Gabrielle Chapman is the inaugural Executive Director of Call to Action for Racial Equality. As a young person, Chapman couldn’t wait to get out of West Virginia and was the first person in her family to move away for college, where she was given the opportunity to travel to four continents and eleven countries including Japan, China, Vietnam, India, and South Africa. Even after exploring the world, her heart still resided in the mountains of Appalachia. She became a boomerang kid — one of those individuals to leave, only to wind up right back at home.
She carries the story and perspective of a mixed race, black woman in West Virginia and lends her skill set to open up often complex conversations around race and identity with hopes to strengthen her community, and to grow a statewide racial equity network. Recent accomplishments include organizing the first ever Black Lives Matter Rally at West Virginia’s capitol annex, drawing hundreds of supporters from across the state.
Chapman holds a BS in Applied Biology from Sage College. During her college years, she interned at the U.S. Department of Defense, was an assistant with Sage College’s Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, and volunteered with the American Friends Service Committee. She is a 2018–2019 West Virginia Trainers Project Fellow with Training for Change and serves as chairperson of the Charleston-branch NAACP’s Health Committee. She is also the co-owner of Charleston’s Anna Street Blooms, an urban agricultural business.