A picture of Anita Patel.

Staff Note: Leadership matters

June 27, 2023

By Anita Patel, vice president of grantmaking

Leadership matters. Leaders shape our communities, institutions, nation and the world. They define culture, take action and make decisions that have long-standing and wide-ranging impact on people and communities.

All of us have a role to play in creating a region where each person can thrive, but the people we choose as leaders, and choose to follow, make a huge difference in our shared direction.

Leadership comes in many forms. That is why the Bush Foundation invests in leadership in all forms — people working inside and outside systems, people in formal and informal roles, institutional leaders and those not affiliated with specific institutions. We need people working in a lot of different ways to make our region better for everyone, including leading the critical fights against anti-Black racism and oppression, and for racial equity overall.

At the Bush Foundation we are committed to supporting leaders from all backgrounds. The life experience and perspectives that people bring to their roles matter a lot. We all benefit when decisions are made by leaders who represent us and can consider issues from a wide range of perspectives. That means investing in folks who have different lived experiences, skills and the curiosity to understand multiple points of view in order to create just organizations and systems.

Just as we honor different types of leaders, we must help them to grow in the ways that are right for them. The Bush Foundation is honored to support and partner with various leadership development efforts across the region to make sure people have what they need to lead well. Learn more about all the grants and opportunities we offer here.

Leading well includes the ability to work with communities to dream up solutions we may have never imagined. It means developing the skills to shift systems or create new ones to center equity in our region. It also means supporting efforts to connect leaders to one another — working for positive change is a communal experience — no one person can do it alone.

In this moment in the history of the United States, there is no doubt that we need amazing leaders. We must nurture those who are innovative, community centered and working to eradicate racism and oppression. The Bush Foundation remains committed to inspiring, equipping and connecting people leading change across our region, partnering to build the collective strength we need for a just community.