Leadership for a Multicultural Age – Making the Commitment: Personal, Organzational, and Political


I expected the last section of the book to have another set of principles, but it is more like a manifesto of sorts, a preamble and summary. So rather than just quote and comment, I’ll let the conclusion speak for itself:

WE ARE LIVING IN a fluid moment in history. Great cultural and generational shifts are redefining our global landscape. A colorful multicultural bazaar where many cultures intersect and many generations interact is replacing the Euro-American dominance that shaped the past five centuries. The emergence of a global culture containing the jewels of many traditions is the defining characteristic of the twenty-first century. The principles in this book invite us to incorporate new ways of leading more effectively in this increasingly diverse world: Sankofa integrates the past as we create a more inspiring future.

I to We embraces a collective sense of community. Mi casa es su casa invites generosity and advises “never take more than your share.” A leader among equals reminds us to treat every person with respect. Leaders as guardians of public values urges activism and social responsibility. Leaders as community stewards beckons us to work for the common good. The seventh-generation rule protects the young and cultivates a sustainable future. All my relatives encompasses the oneness of humanity, the familia, village, and tribe. Gracias—gratitude, hope, and forgiveness—inspires the spiritual qualities that nourish us.

Multicultural leadership principles reflect humanistic values that promote justice and equality and integrate spiritual responsibility and social accountability. The strife and poverty in our world would not exist if leaders followed these values and became the sculptors of an equitable and caring world. Multicultural leadership also implies global stewardship and the sustainability of future generations. This honors the diversity and universality of the one human family and fulfills the promise of the seventh-generation rule. Like the radiant and multicolored flowers in a garden or the prolific rainforest, diversity represents life’s vigor, variety, and unending beauty. To craft our global future, this must be our vision. Multicultural leaders must anchor our future in our most noble aspirations. This shared and inspiring vision will foster a sense of our collective human destiny —one that transcends cultural differences and builds an intergenerational circle. Like an American Indian prayer arrow, this vision will lodge goodwill in people’s hearts, bringing creative power and energy, courage and hope. Based on the understanding that we are all relatives, this vision of our multicultural future embraces our universal humanity.

As we embark on the good work of creating this future, we are confident that one day the children of the seventh generation will look back at our time in history and say that we fulfilled the Hopi prophesies. We became the universal tribe— the rainbow warriors who reflected the iridescent beauty of humankind, restored the earth, brought peace and understanding, and healed the damage caused by previous generations. Today, we rejoice in the words of the Hopi elders:

All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. We are the ones we have been waiting for. —The Hopi Elders, Oraibi, Arizona.

Bordas, Juana (2012-03-26). Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age (pp. 207-208). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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