Terri welcomes Kellie Easton and Katie Sonnen-Lee, both with Action4Equity, to Talk with Terri this week. Action4Equity is a black-led, intentionally multi-racial coalition of educators, parents, students, faith leaders, and community members building a movement to advance equity for students in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in the areas of academic achievement, access to high-quality instruction, and safe and healthy school environments. Using tools ranging from policy and advocacy to direct action, Action4Equity educates, applies pressure, and supports legal action to make real and lasting change within the Board of Education, WS/FCS administration, and in our local schools. Through organizing and training leaders from the most impacted communities, Action4Equity is targeted at mobilizing community support to impact rapid change in how WS/FCS defines, measures, and responds to racial inequity present in our schools today.
About Kellie Easton, Executive Director:
A Winston-Salem native, Kellie Easton’s experience spans across a variety of sectors including, B2B, strategic marketing, brand development and management, communications, project management, community development and organizing, advocacy, and government relations. Kellie has worked with an extensive list of women and minority business leaders on various business development and policy efforts including serving as the SVP of Business Development for Black Girls Vote where Kellie was recognized for establishing the Corporate and Advocacy Strategy behind Activate the Vote.
Kellie proudly serves as the President of the Young Adult Committee of the Winston-Salem Chapter of the NAACP, the Vice Board Chair of Hustle WS, and and Vice Chair for the City of Winston-Salem Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee.
Kellie is the CEO and Co-Founder of Easton Reid Group a strategy and management company located in Winston-Salem, NC. Kellie achieved a B.S. in Information Systems and Sciences from the Earl Graves School of Business, Morgan State University. Kellie is the proud mother of 2 beautiful children, Karoline-Kellie Easton, and Kalonji Easton.
About Katie Sonnen-Lee, Board Vice President:
Katie has a background in a broad range of nonprofit and educational environments, including several years of work in education and with families living in poverty. She spent three years in South Korea teaching low-income children English as a second language – an extremely important skill for high-wage employment there. While working with families experiencing homelessness with young children in New Mexico, Katie worked with foundations, policy makers and institutional partners to address the multi-faceted causes and effects of extreme poverty on individuals and communities. In 2017, Katie joined the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation whose mission is to help people and places move out of poverty and achieve greater social and economic justice.
After growing up in Washington, Georgia and Tennessee, Katie earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Roanoke College in Virginia. She also holds an MBA from National American University in Texas. She has served as a Board Member of the New Mexico Chapter of Young Non-Profit Professionals, as well as a volunteer for numerous organizations involved in education and civic engagement. Her favorite pastimes include travel, reading and introducing her two young sons to the cultural and scenic beauty and diversity of North Carolina.