Jessica Roach
by Greta Martin

Jessica Roach
Executive Director of ROOTT

Jessica Roach is the co-founder of the organization Restoring Our Own Through Transformation, (ROOTT). She is also the executive director of ROOTT. She was a former clinical nurse, a public health advocate, and independent scholar. She was a teen mom, and spent much of her life as a young adult running from place to place. This is part of what inspired her to do what she does today to help mend the colliding of cultures in Columbus. She is a member of the community that deserves respect because of all she does for our city.

Ms. Roach sees the main problem being that people are not willing to have conversations about the problems in the Columbus community. Internally, people can have collisions, based on what they were conditioned to think. People need to be able to talk about problems in our community, or else nothing will change. She also sees a problem being that people label black women as broken.  People should be educated on things that affect them or that they are ignorant to, so they can break the cultural barriers that have been set.

Ms. Jessica Roach tries to solve these problems by giving lectures. She says that going out and speaking is a great way to make people wonder and talk about problems in Columbus. She says that what the GEMS students are doing, interviewing and talking with people different than themselves, is also a great way to work towards fixing our problems.

We need to find ways to talk about the issues in our world, even if it makes us uncomfortable, because if we don’t, nothing changes. When we talk about it, and have these courageous conversations, we can find out how to solve issues. We will help by having courageous conversations inside and out of school. We will help by educating others and ourselves, and figuring out solutions as a community. We should all try to do what Ms. Roach does. She goes out and speaks about what matters to her and what she thinks needs to change. By taking action we can change our community and the world!