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Episode 10 – Ellen McGirt


Over the course of my life, I’ve crossed paths with a variety of amazing people and one of those is journalist Ellen McGirt.

She is an award-winning business journalist specializing in long form profiles.

Currently, she writes a daily column covering race, culture, and leadership for Fortune called raceAhead. Every day when it arrives in my inbox, I stop whatever I’m doing and immediately read it.

During her time at Fast Company, she wrote a number of high profile cover stories about a variety of people including President Obama, Matt Damon, and Mark Zuckerberg.

We discuss all of this, the important role teachers played in her life and the cross-country storytelling trip she took in the months following September 11th.

Classroom Connection

Ellen’s September 11th project involved asking people from across the country how they felt they fit into the American Dream and the fabric of American Life. She describes the unique part of that project in which each person they interviewed was asked to give them a gift that represented “only them and their life” and then the interviewers gave that give to the next person they interviewed.

Consider doing something like this exchange with students in another class. Each student writes about a gift that represents them and then they exchange that gift and writing with someone they don’t know well.

Sit down with us on Ellen McGirt’s back porch on a beautiful spring day and find out why she writes.