Our nation is in pain today and we don't have to pit Americans against each other. I see many patterns repeating themselves as I read about the responses to the recent tragic events. I see fear driving bad decisions. I see a new coat of paint on old, failed ideas being presented as bold, new visions. I see a national election that is often focused on asking the wrong questions.
America has always found a path forward together. This isn't about us vs. them. Against this backdrop, I feel a renewed urgency to share my stories and lessons.
While I don't have all the answers, I've learned powerful lessons in my 25 years of violence reduction work in Boston and around the country. The common thread in all the progress and solutions I've been part of started with finding the courage to listen. By listening, closely and empathetically, we were able to bring traditionally conflicting groups together, find innovative and lasting solutions and engage all of the stakeholders in the solution.
Here are some examples of the local and national coverage of the work I've been involved in over the years: The Economist, The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Newsweek and many others. This work was also featured in a Harvard Business Review Case Study.
I hope to bring you inside the dynamic, complex systems of inner city violence in poor neighborhoods. Far from a sanitized version of events, I want you to understand how I faced my own fears, prejudices and inadequacies to embrace all members of a community even, maybe especially, those I did not initially consider part of my community.
That personal transformation of perspective about who formed my community allowed me and other leaders to change ourselves and our approach to impacting our communities. It eventually impacted the lives of an entire city.
Listening requires courage. It takes real courage to listen respectfully and deeply to generate change. The urgency today is greater than ever to find a path to solutions that are so desperately needed. As I said at the beginning I certainly don't have all the answers, but I have learned that the right ones inevitably come from having the courage to listen.
I appreciate your consideration, thank you for listening and THANK YOU for your support!
Reverend Jeffrey Brown
Thanks www.studioworksvideo.com for your generosity.