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Christopher Anne Easley, Ph.D.
Former executive in higher education, Business Consultant, Full Professor in management and Writer
Former executive in higher education, Business Consultant, Full Professor in management and Writer
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Good Afternoon:

You are invited to attend a free webinar on GLOBAL LEADERSHIP, on September 27, 2017, at 3 P.M. KSA, 12 P.M. GMT, 7 A.M. CST and 8 A.M. EST.  For all other time zones, please Google and compare your respective time zones.

The webinar is co- sponsored by Madinah Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship (http://www.mile.org/) and Enlightening Management Consultants, Inc. (https://enlighteningmanagementconsultants.com/).  

Registration is at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/9131001350714381313.

Foundational principles for the webinar are based upon my book "Leadership for Global and Systemic Change:  Beyond Ethics and Social Responsibility", released in November 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan.

A description of the webinar is as follows:


"Corporations and other organizational entities have the abilities and resources to drive deep systemic change in a world that critically needs more aggressive change agents. Our world continues to be in crisis and globally people continue to suffer. The issues we face in 2017 suggest the need for different strategies and more committed people. This webinar posits the proposition and rationale for business leaders across the globe engaging more aggressively in addressing the issues that are severely plaguing nations. In many cases, the resources of corporations and their leadership out pace those of governments. Additionally, the critical core competencies leaders need and the first steps and strategies for developing these competencies are identified. Equally important, a beginning conversation ensues regarding the value propositions for leaders and their respective organizations when they make the intentional choice to make a difference in our world."


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The Midterm Elections: An Opportunity to Bring About Systemic Change

Setting the Context

Today, I was reading an article that addressed recent issues and exchanges between the two Florida gubernatorial candidates. The issues that were being addressed to me represented horrible testimonies as to how too many of our elected officials (or want to be elected officials) are failing to value humanity. These issues also amplified how too many people continue to be ‘othered’.

The term othering is often used to connote difference and will incorporate subtle and not-so subtle references that demonize and dehumanize groups who are “different”, which for some (particularly when justifying the need to retain power and privilege) further justifies attempts to exploit these “inferior” others (Robinson-Easley,2014).

Othering occurs on a global scale. People are suppressed, jailed, or worse, killed because they are not members of the ‘dominate’ majority, regardless of how long they have lived in and contributed to a country.

Dr. bell hooks (1995) posited that the subtle issues that drive people to suppress others will emanate from spaces and perceptions of systems of domination—racism, class elitism, sexism, and imperialism; systems which should be acknowledged as behaviors capable of wounding the spirit (hooks, 1995). Dr. hooks (1995) also suggested that damaged spirits rarely choose liberation and/or change (hooks, 1995).

Yet, liberation theologians suggest that we cannot ignore these realities because they drive the need for us to intentionally utilize our cultural points of reference for developing an attitude of liberation (Hopkins, 2005). In other words, we have a choice to not be ‘othered’ and dominated by ‘systems’ of domination.

An Attitude of Liberation

We are living in a world that has to change. The actions of a few cannot continue to cause a level of global pain that should not be ignored. Equally important, we should not numb ourselves to sleep in hopes that this global pain will go away. Regardless of an individual’s role in life, all people must stand up and exercise their rights to contribute to a change process that drives an equal playing field for all people.

Or, as Frederick Douglas once said…

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.”


So, what does that mean for people in the United States as we embark upon Election Day? How can we demonstrate our resistance to the injustices we see? How do we demonstrate an attitude of liberation?

The United States’ Midterm Elections

The list of issues we have experienced since the last election is long but more important have the opportunity to debilitate this country. For example, one of the recent issues is how far many politicians in the United States are willing to go in order to take away basic services and/or programs to which people have contributed all of their working lives. The propositions are prime examples of a reckless attitude towards humanity indicative of many layers of “isms” that cannot continue to be in control. To move beyond subtly marginalizing people to overtly invoking initiatives that privilege the wealthy and impoverish other classes should not be a value of this country.

