Omaha, Nebraska 2021-09-13 04:37:43 –
Christian Gray was so passionate about serving others that he earned two graduate degrees instead of one at UNO’s University of Public Affairs and Community Services.
Gray is an executive director of community development. inCOMMON community developmentA local non-profit organization striving to stop the underlying poverty by uniting and strengthening vulnerable areas.
By volunteering in the community with his family, he found that such work was fulfilling. Awareness that motivated me to learn more.
“I found out that I was really thirsty for knowledge in this area,” Gray said. “I started doing a lot of my own personal academic reading, which led me to the classroom. Whenever I can combine my teaching experience and passion, it’s just right.”
Gray holds a master’s degree in urban and public administration from UNO. Both degrees have routinely helped him to break through Omaha’s socio-economic barriers and further promote inCOMMON’s efforts to realize his passion for serving others.
“My Master’s degree in Urban Studies really prepared me to think about the context of doing neighborhood and community development in a thoughtful and contextual way,” Gray said. “The government has provided a lot of sound training in leading nonprofits.”
The inCOMMON initiative is driven by local leadership, mobilizing neighbors to turn historically uninvested places into places of opportunity. Nonprofits show the notion that inequality is geographically oriented.
“To realize that we are in a prosperous place and see all members of the community experience a vibrant community, we actually work for people, not just geographically and historically. We really have to see how to break down some of what we’ve been doing, which is being carried over today, “Gray said.
What he learned in these programs is fully linked to inCOMMON’s approach of strengthening the community by investing in people within the community.
“What really stood out in UNO’s educational experience was digging into this concept of asset-based community development,” Gray said. “Everyone in the community says they can offer something, so the more diverse the community, the more skills, resources, and experience needed to create something lasting.”
Gray continues to harness his experience at UNO by advancing his career and supporting the community to help inCOMMON thrive.
“At least in my experience, what’s really special about UNO is the opportunity to engage with local leaders and organizations, do great work in the community, and develop and advance those relationships.”
“This isn’t like an armchair version of academia, it’s a real opportunity to work on grassroots on the ground floor of our own community.”
Christian Gray | News | University of Nebraska Omaha Source link Christian Gray | News | University of Nebraska Omaha