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GGU Law alum
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February 24, 2021 |
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Law Alum Drives Transformative Social Change

Law grad Gregory Hodge is a community leader, activist, and organizational development consultant who wears many hats. His through line is servant leadership and advocating for the African-American community.

By Jenny McKeel
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Gregory Hodge, JD ’85,  always knew that he wanted to serve others.

His childhood in Pine Bluff, Arkansas straddled the eras of Jim Crow and desegregation. Throughout, he watched his parents, both public school teachers, serve others in everything they did.

“Straight out of college, I chose GGU because the law school trained public interest lawyers. My interest was social justice issues, particularly for African-American communities. The notion of what can I do to serve my community was always there,” explained Greg.

GGU School of Law

Greg benefited from the strong trial practice program which expertly prepared him to try cases. His entering class included diverse second-career students of different ages and racial backgrounds. The richness of those relationships with professors and classmates have benefited him throughout his career.

Since GGU, Greg has worked as an attorney, nonprofit administrator, school board president, community leader, minister, musician, strategist, facilitator and coach, to name a few of his roles. Greg opened a private law practice and after practicing civil litigation for several years, woke up one morning and realized he wanted to change direction.

“My career arc was less than linear,” he joked. “Some people pick a school, a job, a spouse. I’m definitely not that person. The through line for me was servant leadership, which I got from my parents.”

From there, Greg’s career led him to roles that allowed him to directly advocate for the Black community.

“Lots of folks didn’t have the privilege to go to law school right out of college. I asked myself, am I using this opportunity in a way that the community that raised me would recognize?” reflected Greg.

Racial Equity Advocacy and Activism

Today, Greg’s work focuses around two areas: the conditions and aspirations of boys of color, and consulting around making racial equity actionable in organizations. He’s the executive director of the Executive Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and the chief network officer of the Brotherhood of Elders Network. As an organizational development consultant with Khepera Consulting, Greg works with groups including nonprofits, foundations, and public school districts. His consulting takes him around the country to facilitate racial equity workshops and coaching to support local communities grappling with these issues. In all of his work, his goal is to spark transformative change.

“Right now I work with a lot of people all over the country—black, brown, white, otherwise—and I really feel like I was well prepared for what I’m doing now because of my law school background and practicing law the way I did,” said Greg.

Greg considers facilitation to be his primary skill.

“From a facilitative place, I help people have the conversations they need to have,” explained Greg. “If people can have hard conversations without feeling threatened, without feeling what they are saying is not valuable is what I try to do. People invite me into difficult rooms to have difficult conversations and there’s something I’ve learned over the years about how to create those possibilities for transformation.”

This past year, Greg has been asked to facilitate a conversation with the African-American community about the community response to COVID-19, and also works with leaders around messaging social distancing and vaccines in ways that support people of color to make informed decisions. This work is especially important in the wake of George Floyd’s death and the civil unrest sparked by racial inequities.

Black Lives Matter

It’s extraordinary,” said Greg, “the way the country has now had to face some of this. There’s a part of us as a country that hasn’t come to terms with the 300 years of slavery and what happened to the African-American community.”

Greg believes that Black History Month affords an important opportunity to go deeper into people’s stories and learn something new that colors more texture into the African-American experience.

“I think Black History Month is really important in that way, but I would want my new grandchild to not believe that February is the only month in the year when she’s supposed to learn about her history,” said Greg. “I want to impart that she’s supposed to know her history and the history of Indigenous Peoples, the Latinx community, the history of the Irish and Italians, the history of everybody as much as you can in the country to understand where the economic disparity and mistrust began.”

