P.A.R.C. Mag Issue #8 - Page 30

P.A.R.C. Mag: Can you tell us about yourself? Where you grew up? What was your educational background? What careers have you had prior to your current one?

Gail: "I was born in the greatest nation (and I still believe the US system of democracy rules!), in one of the most diverse places on earth – Jamaica, NY – and am a first-generation immigrant on my father’s side. (He came here at age 18 to escape the economic hardship of Poland.) My Dad died when I was young, so I was raised “on a financial shoestring” by a single mom. Despite my mother’s money struggles (we slept in the same pullout bed until I was 10), she worked two jobs to put me through a faith-based school. I went to Nassau Lutheran in Mineola, LI, with a highly diverse student body, from K-8 during the 1960s civil-rights movement. Because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was named after the founder of the Lutheran religion, his life and death were very much part of our class discussions and that’s where I first gained exposure to systemic racism."

"Being an only child raised by a single mom during the 60s, I had always felt like a social “minority” and I think that helped me to identify better with people who weren’t part of the majority race, religion, ability status, sexual orientation, etc."

"Between my personal experiences and exposure to racial injustice at a young age, I naturally gravitated toward a career in advocacy, fairness, and equality. After graduating from high school in Levittown, LI, and working as a hairdresser for five years – where you must embrace anyone who walks in the door and you learn to appreciate the diversity of the human body – I moved to Southern California and began college at age 23. There, I was exposed to the richness of eastern culture and many New Americans. By age 27, I returned to the East Coast and completed my bachelor’s degree in journalism at Rutgers University, one of the most diverse universities in the nation. Prior to graduating, I cut my teeth working an internship at

Gail Zoppo

Through the channel of media relations, Gail sheds light on injustice and inequalities faced by our diverse population. Whether it is colorism, racism, homophobia, ageism, or sexism etc. Gail takes to social media and publications to get the word out and promote awareness within our society. She has worked with several businesses and non-profit organizations. She has done extensive work with the American Conference On Diversely, where she challenges diversity issues by promoting inclusion and acceptance. Gail shares with us some of her work experience and also the importance of media relations.