Granby Racial Reconciliation: Ordinary people can do extraordinary things

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For Black History Month, the Granby Racial Reconciliation (GRR) website will feature daily profiles of individuals who overcame personal obstacles, broke down barriers and left the world a better place—please visit

The biographies won’t be of the more famous heroes such as Douglass, Tubman or King. Instead, readers will learn about the architect who drew upside down as White clients wouldn’t sit alongside a Black man; learn the history of the freed slave who inherited her captor’s estate and used that wealth to create the first historically black college or university; be introduced to the man responsible for creating our country’s life-saving blood banks; and meet the NFL player who invites audiences to have uncomfortable conversations with a Black man.

The greatness of these people was not preordained. They were afraid, angry and tired. They were imperfect people who answered the challenge to do important things while being ordinary.

GRR Steering committee member Laura Matheos offers, “At the end of every profile, is the hashtag #OrdinaryPeopleCanDoExtraordinaryThings. It’s meant as a reminder. It’s also meant as a challenge. See yourself in their stories. Then ask yourself what you might do to end discrimination—not because you’re perfect but because you can.”