MISSION

To provide a safe space and platform for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) to share experiences that have shaped them into the people they are today through visual storytelling.

 

About Our Voices Project

We provide a safe space and platform for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color to share experiences that have shaped them into the people they are today through visual storytelling.

Our goal is to dismantle destructive stereotypes of BIPOC perpetuated in the media by providing educational resources across marginalized groups brought on by the stories we share.

Our Voices Project is also a committed community partner, providing opportunities in line with the NYS Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework to help educators design and implement a student-centered learning environment that affirms racial and cultural identities, empowers students as agents of social change, and contributes to an individual’s engagement, learning, growth, and achievement through cultivation of critical thinking. 

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Jackie McGriff

Co-Founder, Director, Producer

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Deborah Alvarez

Co-Founder, Cinematographer, Editor

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Courtney Shouse

Education Outreach Facilitator

About Our Team

Jackie McGriff is the Founder and Owner of Jackie Photography and Co-founder, Director, and Producer of Our Voices Project. She's a portrait photographer and filmmaker whose mission is to provide a safe space and platform for teens, women, and people of color to recognize and embrace their worth, live unapologetically, and share their stories. She's currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Business Administration at Simon Business School to enter into photography, videography, and filmmaking full-time. She also works for the Office of Alumni Relations at the University of Rochester, mentors teens at her church, and occasionally talks about movies on The Little Theatre's Movies and a Microphone and WXXI's Connections with Evan Dawson podcasts. She currently resides in Rochester, NY where you can find her either reading, listening to movie scores, watching documentaries, and/or catching up on TV shows when she's not working on a creative project.

Deborah Alvarez is the Co-Founder, Cinematographer, and Editor of Our Voices Project, Video Production Assistant at the University of Rochester, and Freelance Videographer. Her mission is to encourage others to not be afraid to express their true selves and show people multiple perspectives through film and music. Bringing people together through art and song is what brings her the most joy. When she isn't filming or editing; movies, reading, photography, playing the ukulele, and outdoor adventures fill her time.

Courtney Shouse is the Education Outreach Facilitator for Our Voices Project. She is committed to interrupting the cycle of racism and dismantling systemic oppression and is focused on working towards achieving a more equitable society through education. Courtney is a Steering Committee Member and Educator for Showing up For Racial Justice, Rochester, NY (SURJ ROC), a member of the Indigenous People’s Day Planning Committee, and an active member of Irondequoit High School’s Equity & Diversity Coalition and Eastridge High School’s Diversity & Equity Team. She earned her Master's Degree in Human Service Administration and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology and Women's Studies. Recently, Courtney earned a Certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). She works at Excellus, and volunteers as a facilitator for the company's DEI Book Club. Born and raised in the city of Rochester, Courtney currently lives in West Irondequoit with her family. She enjoys spending time with her teenage sons and husband, indoor cycling, and reading. Courtney strongly believes in creating opportunities for cross-racial dialogue and the sharing of real lived experiences to build empathy and connectedness among different groups with an emphasis on uplifting historically marginalized voices.