The Rapidian

Meet Civic Investor Breannah Alexander: Advocate of racial equity, racial justice, storytelling

Breannah Alexander is Director of Strategic Programs at Partners for a Racism-Free Community. She has written dozens of pieces and supports a platform that allows all residents to tell their own stories.
Breannah Alexander

Breannah Alexander /Courtesy of Mojet Photography

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In March of 2016, Breannah Alexander wrote a piece on The Rapidian titled “Standing ovation for Governor Snyder in Grand Rapids shows gross disconnect with the people of Flint.”

The piece was recommended by more than 2,800 people and sparked a significant conversation.

As a Rapidian community journalist, Alexander has contributed more than a dozen pieces. She also writes on behalf of Partners for a Racism-Free Community, where she serves as Director of Strategic Programs.

In her role at PRFC, Alexander focuses on racial equity and racial justice. She designs programs to “help people think through how racism affects the institutions that they exist in, whether [it's in] the workplace or if it’s community-based interactions.”

“We help people really process some of the fundamental pieces that impact the way that they engage in the spaces they occupy,” Alexander said. “Some of that takes the shape of programming that teaches people the history behind institutional racism, some of it takes the shape of community conversations where people discuss the things that they’re experiencing. Some of it takes the shape of films and people watching themes around racial injustice or racism explored through an artistic medium and us crafting conversations that help people process what they’re seeing.”

On The Rapidian, Alexander has written about the intersection of politics, race, equality, education and many other critical issues. She has also spoken at a Rapidian community journalism workshop and shared tips on how to find writing inspiration.

Alexander has lived in Grand Rapids and worked for the organization for the past two years. Prior, she lived in Grand Rapids for six years while attending Grand Valley State University.

Alexander is co-chair of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Grand Rapids. She is also a member of Women ReVamped, a national organization, and the Greater Grand Rapids Racial Equity Network.

I asked Alexander what community means to her.

“Community is a place where I can live my life without having to cover it,” she said. “To me, I can’t be in community in a space where I am fearful of my outcomes or the outcomes of the people that are important to me.”

To Alexander, it is important for citizens to have a piece of the overall narrative when it comes to telling the community’s stories.

“In the age of bad information, it’s important to have a platform where people can talk about experiences that other outlets wouldn’t necessarily consider newsworthy,” Alexander said. “I think that there is a lot of misinformation communicated about communities that don’t have as much widespread access to media. The Rapidian allows people to educate while also offering a platform for the qualitative pieces that don’t necessarily make it into other media because one platform is about selling stories, another platform is about telling them.”

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