More importantly, these politicians need to understand that they ‘serve’ at the pleasure of the people; a reality that many have obviously forgotten. And, the same concept holds true for countries who continue to elect dictators who hide under the façade of a democracy only to get into office and suppress people at even higher levels.

When the powers that lead our global society (be it government, corporations, or any other form of organizational structure) fail to create a climate that values humanity, they are out of alignment. However, there is positive redemption through constructive transformation—a transformation that must move beyond band aid approaches to profusely bleeding issues (Wink, 1992; Robinson-Easley, 2012).

In the upcoming Midterm elections we have the opportunity to begin to right an enormous wrong. Even as some states attempt to negatively impact the voting rights of people, we have to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to voice their concern through their vote. Study the issues carefully, study the candidates carefully and read in between the lines what is being said and equally important what is NOT being said. Use discernment in your decision to support a candidate. Believe that there is power in numbers.

There is a brashness of actions that are occurring in the US that defies our constitution, our democratic rights and equally important our fundament rights as human beings. The name calling, support of racist actions, efforts to tear down our democracy, demonize our freedom of speech and attack our journalists are actions that are being systematically instituted on a global level.

Yet, in the United States, this upcoming election provides people with the opportunity to demand changes in the behaviors that are negatively impacting our country, globally embarrassing us, and have the potential to remove the rights we have fought for in our country! Sometimes the pains people have to go through are wake up calls to their inherent powers.

Paul Freire once suggested…

“Liberation is thus a child birth, and a painful one. The man or woman who emerges is a new person, viable only as the oppressor-oppressed contradiction is superseded by the humanization of all people. Or to put it another way, the solution of this contradiction is born in the labor which brings into the world this new being: no longer oppressor no longer oppressed, but human in the process of achieving freedom. (Freire, 2006, p. 61)”

Vote…it is your opportunity to bring about change! Vote early; do not engage in the chance that something could go awry during Election Day. Help make a change and equalize the playing field. Take a neighbor or friend with you to vote to make sure we are turning out in the country in numbers. We cannot allow the racism, sexism and all other negative behaviors to continue in our country and in our world. These people do not represent the majority or the majority’s values. But if we are silent in our protests, they will win in the end.


References

Douglas, F. https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/18943.Frederick_Douglass?page=5

Freire, P. (2006). Pedagogy of the oppressed. (30th anniversary ed.) New York: Continuum Publishing Co.

Hooks, b., (1995). Feminism: crying for our souls. Women & Therapy, 1 (1-2), 265-275

Hopkins, D. N., (2005). Black theology of liberation, New York: Orbit

Robinson-Easley, C.A. (2012). Our Children, Our Responsibilities: Saving the youth we are losing to gangs, New York: Peter Lang

Robinson-Easley, C.A. (2014). Beyond Diversity and Intercultural Management, New York: Peter Lang

Wink, W. (1992). Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, Minneapolis: Fortress Press




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Be Careful of the Narrative...As we read about global as well as national events, be aware of how the narrative is being constructed and who is leading the narrative. Far too many people rarely question the 'narrative' as it develops, the character and past of those constructing and mediating the narrative and the subtle suggestions of how events are going to play out. Far too many follow along, and do not question the credibility and veracity of those who are talking the loudest. Look between the lines of what is being said and the plausible political motives of why something is said. These actions take discernment, belief in your own abilities to seek the truth and a high level of critical thinking. The stability of our world is depending on our ability to take a high road in our assessments and subsequent actions.
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A perspective for which I believe we need to be reminded...
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It is noteworthy to read McCain's comments. And, for those who voted for this administration, remember, when the policy cuts that attack the very benefits we need occur and the negative impact from the supposed tax reforms manifest, understand supporters; there are no (with the exception of the legislators you elected supporting this nonsense) exception tickets.Supporters of this administration as well as non supporters will both reap the
negative outcomes. We need to think hard about what we are allowing to be pushed through. And, equally critical we need to ask and get answers as to why there is such as concerted effort to destroy the middle and lower classes, import harm to people of color and willfully attack policies that protect women, children and our environments. In other words, why are we supporting destructive forces?
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