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Leadership for WHAT?!

November 30, 2012

“If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” -Lilla Watson

Throughout my time in the Master of Leadership Studies program, I have asked and been asked Leadership for what? I’m sure the answer would vary amongst my peers, but my answer came to me from a recent experience at the International Leadership Association (ILA) Global Conference. I was fortunate enough to attend the conference for credit, and was proud to be among over 50 other USD students, staff, and faculty at the event.
Among the many incredible presentations, was a keynote address from Ambassador James Joesph. I could write a whole other post about his speech, but one quote stuck out to me that I feel defines the aim of my leadership practice. “I want to be me,” he said, “without making it difficult for you to be you.” What a powerful statement! THAT is the leadership I work for. I work for a peace that is not simply an absence of conflict, but one that grants everyone equal access to all resources where conflicts are resolved with respect, not with violence.
For this to happen, it must start from within. As I continue to work for a more just world, I know that change begins with me. I must work endlessly to align the thoughts in my head, the intention in my heart, and the action of my hands. I am grateful for my time at USD, particularly because we have recently been designated as an AshokaU Changemaker Campus, working intentionally for social innovation. I will complete this academic program in May, but my work and learning will never be over because justice is not an end goal but a continual pursuit.

To learn more about USD’s designation as an AshokaU Changemaker Campus and what that means, follow the link>>

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