It just seems that whenever one of us is "called to action" that there are others who can be there with us. Sometimes the help is given through advice, collaboration or encouragement. Sometimes the help comes from someone who challenges our assumptions or tells us to revisit our limitations.
When one of us is called, the answer can be resounding.
Not long ago, a Kellogg Fellow colleague and I were discussing the topic of courage as an increasingly rare attribute of leaders, especially those who find themselves in hotly contentious circumstances. I knew from our previous time together that he had not only served as a policeman, union official and leader of a non-profit association, he also had battled back from a terrible health challenge. When he spoke of courage, I felt he knew what it meant.
I compared his stories to those of Betty Overton (KNFP-09) and Kent Wong (KNFP-10), two individuals with whom I work closely on social justice initiatives. Each of them, and the many other fellows who have become my allies and friends in so many shared efforts, all seem to have experienced times of trial, times when they have come under attack, and times of personal doubt.
Every one of us seems to have worked out an approach to deal with the public bombardment and the private pressures that come from attempting change in big, heavily guarded systems.
This has been one of the most important and valued legacies of our fellowship programs.
In this spirit, when you are given a call to action by a Kellogg Fellow, like those you’ll find in this newsletter, remember — you are not alone.
Over the past year, I have used the Kellogg Fellows network to bring over 50 fellows to five events, where they have been thought partners in framing policy to tackle complex issues of health, equity, justice, and education. Our network has tremendous resources to address today’s challenges — I invite you to join me in bringing the power of collaborative partnerships with Kellogg Fellows to bear on your work and your communities.