The vitality of a democracy is dependent upon widespread and active civic participation and the presence of a strong and healthy public discourse. Civic participation, however, becomes progressively difficult in an increasingly fast-paced, technologically addicted society in which communication is instantaneous but often unconscious, superficial, and abbreviated.
As discourse deteriorates, our ability to weigh the perspectives of those around us, to comprehend the values and needs of others, to act ethically and empathetically, and to maintain the integrity of a healthy society also decays.
We believe that educators and educational institutions have too often minimized or shied away from meaningful opportunities to promote critical self-awareness and civic agency in and out of the classroom. Although we do not wish to undervalue the importance of academic rigor, we believe that educators have a duty to equip young people with more than core subject knowledge and pre-professional training. In fact, if done effectively and fearlessly, we believe education can and should function as the practice of liberation.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF leadership
Traditional leadership training models often privilege productivity over sustainability, ambition over compassion, the spoils of rugged individualism over the actualization of the collective good. We, however, believe that cultivating personal agency need not be achieved at the cost of safeguarding a better world.
We seek to cultivate leaders who stand at the confluence of awareness, accountability, and agency--who are critically informed, politically accountable, and unapolgetically powerful.
Awareness without accountability creates resentment and bitterness toward the world.
Accountability without agency breeds self-loathing and helplessness within the world.
Agency without awareness garners recklessness and unleashes abuse upon the world.
What we need now is a generation of leaders whose awareness lies between ignorance and paralysis, whose accountability lies between irresponsibility and martyrdom, and whose sense of agency lies between sentimentality and carelessness.