population that sits at the intersection of systemic racism and sexism; and these systems, along with COVID, all say that my life doesn’t matter the way others do.” Click here to read more.

Sherry Wyche

“White privilege can not end until it is acknowledged and “spent” for good. Racism can not be remedied until education takes its place.” Click here to read more.

Tammy White

“Bill was carried to Pitt Memorial Hospital, dead on arrival, with his hands still behind his back in handcuffs.”  Click here to read more.

Afi Johnson-Parris


“At this point, my overwhelm shifted to awe. I realized I was in the presence of greatness in the most ordinary setting – an elementary school.” Click here to read more.

Cyril Jefferson & Megan Olgesby

“In a word where it’s commonplace to choose sides and run to our proverbial corners, we are choosing to do what is necessary to make things better.”Click here to read more.