3 Leadership Lessons from John Woolman

We currently face at least six pandemics in our world:

1) COVID-19

2) Racism

3) War

4) Police brutality and militarization of police

5) Climate change

6) Economic inequity

In the face of these pandemics and the related refugee crises, world hunger, bitter political divisions in this country, and international political tensions, I sometimes find myself feeling helpless and even hopeless. What can one person do in the face of these impossible challenges? Where can I find the courage and hope to move forward?

I find the eighteenth-century American Quaker John Woolman inspiring and instructive for this time.  He faced one of the impossible challenges of his time, slavery, with prayer and action.  Through prayer and discernment, Woolman discerned what was his to do.  He felt called to travel to visit American Quaker slaveholders to challenge them to free the people they had enslaved.  Woolman was both loving and prophetic. He didn’t give into hating the evildoer while denouncing the evil of slavery.  He didn’t water down his prophetic message in order to “love” the slaveholder.  How did he hold this tension?

He held it through prayer and discernment.  After visiting a slaveholder, he would return to worship, holding that person in the Light, reflecting on the pro-slavery arguments with which he had been presented.  Not getting hooked by his ego, he would systematically refute each argument, returning to the slaveholder and presenting his thoughts clearly, with humility and love.  He knew that oppression hurt the oppressor as well as the oppressed.  He met each slaveholder with love, yearning for the slaveholder’s liberation from slaveholding as well as for the enslaved people’s liberation from slavery.

What can I learn from John Woolman in this time in which I find myself?  In this time when more details about the Jan 6, 2021 insurrection in the U.S. are revealed, for example, can I love Donald Trump and the people he incited to riot, people I see as dangerous for my country and my world?  When I pray for them, I do feel compassion.  I see hurt little children inside and I long for their liberation from the fear and hatred that imprison their souls.  Will I be called to speak truth to them?  Is there hope for their transformation?  These are questions that are beyond me.  All I know is that I will continue to pray for them and I will seek to be faithful as I am led.  I also know that I will work to bring them to justice, to stop the damage I think they are doing.

Closer to home, how do I love the Trump supporters in my own family?  I know that I can pray for them.  When I pray, I am changed from an oppositional stance toward them to feeling compassion for them as I see the fears and hurts that draw them toward Trump and his rhetoric.  As I am led, I can speak to their fears and hurts, and also speak prophetically to them.  And when the conversations grow tense, I can keep returning to my spiritual grounding, keep praying that I will come from a place of compassion.  When my ego gets hooked and the conflict escalates (which happens more frequently than I like to admit), I know it’s time to take a break and center down.  Loving and speaking prophetically at the same time is a spiritual practice for me.  Will it change others?  I don’t know.  But I do know that it changes me and that it sows seeds of transformation in others that might take root and grow, either now or sometime in the future.  There is no template for loving across differences, no formula that we can follow that will result in transformation of others at the end.  There is the lifetime work of spiritual practice, practice that will change me and, through my actions, sow seeds in the world.  Whether those seeds grow is up to other people and to God.

So, in this time of multiple pandemics, how can we have courage, faith, hope, and love for all, even for those with whom we disagree? First, by staying spiritually grounded through daily spiritual practice. Second, by making the practice of loving across differences one of our regular spiritual practices. Third, by discerning in community “What is mine to do?” and being faithful in carrying out our part.

(An earlier version of this article appeared in the July 2020 Executive Soul blog.)

Freedom

Freedom is on my mind.  As the U.S. prepares to celebrate Independence Day several days from now, I’ve been contemplating my freedoms.

I enjoy the freedom to vote for the candidate of my choice.  I enjoy freedom of religion. I enjoyed the freedom of a good education, which gave me the opportunities to do work I love and to marry the person I chose.  I enjoy freedom from want, with a place to live and food to eat. I enjoy the freedom to live where I want to live and to travel to the places I want to travel.

Recently, I’ve been contemplating how easily democracy can be undermined and how freedom can be eroded.  I’ve been thinking about how my country only became a full democracy, with freedom for all, on August 6, 1965, with the Voting Rights Act. Now authoritarian forces are chipping away at that democracy.

