This has been a year of reflection and optimization on how I spend my time. With each passing day, I realize just how important it is that I spend my time on the right things.
It’s why I’ve decided to read 52 books this year (I’m at 51 so far), as it was more important to me to learn and improve myself than it was to spend time on things like watching tv/sports.
And it’s why I’ve had to regrettably say ‘no’ to a number of requests to join nonprofit boards. I’m currently the Board Chair of 48in48 and Central OAC, I’m on the Board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and I’m involved with The Children’s Museum of Atlanta and Zoo Atlanta. I’ve been very purposeful about why I’m involved in these organizations.
Six months ago Doug Shipman, President and CEO of The Woodruff Arts Center, asked if I’d be interested in being nominated to the Board of Trustees. While honored and humbled to be asked, my first reaction was that I simply couldn’t do it. My cup, as the saying goes, runneth over.
I’ve always been a major fan of Doug (case in point, the many times I’ve blogged about him,) so I was inclined to learn more and see if this was something that made sense for me to consider. Most importantly, I had to believe that I could personally make a big impact on the goals of the organization, as my personal Purpose is to have an out-sized, positive impact on the world.
The vision that Doug has for the organization, and in particular the focus on Diversity & Inclusion, is what swung me from an initial ‘no’ to a resounding, excited ‘YES!’
I’m incredibly honored and thrilled to join this Board and follow (and learn from) Doug’s leadership. To put a fine point on it, I asked Doug to share a portion of a speech he gave at an ADL event recently. I dare you to read this and not want to help Doug accomplish his, and Woodruff’s, goals.
We have to continue to reach out—every day, in every way to people who are not like us. It is hard, it is taxing, it is sometimes sad, but we are the ones who must reach! WHY US? I am reminded of one of Dr. King’s most important quotes: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”
I refuse to be indicted by that quote. I refuse to be silent. You all by being here tonight refuse to be silent. We speak through our works, we speak through our efforts, we speak through our engagement. And it is the deepest kind of work and engagement. It is reaching to touch one another’s hearts. I love ADL’s program “No Place for Hate” and that idea is powerful. A place that has no place for hate, is a place for love, is a place for understanding, is a place for joy and happiness.
And that place with no hate and lots of love. It is for everyone. It is for Jews and Gentiles and Muslims and Hindus. It is for Gay and Straight and Trans. It is for Rich and Poor. It is for newly arrived immigrants and Mayflower families. We cannot give up on each other, we cannot write “them” off, because we share their humanity. We know people can change, we are willing to do the work.