Positive Deviance

It’s February and I feel a little like Patrick Mahomes on Super Bowl Sunday, not quite at 100% but still in the game and doing my best to lead by example. Honestly, I don’t follow sports as closely as others might, but I do admire the passion and commitment of team work that is often exhibited by some of our top performing athletic teams. Many of us have spent innumerable hours reading books and attending seminars on how to successfully operate in and/or lead a team. Humanity is a pretty big team and we are still trying to figure out how to co-exist with one another and be good stewards of our planet’s resources. 2023 has only just arrived but the headlines have been all too familiar. The abuse of power that led to Tyre Nichols death compounds many decades of similar injustices. Our collective post-traumatic stress is triggered and we begin to see the flashes of others lost, family, friends, colleagues and the weight of those losses bear a heaviness in our hearts and souls that is often far more than any one of us can carry. And so we must turn to one another for support. We are a team. We are THE team that will maintain hope in the face of daily injustices. We will fight for justice for Tyre Nichols and his family and we remind ourselves that we will overcome, as the Black National Anthem calls us all to do in this struggle for our humanity. There is beauty that surrounds us and we will lift up the light of our joy in the face of darkness so that none of us are lost.
Michelle Burton
Michelle Burton, PhD, Deputy CEO of Community Health Councils, Inc.
We must turn to one another for support. We are a team. We are THE team…

Black History Month

In recognition of BHM 2023, we asked team members how they celebrate their Black heritage? To kick us off, I will share a story about celebrating Kwanzaa. When my sons were still very young, I started a tradition for our family of celebrating Kwanzaa which starts the day after Christmas on December 26th and ends on January 1st, usually with an awesome feast of traditional dishes. I loved this time of year and we often celebrated with other friends and family, assigning each child a role to play in reading the Kwanzaa principle and lighting the corresponding candle on the Kinara. Each year, the boys would grow a little bigger and a little wiser in their knowledge and practice of being in community with one another and their friends and family. Happy Black History Month everyone!