This week has been hard. Unbearably hard.
It gets more difficult to find the words to add to a space where the mixture of racial inequality, violence and injustice become the normal narrative. It becomes even more of a struggle to tap into a mindset of working towards the future when the present can seem so dismal. And the fact of the matter is, it should be difficult. It should be a struggle. The shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling echo in my mind for the sheer fact that these men won’t be going home to their families.
I don’t want to ever get comfortable or desensitized to these events. But where are the solutions?
Obviously, I don’t have all the answers but something I have been thinking about lately is how leadership needs to change. How people in power need to have a critical understanding of the factors that cause division among communities. This week I was featured in Fortune Magazine’s raceAhead column, spearheaded by Ellen McGirt vision to discuss culture and diversity in corporate America. In a previous issue, Ellen asked readers to submit questions for a panel she was moderating at the Essence Festival in New Orleans entitled Leading with Purpose. The panel included Bernard Tyson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente. I figured this was a great opportunity to find out from the leader of a well-recognized organization in healthcare, his thoughts on building a diverse next generation of leaders in health. So that’s what I asked and apparently it was a rousing success at the event.
The need for new leadership across the board is essential to changing the landscape of opportunities and justice in our country.
Don’t forget: you’re a leader right now. Think about where you can make some changes in your own communities, in how you communicate & empower those around you.