Get to Know our Team Part 1: Greg Groves, Program Manager
Updated: Apr 25
We recently welcomed two new staff members to the Vocal Justice team, Naomi Daugherty and Greg Groves! Communications Intern Liana Fu asked them a few questions to get to know them better--from their favorite food combinations to who inspires them as educators. Read on to learn more about Greg Groves, who will be overseeing our out-of-school programming!
Describe yourself in three words.
Empathetic, thoughtful, creative
What’s a weird food combination that you love?
My partner got me hip to Lao Gan Ma (spicy chili crisp seasoning) and I put it on just about everything including stuff she says it’s not supposed to go on
If you could teach a class about anything, what would it be about? Who would your students be?
I would love to teach a high school class that explores the genre of Afrosurrealism and incorporates works spanning Toni Morrison’s Beloved to Donald Glover’s show Atlanta. I’m a huge fan of Atlanta and love the way Glover uses surrealism to bear witness to race in America.
If you could travel back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
Be your authentic self. Don’t try to fit into anyone else’s definition of who you should be or how you should move through this world. There’s freedom in authenticity.
Who is your source of inspiration and why?
My family is my inspiration. My dad’s wisdom and dedication for justice. My mom’s courage and confidence. My sister’s charisma and empathy. These values grounded my life as a child and propel me forward as an adult today.
Describe your favorite memory as an educator.
When I was working at The Christina Seix Academy, I taught a class entitled Self, Society, and Social Change. In this class, students learned the fundamentals of how to “think like a Sociologist” and used those tools to analyze various memoirs. One memoir we explored was Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, MAAD City. I loved bringing the work of one of my favorite rappers into the classroom and seeing the way my students would light up when they made a connection or shared an interpretation of Lamar’s lyrics.
What values are central to your practice as an educator?
As an educator, I want my students to feel free when they step into my classroom – free to be their authentic self, free to speak up and question, free to imagine the world as it should be. Through this freedom, and teaching culturally relevant material through fun student-centered lessons that incorporate non-traditional canon (like TV, music, and film), I hope my students experience joy and a love for learning.
What experience (personal or professional) are you most excited to bring to or build upon in your work with Vocal Justice?
As a graduate student, I was able to take a class with Dr. Howard Stevenson that was truly transformational for me personally and professionally. Dr. Stevenson’s work is focused on racial socialization and racial literacy. His emphasis on how individuals can read, recast, and resolve racially stressful moments using mindfulness, their authentic voice, and centering their emotional well-being would be a powerful tool for Vocal Justice students and teachers.
Tune in next month to get to know our other Program Manager, Naomi Daugherty!