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Attention new GGU Summer Term students! 📢 Join us for Student Success Orientation on Wed. 5/4. You'll get all the information you need to ensure academic success and social engagement at GGU. We'll connect you to a host of resources to help you transition successfully into the university. Register today for the Zoom link. ow.ly/o1AP50IUVUs ... See MoreSee Less

Attention new GGU Summer Term students! 📢 Join us for Student Success Orientation on Wed. 5/4. Youll get all the information you need to ensure academic success and social engagement at GGU. Well connect you to a host of resources to help you transition successfully into the university. Register today for the Zoom link. http://ow.ly/o1AP50IUVUs

Congrats!!Congratulations Cathryn! She finally got to walk with her colleagues and other graduates of Golden Gate University at Oracle Park in San Francisco! The classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 were well represented! Master's Degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and High Honors. I am so proud of you my darling! #graduation ... See MoreSee Less

Congrats!!

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Congratulations 🎊 🎈 🎉

Lahore from Pakistan 🇵🇰

Curious about how many students didn't get a ceremony due to covid, and never got an email about this year's ceremony? Did this happen to anyone else? Please comment if you're also in this boat.

GGU's 2022 Commencement Ceremony livestream is starting soon!

Watch on YouTube starting at 10 a.m. PT ow.ly/gepT50IQxKB
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GGUs 2022 Commencement Ceremony livestream is starting soon! 

Watch on YouTube starting at 10 a.m. PT http://ow.ly/gepT50IQxKB

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I am so grateful that we could attend. Thank you, GGU

Curious about how many students didn't get a ceremony due to covid, and never got an email about being able to join this year's ceremony? Did this happen to anyone else? Please comment if you're also in this boat.

As we celebrate the Class of 2022, show your support for future GGU students the way someone once supported you. Make a gift to the Fund for Golden Gate University today. Share using #ggugives. lnkd.in/gBH3skuk ... See MoreSee Less

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The grad ceremony was amazing! Thank you to the faculty and everyone involved in organizing and preparing for this event. Much love to all. 🙏❤️

Timeline photosDear GGU Law Community:

It is with great sadness that I write to share news of the passing of Peter Keane, who died Sunday after a long illness. Peter Keane served as Dean of Golden Gate University School of Law from 1999-2003 and later, as a much beloved classroom teacher of Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence Law, and Professional Responsibility. Dean Keane always said that his greatest pleasure at GGU was getting to know, teach and learn from his students.

In addition to his contributions at GGU, Dean Keane was a prominent member of the San Francisco and California legal communities. Among other distinctions, he was appointed to the San Francisco Ethics Commission and served both as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco and as Vice-President of the State Bar of California. His law reform achievements were notable, including authoring San Francisco’s Handgun Control Ordinance and California Proposition 190, which reformed the State Commission on Judicial Performance.

Drucilla Ramey, who followed Dean Keane as Dean, remembered him this way: “Peter Keane was a courageous and inspirational leader of legal academia, the broader legal community, and his own beloved San Francisco. Whether as Chief Assistant Public Defender, President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, Dean of Golden Gate Law School or Chair of the San Francisco Ethics Commission, Peter met society’s greatest challenges head on, with his characteristic intelligence, bravery, and élan, and leaves behind him not only scores of loved ones, friends, and admirers, but also a more fair and equal system of justice.”

Dean Keane will be greatly missed by those at GGU whose lives he touched. Please join me in extending our condolences to his wife Nancy and their family. As soon as I have news of the celebration of his life, I will share it.

Sincerely,
Dean Colin Crawford
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I had the pleasure of working with Dean Keane as a Board member in the early 2000’s. He was a great leader and inspiration to those he taught. Deepest sympathies to Nancy and his family.

Professor Keane was one of my FAVORITE professors at GGU. Such a smart and sweet person. Condolences to his family.

A couple months ago I crossed paths with Professor Keane in the rose garden at GGP. He was quick with a kind word and a nice conversation. I sincerely appreciate having known and had my life enriched by this bright and thoughful man.

He was a great professor and person!

Always admired Peter Keane; a great los to the legal community and all the people of San Francisco

Rest In Peace.

He was a kind person. I am sorry for your loss.

RIP…

Sorry for your loss.

RIP

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