"For too long we have created programs and solutions that unintentionally and intentionally support privilege. We have not turned to the people we are trying to help to understand what they need. I want to start there."

Future 50 Class of 2020

Molly Rampe Thomas

Founder and CEO, Choice Network

About: Molly Rampe Thomas is the founder of Choice Network, which is focused on securing open adoptions that are chosen by the biological parent in an environment of love and trust. The belief of the agency is that open adoptions help children maintain their culture and heritage, give them a sense of normalcy and provide honesty and inclusion for the child. Choice Network also specializes in LGBTQ adoption and is dedicated to anti-oppression work, and it identifies itself as a pro-choice adoption agency. Thomas has received numerous awards including Abortion Care Network’s Person of the Year Award and most recently the National Association of Social Worker’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her agency and work.

Prior to founding Choice Network, Thomas ran all core programs for the YWCA, including the YWCA Family Center. She holds a master’s in social work from Ohio State University.

Outside of work: Thomas also owns a company called Gia’s Network, named after her daughter. She is both an adoptive and biological mom to three children with her husband.

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “Columbus needs to recognize that we have a real issue with racism in our community. While we are enjoying low unemployment rates, our poverty rate is at 16 percent and we are No. 1 in the state for eviction filings. We have one of the highest infant mortality rates and black babies are dying at 2.5 times the rate of white babies. Studies show Columbus is still recognized as one of the most segregated cities in the nation.”

Thomas’ idea: “I think it would be powerful to host focus groups with people of color in our community to get the idea from them. For too long we have created programs and solutions that unintentionally and intentionally support privilege. We have not turned to the people we are trying to help to understand what they need. I want to start there. Let’s hear from those hurting most and build something quantifiable, lasting and inclusively beautiful.”

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