Welcome to a new episode of Leaders Link: a series of live-streamed conversations with leaders who have special reflections to share on some of the greatest challenges of our time.
In Episode 10, Lindsay talks with two special friends of Leaders' Quest. James Feagin is CEO at Detroit-based projects+PEOPLE, which promotes economic mobility and strengthens the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Co-hosting the session is Leaders' Quest Associate Jimmie Briggs - a Principal at the Skoll Foundation and an award-winning journalist covering gender and inequality.
In this open and generous conversation, James and Jimmie begin by considering why the death of George Floyd has changed the narrative about white supremacy, patriarchy and colonialism. They examine why this tragedy, out of so many others, has driven people to express, publicly, that ‘This is wrong’.
James and Jimmie share lived-experiences of being black in the US today – and their mixed emotions. Encouraged by people showing up to the front lines of the fight against systemic racism, but also asking “What took you so long?”
Their discussion covers the economic fallout of white supremacy, the inequity of the industrial prison complex, and the insidious effects of the current pandemic: Black people are dying – and Black businesses failing – at a hugely disproportionate rate.
At the end of this deeply personal conversation, James and Jimmie tell us they believe overturning history will take generations. “But today we’re seeing a step towards the realisation of what America was meant to be all along.”
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Our next Leaders Link session 25 June; 10 AM (EDT), 3 PM (BST), will feature Wendy Kopp, CEO and Coo-Founder of Teach for All (and founder of Teach for America). We’ll learn what Wendy means by collective leadership, discuss her entrepreneurial spirit and find out why she's excited about the post-COVID potential for building a better future.
To access previous sessions, and register for future ones, click here. These sessions are free and open to everyone, so do invite your networks to join!
Some of the resources shared by James and Jimmie in this session included:
- David Bernstein, The Washington Post - Sorry, but the Irish were always ‘white’ (and so were Italians, Jews and so on)
- Connie Hassett-Walker, The Conversation - The racist roots of American policing: From slave patrols to traffic stops
- Bryan Stevenson, The New York Times - Why American Prisons Owe Their Cruelty to Slavery
- Vanessa Daniels, The New York Times - Philanthropists bench women of colour. The MVPs of social change
- Ross Kerber, Helen Coster, Arianna McLymore, Reuters - U.S. companies vow to fight racism but face critics on diversity
- How the Irish became white, Noel Ignatiev
- Decolonizing Wealth