I was recently featured in the the Bill and Melinda Gates Alumni magazine. Enclosed is a portion of the interview. Thanks for subscribing to the Navigating Courage Blog. Today is a great day to Navigate some Courage.
Question: Part A: In social change work, urgency is talked about as a tool of white supremacy that can reinforce existing power structures and bypass the needs of marginalized individuals and communities.
I believe the sense of urgency within a white supremacy construct is, in fact, often the desire “to move on” quickly or to find an easy answer. In my experience, that sense of urgency is not steeped in a burning desire to dismantle the power structure, the systemic policies or privileges associated with people who espouse to be White. This reality gets to the core of Navigating Courage because it takes courageous actions and actors willing to disrupt and dismantle a system that impacts other humans. We must all be outraged against all oppressive acts in order to begin to Navigate Courageously in our individual and collective spheres of influence and power.
Question: Part B: When working with leaders, how do you honor the time it takes to develop thoughtful, strategic, and inclusive plans while also conveying the sense of urgency needed to address these pressing issues?
In order to re-ground ourselves in our individual and collective humanity and shift our mindsets, leaders must first look in the mirror. They must honor the time it takes them to develop a thoughtful, strategic and inclusive approach to their own leadership.
I believe opportunities are presented every day, in every human encounter, to change the world. We talk about unconscious and conscious bias, and while both exist, the greatest super power we all hold, is the gift of being consciously aware of both our actions and inactions at every moment. Try it. It’s exhausting. It is laborious; it takes courage. That is the essence of what I mean when I say, “Be Human.” It is about constantly seeing your own humanity in its totality (good, bad and ugly) and creating space for others to do the same.