As more information came forth this week about the insurrection at our nation’s capitol on January 6, 2021, and how close we came to having the results of a free and fair election overturned, I tremble at the fragility of democracy.  Democracy requires informed citizens who engage in civil debate and respect election results.  When an armed mob storms a nation’s capitol with the support of a sitting president, democracy is at risk.

With Supreme Court decisions that run counter to the will of the American people, I ask, with The Guardian, “Is the Supreme Court a threat to American democracy?”  Striking down New York gun laws that protect people from mass shootings, when most Americans support such laws, reveals the Supreme Court to be more a servant to the gun lobby than to the American people. And whatever a person’s opinion about abortion, a Supreme Court ruling that is at least as much about power and control and other issues than it is about protecting life is suspect.  The NETWORK Catholic lobby expressed well the need for a comprehensive understanding of issues in its statement on the Dobbs Decision:

The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will have deep ramifications in people’s lives, many of whom may not even realize it yet. Undoing nearly half a century of precedent and jurisprudence will undoubtedly have a disorienting and destabilizing impact on our laws, the provision of maternal health care, and our already fraught civil discourse. . .

With polarization and extremist violence growing in our country, people of faith have a moral duty to work toward the common good across a spectrum of issues. Catholic teaching states that a focus on one moral priority cannot lead to “dismissing or ignoring other serious threats to human life and dignity” (“Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” #29).  

For anyone who has made ending federal protections for abortion the singular focus of their political activity, we at NETWORK urge you to expand your focus to include the economic realities of women and families. Now is the time to listen to the experience of women, particularly women living in rural, low-income communities and women of color.”

I ask myself, “What does soulful leadership look like at this time?  How can I help rebuild our fragile democracy?  What is my part?”  May we all find ways to discover our part in re-weaving the fabric of democracy.

March for Peace in U.S. Cities

Julia Ward Howe, best known for writing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” in 1862, began working to heal the wounds of the Civil War once the war ended. By 1870 Howe had become convinced that working for peace was just as important as her efforts working for equality as an abolitionist and suffragette. In that year she penned her “Mother’s Peace Day Proclamation,” exhorting women to:

“Say firmly: ‘We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies.

Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.’”

Beginning in 1872 and stretching over the next decade, Howe held unofficial anti-war Mother’s Day events in New York and Boston.

It wasn’t until 1914 that Mother’s Day was declared a national holiday by Woodrow Wilson, although Wilson made no reference to peace.

Honoring the origin of Mother’s Day, the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Boston sponsors an annual Mother’s Day walk for peace to end urban violence. Tina Chery founded the Institute in 1996 when she lost her son to gun violence, and this year’s Mother’s Day walk marked its 26th year.

Chery believes that mothers need to work for peace in response to domestic gun violence in the U.S. just as much as they need to work for peace internationally.

The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute supports survivors of homicide victims and has developed a peace curriculum for area schools: “Through education, collaboration, and policy advocacy, the Peace Institute works to raise awareness of the cause and consequences of violence on the individual, the family, and the community.”

Since the white supremacist killing of 10 black people in the Buffalo grocery store on May 14 and the Uvalde, Texas elementary school killing of 19 children and 2 adults on May 24, faith leaders and others are once again calling for sensible gun laws. According to a 2018 estimate, America has more firearms (around 400 million) than it does citizens, and the pandemic has caused a giant spike in gun production since then. An FBI breakdown of active shooter incidents in the US shows a 96.8% increase from 2017 to 2021.

This month, as we have once again experienced horrific gun violence in this country, remember Howe’s words: “Disarm! Disarm! The sword [or gun] of murder is not the balance of justice.” Ask yourself, “What can I do to sow seeds of peace in an atmosphere of violence? How can I speak up when I am uneasy with the words of those around me? What is my part in influencing my legislative representatives, my president?”

[This is a further development of the May 2013 Executive Soul blog.]

5 Things You Can Do to Become a Soulful Leader for Peace

In these times of bellicose threats of nuclear war from world leaders, not to mention various wars around the world, how can one work for peace? What impact can an ordinary person have? What does soulful leadership for peace look like?

