At no other time in my years of existence have inequities seemed as stark and clearly intertwined. Together, their deadly impact and the growing systemic racism at their roots demand a shift in our individual and collective mindsets and practices to address the onslaught of these acts against humanity. In 2020, COVID-19 unleashed a set of what many called “unprecedented circumstances” across every sector—business, healthcare, education and policy.
That flashpoint inspired visionary leaders to reimagine a future world very different from the one steeped in White Supremacy and the myth of meritocracy. In this new future world, we recognize the interdependencies and interconnectedness of our individual humanity with others as the true riches they are—riches we must honor and embrace if we are to survive.
Still, far too many people cling to the constructs of Whiteness and White Supremacy, the concepts of rugged individualism or meritocracy, and their insatiable need for power. And the insidiousness of those ideas continues to bring death and destruction to all of us.
To be clear, this powerful and power-hungry perspective has no bottom. It continues to kill and steal from all of us as it normalizes inhumane actions, fear and silence. We must name it, White Supremacy, and it must end. It must end now. The systematic and structural existence of White Supremacy must end now. We must reimagine a new world.
To do that, we must reach beyond the currently accepted dimensions of leadership archetypes and Diversity and Equity paradigms. We must embrace an approach with a clearer focus on the real protagonist in our collective story— our collective HUMANITY. This, in turn, forces us to imagine individual and organizational leadership as part of a greater sphere of social action.
This path is far from utopian; it is survivalism. If we continue to accept massive death, poverty and millions of unhoused families as normal, then we must be equally prepared when death and destruction knock on our own family’s door.
What is Navigating Courage?
Navigating Courage is a humanistic approach to leading and being. Inspired by and grounded in the African philosophy “Ubuntu”— “I am, because you are”— this approach is designed to normalize courage, build and connect a community of courageous leaders and end systems of oppression. It is a call for our renewed fight for humanity in the face of oppressive systems that deprive us of our individual and collective humanity as they ensure our mutual destruction. It is led by a coalition of courageous leaders who are determined to forge a path toward greater individual and collective freedom.
I created Navigating Courage to meet the growing demand for practical support and resources for leaders and organizations ready to turn their collective outrage over injustice and inequity into action that spurs lasting social change.