Dr. King & Me
Today I woke up in the spirit of Dr. King and decided I was going to make an attempt to turn over a new leaf and unlock the mental shackles that have been plaguing me over the past few weeks. I’ve started two new exciting projects in addition to one that is on going for my own business that I am really enthusiastic about. I have to be careful not to spread myself to thin. I also (for the first time in a month) got back in the gym, and it felt great. I notice that my mood swings a lot when I don’t work out consistently. Starting today I’m going to keep on it and get my workout on regularly.
I always get a bit emotional on this day because I think about the race riots in Detroit my mother and Uncles went through, the sacrifices my people made in order to be here and the opportunity I almost wasted away several years back when I had my ‘mid-life college crisis’. In addition to thinking about what men and women like Dr. King (and there were many Dr. King’s out there) did for me and what the Consortium Graduate Study in Management has helped do for men and women in color I can’t help but honor their efforts. One man who gets lost in the conversation is Dr. Sterling Schoen a former professor from Washington University who founded the Consortium during the height of the civil rights movement.
Dr. Schoen, a white man, was a pioneer in his own right and a civil rights activist. I want to underscore activist, because he acted on his desire to level the playing field. Today the Consortium has grown into a well-recognized beacon of promoting equality and access in the business world because of Dr. Schoen and his team’s efforts. I have to say thank you for providing me the opportunity to turn my own dream into a reality (and hopefully not going to deep into debt doing it).
Finally, I want to add something here that may be a bit too personal for a blog but what the heck. Because of the conversation about civil rights that Dr. King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, etc. incited because of their actions young men and women of color like myself have had the chance to go to some of the best schools in the country and are getting that shot now. I am without a doubt a product of Affirmative Action – and not because my grade and test scores were enough to cut it – quite the contrary. I’m proud that schools are very purposeful and open about the fact that they want to attract the best diverse talent in the world to their institution, because before the 1970’s it wasn’t really a priority. I hope that for my kids it will be the same. Institutional discrimination is still very prevalent and efforts to promote equity and inclusion are STILL needed to make sure we can all live the dream that Dr. King spoke so prophetically about.