  1. Prayer and reflection. Soulful leadership for peace begins with prayer and reflection. Being spiritually grounded puts the problems of this world in perspective. Furthermore, prayer and reflection help with discernment, answering the question, “What is mine to do?”
  2. Remember. In the words of Gandhi, “Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”
  3. Know what’s effective. Political scientist Erica Chenoweth used to believe that violence was more effective against violence than peaceful protests were. Extensive research convinced her otherwise.
  4. Know the facts about military spending. When people tell you that military spending creates jobs, or that the Pentagon needs more funding, know the truth. Did you know, for example, that military spending is less effective in creating jobs than spending on education, health care, or clean energy? Did you know that the Pentagon itself has identified overspending and misuse of funds within its agency? When it conducted an internal study, it identified $125 billion in potential savings over five years. Furthermore, the Pentagon is the only major federal agency that has not passed a full, clean financial audit. We already spend enough on the military.
  5. Take action. Discern what is yours to do and take action. Perhaps you, like Erica Chenoweth, are a researcher who can discover effective strategies for peace and make them known to the world. Perhaps you are a writer who can write letters to the editor of your local newspaper and speak truth to your community. Perhaps you are an activist who can join local or national demonstrations. Perhaps you are an ordinary citizen with little time, who can call your Senator or sign online petitions. Perhaps you can make a financial contribution. Everyone’s contributions, in whatever form, make a difference.

In these times, the world desperately needs spiritually grounded peacemakers. What is yours to do?

(An earlier version of this blog appeared in November 2017.)

St. Francis and Sultan Malik Al Kamil: Leadership for Peace

As I prepare to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi in a few short weeks, I’m immersing myself in his life. At this time in the life of our world, I’m finding myself drawn to Francis’s peacemaking skills.

St. Francis exercised peace leadership. In the early thirteenth century, when Pope Innocent III rallied the troops for another Crusade against the Muslims in the Holy Land, Francis was appalled. The Crusades broke his heart.

As Francis prayed about what part he was called to play, he felt moved to travel to Egypt where the Crusaders’ army found itself at a standoff with Sultan Malik Al Kamil’s army. In the midst of the conflict, Francis felt called to cross battle lines and meet with the Sultan himself.

Cardinal Pelagius, the commander of the Crusaders’ army, at first refused Francis’s request to meet the Sultan, fearing that Francis would be killed attempting to cross to the other side. At last he relented, in part because of his calculation that Francis might be better dead than alive, no longer pestering him about making peace, when Pelagius was committed to the path of war.

Miraculously, largely due to the openness of the Sultan, Francis crossed the battle line and survived. Against the counsel of some of his generals, Sultan Malik Al Kamil agreed to meet Francis, and they had a mutually respectful conversation. While Francis, not an official representative of Cardinal Pelagius, couldn’t formally respond to the Sultan’s proposal for compromise, Francis spoke of his desire for peace and affirmed the humanity of the Sultan and his people.

Cardinal Pelagius refused Malik Al Kamil’s proposal for compromise and continued his siege of the fortress city of Damietta until its inhabitants had died of starvation or by the sword. Then he turned his face toward Cairo, ambitious to conquer that city.

Malik Al Kamil opened the sluice gates of the Nile, stranding the Crusaders’ army in the middle of the flood plain. As the days on the plain stretched into weeks, Pelagius’s army ran out of food and began to starve. Malik Al Kamil’s generals advised him to take advantage of the Crusaders and kill them while they were weak, just as Pelagius had done with the inhabitants of Damietta. Instead, Malik Al Kamil retired to pray and returned with a different response. He fed the Crusaders so they wouldn’t starve. Shocked that the Sultan’s army brought them bread instead of killing them, the Crusaders began to see Malik Al Kamil and his people as human beings, and lost the will to fight them. Subsequently, as word spread, Pope Innocent III had more difficulty mustering up an army to fight the Crusade, and the Crusade gradually sputtered out.

Because both Francis and Malik Al Kamil recognized in the other a person of deep faith and a person of peace, a way forward emerged when it had appeared there was no way.

How can the example of St. Francis and Sultan Malik Al Kamil enlighten us? How can their decision to seek peaceful resolutions within a world intent on war inspire us during the conflicts in our current world? Might we resolve to recognize the humanity in those whom we have been taught to view as “enemies” and together contemplate a better path ahead through dialogue and a commitment to work toward peace? The brave determination of the thirteenth-century peacemakers leads me to ask, “What is mine to do?” in the midst of conflicts, in Ukraine and elsewhere, today.

