Planting Seeds for Growth and Leadership
Since we sent out the New Normal post in July, I've had more email and face to face conversations about race and America with non-African Americans than I've had in my entire life.
Including the exchange within my Georgetown University community of coaches, I've had 2 face-to-face discussions and 17 email exchanges. 19 total. This number speaks volumes to me in its very existence and size. Each interaction has reaffirmed my belief in human goodness and the significant work we have in front of us to understand and to be a stand. So how do we move forward? What do we do next?
Here are a few ideas:
Start or join a conversation about this topic.
In the way that weather and other topics are in the news, wade in and have a conversation about this topic. There are so many angles to take: Policing in America, Black Lives Matter, White Privilege, Human Nature and the isolating effects of familiarity. There are lots of articles available with interesting insights.
Pick an entry point on this topic and initiate conversation.
Be a part of efforts to improve how we live and interact together that are already underway.
Several people have expressed an interest in doing something productive now. I submitted an application to mentor high school students as part of the National Black MBA Association's Leaders of Tomorrow program. This organization does a great job helping African-American high school kids live up to their potential.
I reached out to our elementary school PTO president with the idea of starting a parent group to use books, movies and other mediums to discuss diversity and familiarity among the races. Our kids are in middle school and old biases and narrow ways of thinking have already crept into the interactions they're having among classmates. These activities are low hanging fruit for me. Doable next steps.
Identify areas where you can insert yourself in ways that best fit you and leverage your talents.
An organization, role and avenue of interest is well within your reach.
Get up to speed on the topic.
I'm African American and new to the facts and stats of what's emerging today. I have the nail of my pinky toe in the water and would like to be more fully immersed in facts and perspectives. If you are in a similar boat, it's a great time to bone up on the topic.
We have great minds that, when informed, can be powerful.
START SOMETHING NEW
Leveraging our ability to create anew, chart a new path forward.
Our collective American issues with this topic are not insurmountable. In fact, I believe there are lots of ideas, fully vetted, that could make a difference.
We're working to develop a problem statement and the criteria for high potential ideas to advance for full evaluation as the beginning steps to taking systematic, sustainable action. We'd like to get interested people involved to generate ideas, prioritize them and then work the top 1-3 ideas to ground. Once aggregated, our goal is to take the ideas to the people/organizations who can execute them (or to implement them ourselves). We'd love fresh sets of eyes to provide feedback on crafting the problem statement and squishing around with the ideas. Please send me an email if you'd like to join us.
I'm not sure where this journey will take us, but we're willing to put effort in to see what's possible. The visceral level feeling to do something spurs us forward. I know it can spur you too.
Growth and leadership through love in action are inside all of us.
Let your light shine!