Newsletter: Here’s to Hope
It has been hard to watch the sadness and grief that have spilled out into our streets over the last week. As an African-American; as a leader; as the mom of a sweet, brown boy; and as someone who went to law school based on a belief in the power of justice, the events of the last week (from the murder of George Floyd to Christian Cooper’s Central Park encounter) are reminders of the deep-rooted pain that shapes our nation.
As many of you know, Mountaintop Consulting takes its name from the speech that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the night before he was assassinated (you can read it in full here). MLK has been a standard bearer for me throughout my life. I can remember experiencing repeated bullying in third grade and trying to explain to my bully – and to the teachers who looked on without intervening – that I was not going to fight her, “because I was nonviolent like Martin Luther King.” She was unimpressed (and has surely forgotten me and the incident). I left proud to have had a chance to invoke my hero.
Now, like almost always, MLK, Jr. provides the perfect words to guide our steps and heal our souls. In that same, foreboding speech he said: “The nation is sick, trouble is in the land, confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” Even when the times were most challenging, he found a reason to hope. Let’s follow his lead.
The widespread, mostly peaceful protests and the diverse array of people taking part give me hope that there is a budding awareness that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Despite substantial division and inequity, people are marching to remind us of our fragile, collective humanity. As we all process the sadness, I urge you as leaders to create opportunities to convert that emotion into action. Each of us must explore our biases and support those who are directly and indirectly hurt by our broken history. We can prove that our core, shared humanity is good – by being and looking for stars amidst the darkness.
Precious Williams Owodunni | President & Founder of Mountaintop Consulting
This letter was originally published in Mountaintop Consulting’s monthly newsletter. You can read the full newsletter here.
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