How DO we change education?  That big question doesn’t have easy answers.  But now is the time to dig in — to listen to each other and work on solutions.  Because the decisions we are making right now are ALREADY determining our future.

GEA’s  podcast Bright Futures Start Now features real changemakers talking real issues.  Each episode is less than 30 minutes long and can be found on Google Play, Spotify, Amazon/Audible, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Podbean, Podcast Addict and Deezer. Plug in and be a part of the discussion.


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Ep. 1: Can We Talk…Really?

On this episode, we explore how 2 opposing candidates from VERY different backgrounds ran a clean campaign in the dynamic and divisive 2020 election season, built a lasting friendship and found they share some common virtues. Listen to the conversation with businessman and former Board of Education representative Pat Tillman and his opponent and community leader Blake Odum.

Ep. 2: Can’t Be Great without Great Schools

S.M.A.R.T. Bond co-chairs Cecelia Thompson (Action Greensboro) and the Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas (Mt. Zion Baptist Church, High Point) join us on this episode to explore why now is the perfect time for Guilford County to invest in schools. We look at some data around trends post-COVID and what that means for our community.

Ep. 3: How Education Can Get Its Grove Back

Julia Osborne, a former educator and current GEA volunteer, sits down with Dr. Whitney Oakley, GCS Chief Academic Officer, and Dr. Eboni Chillis, Chief Innovation Officer to explore the future of education – and it might look very different from what we are used to!

Ep. 4: The Amygdala Hijack

What is an amygdala hijack? And why does it impact student learning – especially now? Cyril Jefferson, principal consultant with Change Often, LLC and Kelly Graves, co-founder and executive director of the Kellin Foundation, join us to explore the impact of trauma on our students. It’s an important – and timely- conversation that you don’t want to miss.

Ep. 5: Real Talk with Dr. Contreras, Part 1

The issues surrounding education are complex – especially in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Dr. Sharon Contreras, superintendent of Guilford County Schools, and Dr. Joe Blosser, associate professor of religion and philosophy at High Point University, sit down to talk about data, lessons learned and what the future of education looks like in Guilford County.

Ep. 6: Real Talk with Dr. Contreras, Part 2

The intersection of education and democracy, school facilities and innovative learning, and parable of the lost sheep – it’s all a part of part 2 of our talk with GCS superintendent, Dr. Sharon Contreras. Our host is Dr. Joe Blosser, associate professor of religion and philosophy at High Point University.

Ep. 7: Wisdom Earned & Lessons Learned

Melvin “Skip” Alston, chair of the Guilford County Commissioners, and Deanna Hayes-Greene, chair of the Guilford County Board of Education, have almost 50 years of combined experience as leaders in the community. In this episode, hosted by Kevin Gray, president of the Weaver Foundation, they share lessons learned along the way and how those are shaping their vision for Guilford County’s future.

Ep. 8: Black, White & Shades of Grey

It started with a traffic stop. Two friends. One Black. One white. Both educators and good friends. During a random traffic stop, they saw how differently they were treated and a door opened up to have real conversations about race. The result is Greyt Expectations, an initiative started by Andrews High School Principal Marcus Gause and Page High School Principal Erik Naglee. In this episode, learn more about their work to create safe spaces for real conversations about race and other differences.

Hosted by Greyt Expectations

Ep. 9 Unchained Melody

By the age of 21, Bilal Issifou had graduated from N.C. A&T State University, started his own successful tech company and been featured in Forbes magazine. In this episode, Marcus Gause and Erik Naglee sit down with Issifou to talk about Unchained Inc. – Issifou’s platform for Black professionals, code switching and what companies are getting wrong when they focus on diversity.

Hosted by Greyt Expectations

Ep. 10: Get in the Game, Part 1

In 2009, Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter saved the life of freshman Kevin Jordan by donating a kidney to the young baseball recruit. Tom is white. Kevin is Black. The incredible act of generosity made the national news. In the lives of the two men, it connected them in more ways than they could ever imagine. In part 1, Marcus Gause and Erik Naglee talk with Tom and Kevin their story and what led them to create Get in the Game, an initiative that uses sports to change real-world inequities.

Hosted by Greyt Expectations

Ep. 11: Get in the Game, Part 2

Marcus Gause and Erik Naglee continue their conversation with Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter and Kevin Jordan, the young man to whom he donated a kidney. Tom and Kevin explore how sports can level the playing field and why this generation of young people give them hope. It’s an inspiring conversation!

Hosted by Greyt Expectations