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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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At the next  F-1 Immigration Regulation Focused Session, held on Monday June 14  at 12 noon PT, well discuss on campus employment, on campus employment due to severe economic hardship, CPT, OPT, and STEM OPT. Please join us on Zoom! Meeting ID: 978 7756 2460. Passcode: GGUINT.  💻

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Congrats to Undergraduate Student Award Winner Andres Quintero, BS Data Analytics, '21! 🎓 🎉

“One of the things I loved the most was all the hands-on projects. We were taught theory but were given a lot of real-world projects and the professors all come from professional experience.

In our social media analytics class, we used R and all the data the professor provided was real-world and from a business standpoint. In my machine learning class we learned Python and practiced on real-world data sets from hotel reviews, Yelp, or Airbnb.

There were times when working full time and going to school full time was really hard. One day I spent 23 hours awake doing my work! My wife was really amazing supporting me. I treated GGU as if it was a professional job with work deadlines, and I treated each professor as if they were my manager. That really helped me as well. The teachers were great at supporting me and the material made it really easy to do online. All of that together really contributed to my success.

Right now I am looking at opportunities to pursue my master’s so that eventually I can become a machine learning engineer. I was never really a student in my past, but my experience at GGU helped me to change that and I’m really grateful."
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Congrats to Undergraduate Student Award Winner Andres Quintero,  BS Data Analytics, 21! 🎓 🎉

“One of the things I loved the most was all the hands-on projects. We were taught theory but were given a lot of real-world projects and the professors all come from professional experience.

In our social media analytics class, we used R and all the data the professor provided was real-world and from a business standpoint. In my machine learning class we learned Python and practiced on real-world data sets from hotel reviews, Yelp, or Airbnb.

There were times when working full time and going to school full time was really hard. One day I spent 23 hours awake doing my work! My wife was really amazing supporting me. I treated GGU as if it was a professional job with work deadlines, and I treated each professor as if they were my manager. That really helped me as well. The teachers were great at supporting me and the material made it really easy to do online. All of that together really contributed to my success.

Right now I am looking at opportunities to pursue my master’s so that eventually I can become a machine learning engineer. I was never really a student in my past, but my experience at GGU helped me to change that and I’m really grateful.

Congrats, Cathryn!Congratulations to my daughter Cathryn for earning her Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology and graduating from Golden Gate University with Highest Honors. What an incredible achievement at 24, or any age for that matter. An achievement that came from hard work, diligence, and a persistent work ethic. I am so proud of you! God bless you! <3 ... See MoreSee Less

Congrats, Cathryn!
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