How to lead when America is burning

Taking peaceful action to eradicate racial injustice, human indecency, and economic disparity

Photo courtesy of the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative

In the past 31 years of my career, I have deliberately avoided broadcasting and grandstanding when it came to social and political moments.

Now it’s different. America is burning, both figuratively and literally. Curfews are standard practice. The origin of “curfew” comes from the French word “couvre-feu.” This literally means cover fire.

And as a thought leader, adviser, coach, and the founder of several diverse professional communities, I can no longer cover the fire with politeness and positive thinking.

The fires of racial tension, human indecency, presidential malice, and economic disparity have risen to perilous levels. We must take peaceful action to eradicate these destructive systemic problems.

The horrific treatment of George Floyd and countless other citizens, coupled with our U.S.  government’s inability to lead with dignity and compassion, is forcing me to take a stand.

Please know that I will not stand for any divisiveness, vitriol, discrimination, or acts of violence towards other sentient beings within our communities.

To that end, I commit to creating even more safe spaces where we can co-create right action. And I hope you will join me and lead from the front.

Effective Thursday June 4, we are launching a series of five Zoominars. We call them “The Return to Humanity.” This private gathering of leaders is a safe forum for sharing, grieving, and taking conscious action to restore human rights to our communities.

You are one of those leaders. This is your opportunity to be real, to collaborate, and to share resources that will help you shift the collective consciousness of our organizations.

If you are interested in participating, email Callyn to register.

The only investment is your time and compassionate willingness to contribute and listen. We also are encouraging you to make a sizable donation to your favorite human rights organization.

Let me close with two resources that may help you take right action today:

This HBR article contains a list of resources and examples of human “right actions” you can take.


This 5-minute video from Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 historic call for peace.

 He captures my sentiments:

“What we need in the United States is not division, hatred, violence or lawlessness. What we need is love, wisdom, compassion, and justice towards those who still suffer in this country, whether we be white or black.”

Join me in these important conversations. Email Callyn to register now.

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