The Big Picture: Sonja Grey

Nov 23, 2020 | Celebrating the Years, Living

Sonja Grey, executive director of Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO), says, “For the past two years, Kentucky had the highest child abuse rates in the U.S., according to the child maltreatment report from the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is unacceptable, and the work of preventing child abuse is my biggest concern and what matters the most.”

Sonja Grey
Executive Director, ECHO (Exploited Children’s Help Organization) 

What really matters to you?​ What matters the most to me is making sure our children feel safe.

Why does this matter, and has what matters to you changed in recent months? If so, why? ​For the past two years, Kentucky had the highest child abuse rates in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is unacceptable, and my work preventing child abuse is my biggest concern and what matters the most. Within our systems, we must look at the racial equity of services and support for every child. After all, it’s the adult’s responsibility to make sure children are safe and learn ways to protect them from any type of abuse. 

What has surprised you (as it relates either to yourself or to others)? ​I have been totally surprised by the solidarity of people in support of justice for Breonna Taylor and taking a stand against social injustice in our city and nation. My vision is that this moment in time is not just a change, but a transformation to a new day!

How do you incorporate gratitude into your life?​ For myself, I have an “I Am Thankful” jar, and each morning I write one thing I am most grateful for at that moment and place it in the jar. It’s simple for me to show my gratitude to others by making sure I do something as simple as saying, “Thank you, I appreciate you!” I make a conscious decision every day to let someone know I care about them.

How do you keep yourself calm in the midst of chaos?​ The best therapy to calm myself down during chaos is music. I love all different genres of music and it helps me to relax while listening to the words and rhythm of the song. 

What brings you the greatest joy? ​What brings the greatest joy to me is spending time with family and friends, because I know there will always be laughter, which is good for the soul.

How do you bring joy to others?​ I like making people smile and feel appreciated, so I give small tokens of love, a gift from the heart. 

What are you looking forward to?​ I’m looking forward to seeing the opportunity for social change. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

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