Sustainer Spotlight: Luciana Gray

Friday, May 24, 2019

Between You and Me: A Conversation with Luciana Gray

Luciana Mashore Gray has been a member of the Junior League of Washington for 14 years. She has served as a volunteer for the Friends of the JLW (2015-16), Assistant Director for the Literacy Council (2010-11), Chair of Community Outreach (2010- 11), and Co-Chair New Members.  Luciana was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and graduated from Howard University.  She is currently a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton focusing on project management.

Tell me how the League has influenced you?   

The Junior League has expanded my understanding of insufficient literacy and how that can negatively impact our community.  The League has also influenced my approach to strategic planning and project implementation when serving in other non- profit organizations.

Now that you are a Sustainer, looking back, what advice would you offer a Provisional?   

My advice to a Provisional is to choose a secondary placement early in your Junior League life that may take you out of your comfort zone.  Choose something that is in a space you cannot see yourself.  Those are the placements that can expand your knowledge and understanding in very meaningful ways.

Of all the placements and experiences you have had with JLW, what has been your favorite experience?   

Serving as an N Street Village Volunteer.  I always enjoyed Sunday Dinner with the residents and their love of books was always a delight!!  It is the most rewarding experience of all my years as a member.  I developed a deep understanding of the occurrences in life that can place a woman in transitional housing and I experienced the constant reminder that morsels of knowledge and blessings come in so many unexpected ways.

So, between working and volunteering, what is your favorite activity to do in the DMV and how do you decompress?   

My favorite activity is taking friends and family to the National Museum of African American History and Culture.  I have been more times that I can count, and it is a joy to take someone who has not ever been.  New visitors are always overwhelmed with the impressive level of detail, artifacts, and information housed in such a beautiful space.  I decompress by reading or enjoying good conversations with family and friends.  During this past year I began devoting a lot more time reading and studying the Bible.  I’m also focused on renovating and decorating my home along with serving in other service-based organizations.

Finally, what comes to mind when I ask:

Favorite Vacation Spot – Dubai
Favorite Snack – Pita chips and roasted red pepper hummus
Favorite Flower- Hydrangea
Favorite Author- Ernest Gaines
Best Advice – Listen more than you speak
Favorite Quote – ” Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”- James Baldwina