Rebuilding our Community By Dr. Andrew Calhoun, Ed.D.

November 21, 2013

A matrix of new leadership

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As the 21st century continues to unfold, we are witnessing an end of an era in which many topics that were once thought of as being untouchable are now being reconsidered. This is also a time in our society when a number of subjects that were taboo, off limits and the rule of law are being challenged. Some of our most recent controversies include marriage equality, immigration, mental health, gender issues, equal pay, voting rights, health insurance, union membership, drug treatment and the right to bear arms. Some of the changes have been well received and a huge burden has been lifted, while on others… the verdict is still out.
With each passing day, more and more issues are coming up that once set the cultural norms for our cities, communities and society in general. On one hand it is a good thing to take a fresh look at policies and practices that were applicable for one generation, but now may be outdated and obsolete. We need to keep in mind that a lot of things need to be reviewed, altered, and disappear from the books. In addition, there are some things that are not dying out fast enough.
On another hand (and this is no laughing matter), we are also witnessing a time period in which people are trying to reintroduce ideas from our distance past and even from the pages of history as some new relevant, moral or conservative belief. Many of those ideas reflect segregation, greed, prejudice, suppression of voting rights and human rights.
This era is requiring the emergence of a new kind of leadership to address the mounting list of issues facing communities and the nation. Some of the major challenges include the retirement of the baby boomer generation, social security, diversity, climate change, racism, socioeconomics, gun violence, poverty, education, future workforce, sustainably of natural resources and globalization. This new leadership must shift from competition, division, and control; but focus on building partnerships, collaboration, fostering connections and common ground. This new leadership must not be afraid of the past, but must learn from it and build upon its true values and equal rights. Now, that is not too much to ask for.
Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at, Twitter #AC53, or call 414-571-5015.