The Voices Blog

"Truth is powerful and it prevails.” - Sojourner Truth

June 11, 2020

Stop the bass

While the world is protesting Black Lives Matter, I have had my own Amy Cooper experience on my block. A neighbor threatened to call the police on my family because of the music we play.  The experience has underscored the lack of awareness around what racism is, and specifically what constitutes anti-blackness. My neighbor decries[…]

May 28, 2020


James Baldwin said, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all of the time.” Though I try to temper and channel that rage, sometimes it is impossible to keep in. The events of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Christian Cooper, and the Covid-19 virus[…]

January 29, 2020


I like many others was stunned on Sunday morning January 26th when I heard the news that Kobe Bryant his daughter and 7 other people were killed in a helicopter crash. I am a huge sports fan and the name Kobe Bryant was extremely familiar although even those who are not sports fans were also[…]

December 19, 2019

Middle-aged White Male

In working together on church, justice, and cultural work, Jess and I (Leroy) have had many conversations in airports and walks as we travel and do conferences.  I asked him to write a letter specifically to his demographic of middle-aged white men about their work in these spaces.  Here is our blog: Dear Middle-Aged White[…]

December 3, 2019

Telling Your Story

For leaders of color, as you grow in leadership you will be asked to speak at and into white initiates in the form of conferences, article contributions, or “conversations”.  As you do, there are plenty of problematic dynamics to identify. These are unique moments of pressure to join in and tell the stories of your[…]

November 14, 2019

White Hero

Be on the lookout for white heroes. Trust your instincts that these leaders are not as impressive as white folks think they are. White Hero – (n) – A charismatic leader of an organization who can captivate a white audience that builds their hero worship. White heroes are usually the top leaders in industries designed[…]

October 24, 2019

System is not a relationship

When personal or professional relationships are mediated by a system they cannot be built upon the necessary authentic, reciprocal, and vulnerable foundations. Take the hit television show Survivor, for instance. Relationships are built within the system of the game. People may have similar backgrounds or interests, but their interactions with one another are fully guided[…]

  For the work with young leaders of color within the Greater Northwest Area of the United Methodist Church we have adopted the language of “leadership identification” rather than “leadership development”. This is a strategic move. Any large predominantly white institution cannot do leadership development with young leaders of color and make the necessary changes[…]

September 16, 2019

Eye of the needle

In 1744, Wesley wrote, “[When I die] if I leave behind me ten pounds … you and all mankind [may] bear witness against me, that I have lived and died a thief and a robber.” This is countercultural to good sense today.  We are responsible to plan for the future, make sure we can take[…]

September 9, 2019

New Expression of Methodism

The Innovation and Vitality team I work with is commissioned to “New People, New Places, New Leadership.”  We have defined “New People” and “New Leadership” through community, neighborhoods, young leaders, and leaders of color.  It hit me the other day that we really have not defined what “New Places” looks like. What are the new[…]