Who We Are
Justin Michael Williams, Founder
Justin Michael Williams, 33, is an author, transformational speaker, and top-20 recording artist who has become a pioneering voice for diversity and inclusion in wellness. From growing up with gunshot holes outside of his bedroom window to sharing the stage with Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra, Justin knows well the pain of adversity and the power of healing to overcome. He has since been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Grammy.com, Billboard.com, The Advocate, Yoga Journal, and SXSW®. With his groundbreaking book Stay Woke, and over a decade of teaching experience, Justin’s message of hope and empowerment has spread to more than 40 countries around the globe, particularly through his national "Stay Woke, Give Back" tour bringing mindfulness to youth in underserved communities. Justin is dedicated to using his voice to serve; to being a beacon of hope for those who are lost, and to making sure all people, of all backgrounds, have access to the information they need to change their lives.
When Justin was 15, he went on his first travel abroad program, which changed his life forever. As the first person in his family with a passport, it empowered him to dream bigger and see a future where his possibilities were bigger than his circumstances. This inspired Justin to create the nonprofit, The Dream Bigger Foundation.
What inspires me most in life is watching people accomplish the impossible,” says Williams. “If my work and art can empower people to do that, I’ve fulfilled my mission.”
Learn more at www.justinmichaelwilliams.com
Meet Our Team
Alex Medina, Director of Finances & Flow
Before joining Team JMW and The Dream Bigger Foundation, Alex Medina, Director of Finances and Flow worked underneath the CFO at Esalen Institute where he learned how to manage a non-profit from a financial and administrative standpoint. He has a Master's in Business Analytics from the Dominican University of California. In his undergrad, he studied accounting and information systems. While at CSU Monterey Bay, he was involved in student leadership and helped create programs to promote community among residents. That experience has been directly applicable to his role as he serves all those who work within or with the organization - students, community members, team members, and partners.
When he lost his job due to the pandemic, he knew he needed to make a change. He began reflecting on the world we live in and quickly saw how much turmoil was happening in people's lives. The values that Justin and his organization share about community and self-transformation resonated with him so much.
Being able to create experiences that give people around the world the tools and knowledge to empower themselves to dream bigger than their current circumstances is one of his favorite things about Team JMW and the work we do inside of The Dream Bigger Foundation.
This team and everyone we work with are inspiring and it is so humbling to be able to connect with and motivate other individual leaders and organizations, who are doing this hard, yet worthwhile, work.
Chrissy Gruninger, Online Business Manager
Chrissy Gruninger, Online Business Manager, has worked with non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses for over 25 years. Since 2005, she has devoted her career to working with eco + social justice activists and health + wellness professionals, including Julia Butterfly Hill, Edgar Mitchell and Colin Beavan. One of the most impactful moments in her career was taking a yoga class with “lifers” at San Quentin State Prison.
As an entrepreneur, Chrissy has been working in the online world since 2010 and has seen multiple trends and platforms come and go (hello, MySpace!). Since that time, she has offered strategy and support to countless business owners, helping them build their businesses with more confidence and ease.
From California, Chrissy has called Costa Rica home since 2012. She is an award-winning author and has a Master of Arts from Sonoma State University’s Action for a Viable Future graduate program and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach. She also has certifications in yoga teaching, feng shui and health coaching.
Yoga, meditation and working towards a more equitable and equal society has been a part of Chrissy’s life for over 30 years, however the way that Justin teaches has taken her practice to another level. His commitment to ending racism and building a growth-oriented global community are just two of the many reasons why she’s honored to support The Dream Bigger Foundation and be a part of Team JMW.
Eric R. Williams, Community Support
Since 2010, Justin has not only been a good friend to Eric but also a resource of wonder and transformation. Eric didn’t know the significance of meditation until connecting with Justin and he hasn't looked back since. Having solidified and personalized his practice through Justin’s programs, Eric was keen to help Justin bring this work to those who were seeking support inside Justin’s growing community.
Here at The Dream Bigger Foundation, Eric serves the community at large as a general support channel. Everyone that is welcomed into this sprawling, glorious community makes their way to Eric’s inbox at different times in their lives, stemming from different levels of experience with this type of work that we advocate for inside the organization. Naturally, that comes with many questions, insights and shares and as support for these people, and Eric holds that space for them.
Eric loves doing this work because of the stories people share… of how they have changed the scope of their lives through Justin’s teachings. It’s so easy to feel as though life is happening to us and with this work, people are learning how to shift perspective to turn that notion around and take responsibility for their lives and our world, and that brings Eric such joy to be a part of.
Kate McCullough, Executive Assistant to CEO
Kate McCullough, Executive Assistant, has been working in customer service since 2012 and event coordination since 2016. Prior to joining Team JMW, she spent nine years working at a Learning & Development company whose mission was to help individuals work more effectively together by better understanding themselves and others. Her role was to manage customer relationships and organize team-building events within the organizations the company partnered with.