This is a further development of the Executive Soul blog that first appeared in March, 2017.

What Good is Praying for Peace?

Photo Credit: Margaret Benefiel

This morning, as Russians and Ukrainians begin talks in Belarus, I am praying for peace. At the same time as I pray, I find myself asking, “What good is praying for peace?” In examining my experience of praying for peace, I observe several things.

First, praying for peace changes me. I notice that, as I pray for peace, my desire to be a peaceful person increases. I notice my motivation to de-escalate conflict in my marriage, my family, my faith community, my workplace, my neighborhood, and my world growing stronger. Creative ideas about how to achieve this goal spring up, as well.

Second, praying for peace results in divine guidance about what part is mine to play. As I pray for peace, sometimes I am led to spend more time in prayer supporting activists in the streets, sometimes I am led to protest in the streets myself, sometimes I am led to write letters to my elected officials, and sometimes I am led to give money to groups working for peace. Along with this divine guidance comes a sense of freedom and energy, and the sense that I am being the best link in the chain of peacebuilding that I can be and that I don’t need to engage in hand-wringing or waste my energy worrying.

Third, praying for peace helps others. I often hear from those I am praying with or praying for how much their energy and creativity and effectiveness increased when they were the recipients of prayer (and I experience this myself when others are praying with and for me).

Fourth, praying for peace makes a difference in the world. While most of the time I can’t see the effects of my prayer, I sometimes can. Occasionally I hear of people whose minds were changed or people whose hearts were encouraged as they stood for peace in the upper echelons of power. At the times that I can’t see the effects of my prayer, I trust that it strengthens the Russian athletes opposing the war, that it encourages Ukrainians not to give into despair, that it sparks creativity in diplomacy, and that it waters a host of other seeds of peace being sown in this conflict even as I write.

Finally, my faith tells me that praying for peace is good in itself. While I can’t always know the good that comes from praying for peace, I do it because I am a follower of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and I want to follow in his footsteps.

May we pray for peace in these perilous times, both knowing the good outcomes we see as a result, and also trusting in the ones we can’t see.

Heavy Hearts and Active Hope, Part 2

Last month, I wrote in this blog about carrying a heavy heart due to the COVID surge, police killings of black and brown people, voter suppression, the undermining of democracy, and the destruction of our precious planet. This month, these continue to weigh on my heart as I add to the list the imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Last month, I wrote about “Active Hope,” articulated by Joanna Macy, as a practice to help us face these seemingly intractable problems. This month, I add Constance Fitzgerald’s work to supplement and buttress Macy’s, then close with a practical tool by Alan Seale.

In her essays in Desire, Darkness, and Hope: Theology in a Time of Impasse (Cassidy and Copeland, eds.), Constance Fitzgerald points to the intractable problems we face today as indications of the limits of the rational mind. The finest minds in the world have tried to address these problems and failed. She names our time a time of “impasse” as we seem stuck in so many arenas.

Fitzgerald claims that we need to go deeper than the rational mind can take us if we want to address this impasse. She draws on the work of St. John of the Cross and his concept of the Dark Night as a way to go deeper. For John of the Cross, she claims, the Dark Night of the Senses, when we no longer see God’s answers to our prayers or hear God’s voice or feel God’s closeness, is God’s invitation to let go of our preconceived notions of who God is and what God should do. It is an invitation to be purified of our attachments, emptied, so that there is room for God to enter. The subsequent Dark Night of the Soul, when God seems to have disappeared entirely, reveals deeper attachments and provides a further invitation to purification.

Once we have said “yes” to this invitation to let go, opening space for God, prophetic hope emerges in unexpected ways, claims Fitzgerald. We have a sense of what is ours to do, perhaps only one small step at a time.

Alan Seale’s work, “The Deep Simple,” complements Fitzgerald’s with a practical tool for going deeper that can be used with individuals or groups. Seale’s questions go deeper than the rational mind in order to open us to the hidden wisdom within.

