Ghana Goal Grips Groce-Wright

Cheryl Groce-Wright ’82 hopes her long run in Ghana goes a long way in helping the country get healthy.

“I’ve been on a mission,” Groce-Wright said.

In 2009, then-49-year-old Groce-Wright began mixing running into her walking routine around Richmond, Va., where she lives and works as an education consultant.

Cheryl Groce-Wright ’82 ran in the International Marathon Sept. 26 in Ghana to benefit the Longevity Project. She is pictured here after a recent race with her son, Carson.

“A minute became two and then five and I thought. ‘Well, maybe I can train for a race,’” she recalled. With a 10K and half marathon under her belt, Groce-Wright turned her attention to another goal — traveling to Africa.

The former Black Student Union member and African-American studies minor built a lifelong base for activism while a student studying communications at Oswego.

“I think that was the beginning and sort of awakening for me,” Groce-Wright said of her time at Oswego with professors emeriti like Kenneth Hall and Alfred Young.

In 2000, Groce-Wright met Ghana activist Nana Kweku Egyir Gyepi III while he was on a speaking tour. His vision for creating a Mecca in Ghana for African natives and descendents all over the world has intrigued Groce-Wright ever since.

She used her newfound love of running to finally make the trip to the African nation, running in the Accra International Marathon Sept. 26 and raising $1,660 for the Longevity Project, funding health initiatives and education in Ghana.

The race took on added meaning when, shortly after she arrived for the marathon, Groce-Wright learned her father had passed away.

“The race did end up being in honor of my father who ran with me the whole way,” she said. “And the rainbow at the start of the race told me he was right there with me, and that I was right where I was supposed to be.”

While her newly launched consulting service, Kaleidoscope Collaborative, focuses on interweaving diversity into education, Groce-Wright said she would like to someday work as a personal trainer. “I really have been so empowered by running and I feel that I can empower other people,” she said.

— Shane M. Liebler

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