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2021 Uncommon Voices

A photo collage of 2021 Uncommon Voices contributors

2021 Uncommon Voices

Year end is a natural time to reflect. Last year, we looked at the “new normal,” how to move forward together, and how 2020 impacted us. This year, we are focused on the unique opportunity of this moment with the belief that now is the time to make positive, generational changes, to focus on equity, and to create an economy that works for everyone.

No individual, institution, or government can bring about the lasting change we need to see. It will take all of us, working together. Here are a few of the uncommon voices of people doing the work, asking questions, and investing their time, energy, and funds to create impact.

A photo of Darron Lamonte Edwards

This is the moment to truly leave our sustainable and noticeable mark on the world in a fresh and innovative way.

Darron Lamonte Edwards
Senior/Lead Pastor, United Believers Community Church

A photo of Penny Lewandowski

If you believe change happens in the midst of chaos, then this is your time. Now more than ever, waiting is perilous.

Penny Lewandowski
Founder, Change at the Edges; former VP, Edward Lowe Foundation

A photo of Yuvay Meyers Ferguson, Ph.D.

It’s important for me to be an advocate for my students and help steer them toward the companies that are holding firm to the commitments to inclusion that have been made by leadership.

Yuvay Meyers Ferguson, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Impact and Engagement, Associate Professor, Howard University School of Business

A photo of Katie Hendrix and her son.

As more leaders share their own stories, the idea of change really does become more normal, and the idea that you are a parent as well as an employee can become more of an asset.

Katie Hendrix
Vice President of Client and Stakeholder Development, Pathway Lending; former Chief of Staff, CO.LAB
A photo of Tonia Gilbert

This is the perfect time to reflect on what we have done in the past, what we are now doing, and what works.

Tonia Gilbert
Executive Director, Upper Room

How can we create an inclusive economy using outdated and inequitable practices?

Rashawn Caruthers
Director of Educator Engagement, Getting Smart
A photo of Eunice Mitchell

We have a responsibility to act, from whatever seat we are in and whatever influences we have, to end inequity and injustice by investing in equity and justice.

Eunice Mitchell
Regional Director, Big Picture Learning
A photo of Elizabeth MacBride

When people … are equipped with connections and information they trust, they make systemic change. They start companies, change laws, donate in different ways. They will change education and economic systems.

Elizabeth MacBride
Founder, Times of Entrepreneurship; Co-author; The New Builders: Face to Face With the True Future of Business
A photo of Dr. Lateshia Woodley

The pandemic brought to the surface what we, who have been in the trenches, have known forever – that the system is not designed to get the ultimate results for all.

Dr. Lateshia Woodley
Assistant Superintendent of Student Support, Kansas City Public Schools
A photo of Ella Livingston and

A better life is possible for us. One filled with love, togetherness, and community. It’s going to require a radical shift, but it can be done.

Ella Livingston
Founder, Cocoa Asante
A photo of Giselle Mota

Simply put, economies, education, and other systems will not change unless we understand and thus respond to the systems and people who represent those systems.

Giselle Mota
Principal Consultant, ADP’s Future of Work team
A photo of Seth Levine

I believe we are at a tipping point for reimagining capitalism.

Seth Levine
Co-author, The New Builders: Face to Face With the True Future of Business; Co-founder and Managing Director, Foundry Group
A photo of Dred Scott

I cannot imagine a more opportune time for rallying around efforts for effective and permanent change.

Dred Scott
President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City
A photo of Vanessa Roanhorse

We need everyone to double down and do the hard work, have the hard conversations, and push past the fears of failure.

Vanessa Roanhorse
CEO, Roanhorse Consulting LLC