“Lead. Follow. Or, Get Out of the Way.”

Oct 26, 2020 | Woke @ Work

This blog was originally published in the October 14, 2020 Luminare newsletter, Be Lumin-Us.


“Lead. Follow. Or, get out of the way.”

This quote, alternately attributed to Thomas Paine and George Patton, is top of mind today. Not because centering the leadership philosophies of powerful white males seems appropriate when the American president just released a statement celebrating the “achievements” of Christopher Columbus – a man whose depravity is as well documented as his sense of direction – but because a truthful reimagining of the quote for this moment might be to paraphrase Stonewall Community Foundation’s Jarrett Lucas:

“Fall back and let Indigenous and Black people lead….Indigenous and Black leadership moves us closer to solutions. Get out of the way.”

Get out of the way. How can leaders and organizations do that?

Below, I’m sharing some resources and tools that I hope will support colleagues and co-conspirators for racial equity and justice in beginning to do so. By centering the voices, lived expertise, healing practices, leadership and power of Indigenous and Black people, we make progress toward the deep equity and liberation that this moment in history, and colonialism’s legacy of state-sanctioned savagery and white supremacy, requires. Equity in the Center believes deep equity to be the foundation of the Race Equity Culture leaders must inspire progress toward within organizations and in broader society. It is my hope that these tools and resources – which can support our collective work to follow or get out of the way of Indigenous and Black visionaries – will support you in building relationships and practices rooted in the wisdom, joy, energy, and purpose that have sustained Indigenous people for millennia, and people of African descent for centuries, on this land.


Centering Indigenous and Black Leadership

Resource for Allies

Other Tools/Resources

EiC Resources

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