The five questions of “The Deep Simple” are:

  1. What are three things I know to be true about this?
  2. Which of those things holds the greatest power for us to explore right now?
  3. With that thing that you choose to explore, if something new was trying to emerge or something wanted to shift, what might that be?
  4. Who is that asking you to be? What role is it asking you to play in that shift?
  5. What is one step you can take now that begins movement toward that shift?

With Constance Fitzgerald and John of the Cross’s spiritual process of self-emptying, complemented by Alan Seale’s “Deep Simple” practice, I can begin to get unstuck and take my first steps. Though my heart remains heavy, I have tools to help me move forward.

Heavy Hearts and Active Hope

            As 2021 draws to a close,  I find myself carrying a heavy heart.  Just when we thought we were coming out of COVID, the omicron variant struck.  Emergency rooms and intensive care units overflow again, deaths increase, health care workers are again stretched beyond their limits. 

            Furthermore, after the inauguration earlier this year of the first woman of color as a Vice President in the United States and a President committed to racial justice, I imagined the country would be further along in stopping police killings of black and brown people.  And I imagined more people of color would be able to vote. Instead, we got more police and vigilante killings of people of color and new restrictive laws prohibiting people of color from voting.

            And I imagined the first steps of healing the bitter political divisions in this country.  Instead, we still have people defending the January insurrection and people still questioning the validity of elections won fair and square.

            And I imagined the first steps of healing our precious planet.  Instead, legislation is being blocked right and left as our world burns.

            I find myself crying out, “How long, O Lord?”  I wanted a straight path from vaccination to re-opening. I wanted a straight path from the U.S. election to racial justice and a functional democracy.  I wanted progress toward healing our planet.  I wanted to be further along by now.

            As I search for inspiration in these times, Joanna Macy’s work speaks to me.  In the group process she uses,  The Work that Reconnects, she articulates the place of Active Hope.  Active Hope, she claims, is not a feeling but a practice.  We choose to practice Active Hope.  The three steps of this practice, 1) facing reality, 2) identifying what we hope for, and 3) identifying the steps of action that are ours to take to move toward that goal, though deceptively simple on the surface, prove powerful in practice.   As she points out, most books addressing the problems of the world focus either on analysis of the problems or on solutions to those problems.  Analysis and rational solutions get us only so far.  Active Hope, on the other hand, focuses on how to strengthen and support our intention to act.  While left-brain analysis is important, right-brain imagination, inspiration, and intention complement that analysis by providing the strength and will to take effective steps toward change. Furthermore, when right-brain imagination, inspiration, and intention are practiced in a community of like-minded souls, their power is multiplied.

            I don’t have a master plan. I don’t know the way forward on a grand scale.  My heart is still heavy.  Yet I know that I can practice Active Hope, and that doing so will make a difference in the world.  As Margaret Mead reminded us, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Learning the New Song

The old song of my spirit has wearied itself out. It has long ago been learned by heart so that now it repeats itself over and over, bringing no added joy to my days or lift to my spirit… I will sing a new song. As difficult as it is, I must learn the new song that is capable of meeting the new need. I must fashion new words born of all the new growth of my life, my mind, and my spirit. I must prepare for new melodies that have never been mine before, that all that is within me may lift my voice unto God. How I love the old familiarity of the wearied melody—how I shrink from the harsh discords of the new untried harmonies.”

(Howard Thurman)

As I have reflected on this meditation by Howard Thurman during this recent election season in the U.S., I’ve asked myself, “What is the old, tired, familiar melody in my life at this time?” I realize that it is fear, despair, obsessive worry, knee-jerk actions. What is the new song for me? Discovering it requires listening. It’s God’s invitation to something fresh and new in each moment. It requires listening, learning the melody, and then singing along. These past two weeks, since the election, have been an invitation for me to deeper prayer.

When I awoke on November 3, the day after the elections, I felt dismay and anxiety. I had wanted a landslide for the candidates I favored and watched in apprehension at what unfolded before my eyes. I felt heavy-hearted that racism had played a significant role in some major elections.

How could my dismay at what was happening be turned into productive prayer and action, rather than obsessive anxiety? As I listened for God’s prayer in me, I heard the new melody. I found myself being drawn to pray deeply that what is of God in each person in this country would be raised up and that what is not of God would fall away. I have returned to this prayer many times a day since that Wednesday morning.

