Love One Another: A Leadership Series

Written on by Michael Harper, Esquire

Today, Voice and Vision is launching the first in a series of leadership initiatives to encourage understanding, awareness, and action around reforming education, healthcare, and criminal justice.  This Leadership Initiative Series explores the Tri-System:  the various pathways in our schools, healthcare, and criminal justice system, which can contribute to success in life or a failure to reach potential.   Common themes along these pathways form the individual topics of this series, and include such topics as mental health, substance use disorder, disabilities, bullying, truancy, juvenile justice, and others. The Series uses a facilitated discussion group format to lead participants through a reflective process for each topic, one at a time. Once knowledge and perspective are gained, the conversation shifts to answering the practical question, “What will I do?” 

In all of these various pathways, children who are Black and African American are disproportionately affected in a negative way.  Therefore, Forum One in the series addresses systemic racial injustice.  As a White person who grew up in the South during Jim Crow in the 1960’s, my family often witnessed racism.  In response to my questions, adults whispered to me, “This is wrong, but it’s just the way it is. We can’t change it.”  Of course we can change it.  And we can change it now.  Not completely, but we can make significant progress, right now.  After over 400 years of tragic racial injustice, today there is a critical mass of persons of good-will standing ready and willing to take the next step toward equality.  After centuries of lacking clarity, conviction, or both, Providence has intervened to prompt countless Churches, Corporations, Colleges and Communities to have important and uncomfortable conversations. 

Love is action… it’s what you do.  So, Voice and Vision is releasing “Love One Another:  A Leadership Initiative Series.”  These discussion guidelines help catapult heartfelt discussions into practical action in our community.   Forum One is on Racial Injustice, with more topics to follow.  Click here to see these guidelines you can use to start your own discussion group with family, friends, and co-workers.  Join others in exploring that next step, in whatever way you are most comfortable.

“Loving your neighbor requires first knowing your neighbor.
Knowing your neighbor breeds empathy.
Empathy removes fear and thus provokes the truest of love.
This love is not the goal…it is the prerequisite to a life worth living.”
Joshua Swodeck

Original Image by Jon Tyson: jon-tyson-UK61KZPnpyY-unsplash.jpg

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