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Meet Garbralle Conroe of Educate Empower Lead in Fresno

Today we’d like to introduce you to Garbralle Conroe.

Mrs. Garbralle Conroe was born and raised in Fresno, CA. Throughout life, she understood the importance of obtaining an education which resulted in obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a Master’s of science degree in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling from California State University, Fresno. For the past six years, she has been teaching graduate courses at California State University, Fresno. In addition to providing Professional Development, Cultural Competence, and diversity trainings through her consulting business. In 2012, Mrs. Conroe received Business of the Year Award from Resources for Independence Central Valley. She was recognized for her outstanding work in her community by helping individuals with disabilities obtain jobs. In 2015, she was awarded the community service award from Fresno City College for her exceptional contributions with Fresno City College students. Mrs. Conroe was awarded the 2017 40 under 40 award which recognizes individuals under the age of 40 for their contributions and, achievements.

In addition, Mrs. Conroe was the keynote speaker for the 2018 Girls World Expo, and the 2018 Fresno Housing authority all staff event. Mrs. Conroe has facilitated several professional development sessions at Fresno City College Institutional, Development, for Equity, Access and Success Summit titled “Bridging the Gap between Privileged & Adversity. In 2019 Mrs. Conroe was featured on Valley PBS Young, Gifted, and Black where she shared her motivational journey of how she overcame barriers, and stigmas growing up in South West Fresno. Mrs. Conroe also will be one of the keynote presenter at the 2019 National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns where she will be focusing on Cultural Competence in Counseling.

Mrs. Conroe has a passion for inspiring youth and giving back to her community. She currently engages in motivational speaking and professional development events throughout the Central Valley as well as in Northern California. Additionally, Mrs. Conroe mentors numerous students, and volunteer’s her time speaking at different high schools, and community events about self-worth, making smart choices, leadership, and the importance of education. Mrs. Conroe has co-authored a manuscript on the use of service-learning in building cultural competence among counseling trainees. She thrives on the model “each one teach one”.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all. I have had many set back and obstacles. Being a women of color is one that have put me in a situation where I feel like I have to always prove myself. I teach graduate level classes at Fresno State University and often times I am questioned about my education and skill set. I am often asked by faculty and staff if I am a secretary or a teacher’s assistant. When that happens, I turn that into a teachable moment by educating them on the importance of not judging a book by its cover.

Another struggle I face as a women of color is being accepted at the table where decisions are being made. Decisions that affect minorities. I find it interesting that major companies and organizations who serve low-income or minority populations often times don’t have staff that reflect that population. So because of that, I started advocating and conducting trainings and workshops on the importance of culture competence and diversity in the workplace.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Educate Empower Lead – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am a diversity consultant. I facilitate trainings, workshops, and conferences about the importance of inclusion, culture competence, and diversity. Because it’s my area of expertise I have a passion for educating, and empowering individuals to always consider culture. We live in a very diverse world, so we must look at situations from a different sent of culture lens other than our own. That is the only way we are going to get a different perspective.

What sets me apart is that my approach is very authentic, row and uncut. I talk about situations and circumstances that many people are afraid to discuss. I share personal insight on my life and struggles I have encounter growing up in a predominantly lower social economic environment. I tell my audience you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable that is when the real growth begins.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the fact that my city is very diverse, which allows for many different cultural perspectives and viewpoints. I would say the area of growth and improvement would be the lack of support and encouragement. Many times it’s hard to get key officials to support positive initiatives without it being forced. My city also lacks equal resources and opportunities for individual’s who live in poverty or lower social economic environments.

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