As I pray, I have a sense of God working, of the good being raised up in leaders of both parties, of the good being raised up in judges to give them the courage to reject frivolous lawsuits, of the good being raised up in ordinary citizens to give them the will and the ability to distinguish truth from falsehood as they listen to the rhetoric of politicians.

I have a vision of others who are uniting in the same prayer that I am praying, holding up one another’s arms in prayer as Aaron and Hur did for Moses, so that we don’t give up when we grow weary. The vision I see includes some who are called to pray at this moment, some called to work for fair elections and protection of our democracy, some called to work for voting rights, some called to witness in the streets, some called to pray now and work tomorrow, others to work today and pray tomorrow, some to work and pray at the same time. The work and the prayer are integrated. As I listen for the new song, I continue to pray and sense how God is at work. I feel confident I will know what is mine to do when.

As I listen for the new song, my prayer also moves to those who are marginalized. I’m aware of many who have been and still are suffering deeply, of the children at the border who were and still are separated from their parents, of the black lives lost in police killings, of those in poverty especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and more. I pray that whatever is of God in marginalized people will be raised up to give them hope and remind them of their dignity when they are tempted to despair. I pray that whatever is of God in the rest of us will be raised up to give us strength and courage to fight for the protection of those on the margins.

This prayer feels deeper than any particular election. We so need the good to be raised up in each of us as we move forward now as a country, as a world. Those of us who disagree with one another, who supported different candidates, need the good to be raised up in us so that we are not tempted, respectively, to gloat or to turn to bitterness and despair. How can I personally listen for the good? How can all of us carry out respectful dialogue and find our way forward as fellow citizens seeking to re-build a democracy together?

May we each continue to listen for the new song that is ours to sing. May we all learn to sing the new melodies. The degree to which we each faithfully sing our new song will determine the degree of harmony and healing manifested among us.

[This is a further development of the November 2020 Executive Soul blog.]

Crisis Leadership

“Don’t waste a good crisis,” admonished Winston Churchill during World War II. A crisis suspends the status quo and makes possible what wasn’t possible before. A crisis reveals ways of operating that worked in the past, but which are no longer relevant in the new circumstances. At the Shalem Institute, where I serve as executive director, we wondered what we might be able to do in the crisis of COVID-19 that we hadn’t been able to do before. We wondered which of our old ways needed to be shed in the new circumstances. We knew the Chinese character for “crisis” meant both “danger” and “opportunity.” What was the opportunity hiding in this crisis for us? What was the danger? We continued to dive deep and listen, going beneath preoccupation with our own fears and discomfort to the bedrock of God’s abiding presence and guidance. We waited and listened and watched….

In the end, the crisis of COVID-19 allowed us to break through barriers that had confined us: expanding the Group Spiritual Direction program, doing significant leadership development and expanding and diversifying our team of program leaders, manifesting the next incarnation of a program for personal spiritual growth, moving our files to the cloud, making the Shalem Society gathering of program graduates affordable and accessible, and strengthening working relationships within our administrative staff, not limited by geography.

Another second crisis, that of police killings and subsequent protests, a time of racial reckoning for our country, put the United States’ original sin of racism front and center. Again, we at Shalem were called to ask, “What is ours to do?” What was the invitation for Shalem in this crisis, both internally and externally? For years Shalem, a predominantly White organization, had been working toward more diversity on its board and staff, with limited success. The time was ripe to work more broadly toward diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We took a number of steps to begin to address this issue. We still have much work to do and we have begun to look at next steps we can take toward diversity, equity, and inclusion in our organization. The crisis of police violence and the related protests in the United States have provided Shalem with the opportunity to step up and do our work. This second crisis allowed us to break through our complacency as a White organization and name the ways that we were complicit in racism and begin to take steps to become more anti-racist. We have begun a long journey, and I pray that we will have the courage and perseverance to continue.

The admonition to “not waste a good crisis” has served us well. Crises provide important opportunities. May we all have eyes to see the invitations contained within them.

This blog is an excerpt from Crisis Leadership by Margaret Benefiel, adapted and used with permission of the publisher (Morehouse Publishing, 2021).


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.