Making Sense of History to Embrace a Brighter Future

Anne Mosle | February 27, 2024 | Ascend Fellowship

While Black History Month is coming to a close, candidly, every day must include continued reflection on how we can learn from our nation’s history so that we can truly build an inclusive American dream. By applying the wisdom from our past, we can fully realize the American ideals of a free, just, and equitable society.

Last month, I sat down with US Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock – a friend and 2018 Ascend Fellow – as well as Jonathan Eig – award-winning biographer and author of the blockbuster best-selling ‘King: A Life’ – to reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Both these brilliant leaders shared profound perspectives that continue to echo in my mind and I encourage us to revisit.

At our peril, we ignore our history. Our conversation, and Eig’s book, vividly reminds us that Dr. King is not a monument – he was a man, a true human, someone who experienced self-doubt and struggles. Yet his unshakeable courage and conviction should inspire us to double down on bending the arc of the moral universe toward justice.

We need to interrogate and hold accountable our systems and structures of power – and remember doing so is an act of love and responsibility.

The world is calling for moral leadership. Even on dark days, the good news is that there is an abundance of leadership we can look to and lift up from all corners of our country, across all sectors and all disciplines. That leadership potential lies within each of us. Together, we can create the conditions and build the political will to fully embrace our power as leaders and shape the future all children and families deserve.

Let’s reflect and recommit together on what that means for each of us now – and the specific actions we can take that put our values to work. Together, we can rise to what the world is calling us to do.

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