More than 150 Echoing Green Fellows gathered in Joburg for the 2015 All Fellows Conference to refine and re-energize their leadership. Here's what we learned.
Hard Questions from Sandy Hook
Like many of you, we were shocked and saddened by the events in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. Perhaps it was the proximity to us in New York City, or that it took place in an elementary school, and certainly that teachers and students—the youngest in the school—were the victims, but much about this tragedy struck us deeply. Ultimately, very few of us have been directly affected by the lives lost just a few days ago, and yet, we are all finding a common thread of humanity, faith, and community in our shared mourning that is connecting us across the country, and even across the world.
We find ourselves reflecting on our own lives and asking challenging questions that almost seem impossible to answer.
Our hope is that we can offer you this space to share the questions you are grappling with and also to share with our larger community how you are reflecting on them. We begin by sharing with you some of the questions that are surfacing for us. Perhaps some of them will strike a nerve with you.
:: “Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose?”
:: How is it possible to maintain hope and faith when this and so many other acts of violence happen around the world every day?
:: How can I tap into this event to reflect on my social impact purpose in the world? When should I act on that reflection? Next week? Next month? Next year?
:: As a part of a community of changemakers and individuals already pushing themselves to think about purpose, social change, and world-changing solutions, should I being doing something about this tragedy right now? If so, what?
:: When is time to take action? When and how should I start driving this change that the President says we need versus sitting with the pain?
None of these questions have easy answers, nor will they be resolved quickly. But, by talking, by engaging in conversations, and by continuing to connect with the communities we live in, perhaps we can start to find ways to move forward in a positive way.
As we do, we remain inspired by stories of strength, resolve, and sacrifice by everyone at Sandy Hook Elementary and all those who put themselves in harms way every day.
The President reminded us on Sunday that we don’t go wrong when we are showing acts of kindness. Now, and always, our prayers, thoughts, and love are with the Newtown community.
Entrepreneurs face unequal challenges even before getting in an investor's door. Data illustrates disparities in the social innovation sector.
One clear way to drive change is to invest in leaders who have a direct connection to the communities they serve.