There is no debate. We need leaders working creatively to solve problems while addressing equity and justice. The inequities exposed by COVID-19, the reckoning around racial justice sparked by the murder of George Floyd and threats to Native sovereignty all underscore this fact. In all of these, we see the need for leaders who can create entirely new systems and those who can transform existing ones.
Of course, when we talk about leaders, we mean all those who use their power to make change. Their positions may be formal or informal, working inside or outside of systems. It is not titles, but actions that make leaders.
The 2021 Fellows are committed to deepening their ability to drive equitable, large-scale change that makes our region more just. They are ready to dig deep, transforming their own leadership practice to get to the best version of themselves in service of their communities.
While Fellows are not selected based on specific issues, it is clear that justice is a through line for this class and equity is the spark that motivates these leaders to grow. These new Fellows are working for economic restoration based on tribal traditions and values, for culturally grounded health care, for reimagined schools that uplift every student to their full potential.
In a difficult time for our communities and the world, we are inspired by the vision and optimism of these new Fellows. As you read about them, we hope you also find inspiration and ideas for action. Please reach out to the Fellows if you see opportunities to connect. No one can do this work alone. At the Bush Foundation, we invest in people working toward change so that together, we can make our shared world better.