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 new 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.  Episodes are listed below:

Episode 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 Guilford County Board of Education member Pat Tillman and his opponent and community leader Blake Odum. Click here to access on Spotify.

Episode 2:  Can’t Be Great without Great Schools!
As we move out a historic pandemic, is now the right time to make significant investments in our schools?  S.M.A.R.T. Bond co-chairs Cecelia Thompson, executive director of Action Greensboro and the Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas, pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist in High Point, explore why we are at crossroads in our community and why investing in education can position Guilford County for long-term economic growth. Click here to access on Spotify 

Episode 3: How Education Can Get It’s Groove Back
Former educator and GEA volunteer Julia Osborne talks with GCS Chief Academic Officer Dr. Whitney Oakley and Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Eboni Chillis  to explore what education could look like. School facilities, career-technical education, hands-on learning – even how we structure a typical school day are all on the table. Click here to access on Spotify

Episode 4: The Amygdala Highjack
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. Click here to access on Spotify. 

Episode 5: Real Talk with Dr. Contreras, Part One
The issues shaping education are complex – especially in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Dr. Sharon Contreras, GCS superintendent, and Dr. Joe Blosser, associate professor of religion and philososphy at High Point University, sit dow to talk about the story that data tells us, lessons learned during the pandemic and what the future of education in Guilford County might look like. This is part one of a two-part conversation.
Click here to access on Spotify.

Episode 6: Real Talk with Dr. Contreras, Part Two 
The intersection of education and democracy, how school facilities impact learning, and the parable of the lost sheep – it’s all a part of part two 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. Click here to access on Spotify.

Episode 7: Lessons Learned & Wisdom Earned
Melvin “Skip” Alston, chair of the Guilford County Commissioners, and Deena 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. Click here to access on Spotify.