She is passionate about creating a world of mindful, spiritually open, emotionally intelligent individuals. Her focus is to help create a world where we truly love ourselves, others, and everything that makes us different and unique; where we can listen and speak to one another with respect and kindness.
As a mom to a beautiful, strong-willed daughter, Kate has a strong desire to set the best example for her and to do her best in creating a positive and empowering world for her daughter to grow up in. Justin and The Dream Bigger Foundation stands for all the change she wants to see in the world – not just for her kid, but every kid.
Kate is Justin’s right hand, and directly supports him in his day-to-day, managing his busy schedule, coordinating his meetings, travel and collaborations. She is an invaluable asset to Team JMW.
Raylean Fetterman, Heart Connector & Community Manager
Raylean’s role on the team is to show appreciation and support to ALL of our community and partners through gifts and personal outreach. With 25 years of experience in customer service, she LOVES connecting with and loving on people, it's her favorite thing to do!
Raylean has been on a path of meditating for 20 years, following every Spiritual leader you could imagine. Not until she found Justin did she find out how to put action behind meditating and transform her life.
The 40 Days to Transformation program was particularly beneficial for her in both opening new doors and giving her the confidence to get back into her passion of singing and dancing and show her two talented kiddos to follow their dreams.
After taking Justin's The Liberation Experience course her eyes were opened to the fact that we CAN end racism, something that's been deep in her heart since she read Harper Lee's "To kill a Mockingbird" as a little girl. Her love of music, her love of children, and desire to get children meditating and help people become their TRUEST selves is why she is here.
During the pandemic when the restaurants shut down she felt the urge to be of service in a volunteer sense. Being that Justin represents EVERYTHING she wants to see come true in the world, she reached out to volunteer, and soon became an official member of the team. She jumped at the chance to take on her role of gift giving and personal support to this community!
Tara Molina, Director of Giving
After 10+ years of managing programs and people in Corporate America, where she learned many valuable skills, Tara Medina, Director of Giving, couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more for her—something that would contribute to greater spiritual well-being, rather than just the financial outcomes of shareholders.
That experience caused her to go further down the yogic path and to live in an intentional coastal community in India. It was also in India where she fell in love with the daily rhythms of nature and chai, and had deep, life-changing experiences as part of the non-dominant culture.
Working with The Dream Bigger Foundation allows her to deeply connect with many different types of people, and create the emotional and spiritual maturity to bridge any divide. As the natural world thrives in diversity, Tara believes that we too, as part of the natural world, thrive when we celebrate our differences as strengths and develop humility in our perspectives.
The fact that Justin sees the deep roots of our biggest personal and societal challenges with clarity and is called to end racism in this generation inspires Tara to devote her talents, skills, and lifeforce to this organization and the movement it is birthing. As the Director of Giving, she is dedicated to making the work that Justin and The Dream Bigger Foundation are doing accessible to the maximum number of people, especially those who have been marginalized.
Meet Our Board
Daraiha J. Greene
Daraiha Greene is the Global Manager of Community Engagement and Media Partnerships for the Community & Business Inclusion team at Google. She develops relationships with external organizations, influencers, key opinion formers, and entertainment executives to shape community sentiments in service of recruitment, retention and pipeline objectives. She also advocates for underrepresented groups as she strives to positively shift the narrative of computer science through mainstream media. Because of her artistic background as a professional dancer and actress, Daraiha began Google’s ‘CS+X’ series, which highlights the intersections between computer science and other artistic industries, including music, dance, fashion, sports, and theatre. She brought Google-funded web series, GODCOMPLX, to fruition to showcase inclusive portrayals of computer scientists and led a partnership with Campus MovieFest, which yielded 6 computer science-themed shorts targeting various demographics to date. Daraiha graduated from Dartmouth College with B.A. degrees in Sociology and Theatre. She is a recent recipient of the Holiday Soul Inclusion Influencer Award and has been named to Motivation for Black People’s #Power28 list in collaboration with Blavity.
Darnell Lamont Walker
Darnell Lamont Walker is a writer, filmmaker, and artist, currently living between New York City & South Africa, calling himself a man of the world. Currently, he’s a Children’s Media Content Creator with 9 Story Media Group, writing and supporting children’s content like Blue’s Clues! Charlottesville, Virginia, most recently known for racist attacks by “white men with tiki torches,” is Darnell’s hometown and the place he developed himself as an activist, fighting for the rights and freedom of all people. Seeking Asylum, Darnell’s first film, explores safe spaces around the world for Black Americans seeking to escape American injustice. Conversations around Seeking Asylum always landed on the mental health of Black Americans, moving Darnell to create Outside The House, a documentary exploring Black mental health. His last documentary, Set Yourself on Fire, is about the global rape epidemic, shot around the world, beginning in Johannesburg, ending in New York City. Darnell Lamont Walker’s goal is to continue to support communities around the world through the arts.