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Apr30
Clippers, Lakers and the Immigration Boycott
My town of Los Angeles is not short on craziness today. Following are the three stories that have everyone’s attention. All three events - critical playoff wins by the Clippers and Lakers and an immigrant boycott - have made LA-LA land just that.

First the Clippers move to within a game of winning their first playoff series since -- well since basketball was invented in Springfield, Mass. These guys are for real and have been all season. They take a 3-1 lead over the Denver Nuggets with their win today.

“The Clippers ended a 13-year road playoff drought and moved within one victory of the franchise's first series win in 30 years by beating the Denver Nuggets 100-86 Saturday night.”

Miracle number two. Kobe Bryant takes 14 shots – two fewer than Lamar Odom and about 30 fewer than he averaged this season. Fortunately for the Lakers, one of those shots came as time ran out in regulation and one came to close out overtime as the Lakers took an improbable victory from the higher seeded Phoenix Suns. It was a crazy game with Bryant spending a fair amount of time on the bench in foul trouble. For the third game of the series the high scoring Suns were heldkobe ot win.jpg below 100 points. Hmmm…..who knew that passing, team chemistry and defense could win playoff games? Is it a new era? Bryant’s leadership, previously non-existent, may be the difference.

“The Los Angeles Lakers may no longer be a one-man team, but they know where to go with the ball when the game is on the line.”

Photo from Lucy Nicholson – Reuters

And number three, and not sports related but a big topic here in LA. From the New York Times

“In Los Angeles, the police prepared for hundreds of thousands of people to attend demonstrations, while smaller rallies were expected in other West Coast cities. Some advocates in Los Angeles have pressed for a full boycott, while other leaders there, including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles, have urged a milder approach.

Jesse Diaz, a rally organizer in Los Angeles, has called on people to avoid buying or selling products, and to skip work or school. He dismisses any division over the question as ‘wishy-washy.’In an earlier march, Mr. Diaz said, the crowd went ‘crazy’ when he announced plans for the boycott. ‘You could just tell these folks were ready to boycott,’ he said.”

And from the Los Angeles Times

“Authorities are preparing for hundreds of thousands to march down one of L.A.'s most storied streets, following a route between MacArthur Park and the Miracle Mile that's a microcosm of the city's ethnic and economic diversity.”

Read more coverage on the battle over immigration.

Does anyone even know or care that the Anaheim Angels lost on a wild pitch in the ninth inning or know that the Anaheim Mighty Ducks trail Calgary in the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs?
Apr27
Invisible Children is Viral

Editor’s Note: Thanks to my daughter Macy for this guest post. Macy just finished her freshman year at Brigham Young University yesterday – on her 19th birthday. On her birthday wish list was an African bracelet – come to find out, to support Invisible Children. Happy Birthday Macy. She arrived at our home late morning after packing all day and all night and then driving from Provo, Utah to southern California.macy BYU.JPG

I am passionate about the great message and work of Invisible Children. The guys from Invisible Children came to BYU at the end of February. I found them working a small booth in our student union. I stopped because of my interest in Africa and humanitarian aid. They had attracted a small gathering of people. The booth was manned by college kids, many from California and so we had something in common besides our interest in a good cause. I also found out that they were on an internship taking the Invisible Children mission to college campuses across the U.S.

My friend and I bought a DVD and were given six more and asked to tell the story in our dormitory. Based on what we already knew, we were happy and enthusiastic to pass it on. 

But then we went to our rooms and watched the movie and it became a part of our lives – not just another cause. We knew we had to spread the message that the DVD so powerfully tells. Since that week we have had a showing of the DVD every Thursday and this last showing had more than a thousand people attend. We have been spreading the word by sending the movies to our friends. We have been busy on Facebook passing the word to friends at more than 100 colleges including my group of more than 500 college students that follow Rwanda.  I sent the DVD to friends at Sonoma State and Cal State San Marcos. And so it goes.

The DVD is made to be easy to share. It comes with a wall-mounted holder. We put it on the walls of our dorm floors and told people to take it and watch it. If anyone was thinking about stealing it, I am sure their mind changed after watching it. It is just too powerful. It not only inspires but motivates you to do something. So people took it and watched it and returned it to the holder. We also put up posters in the dorms.

I encourage everyone to buy the bracelet, register your email and plan on the Global Night Commute on April 29th! It is a great way to get connected. When you register you can type in your location and it will find other people near you that are going to walk on April 29th. Registering is important. The list of names will be sent to Congress. Be sure that your name is on it. 

If you have any questions, ask your kids or anyone under 25. It is great to be a part of a community of young people helping young people. Don’t you want to feel great too?  And young?


My Dad said I should say thanks to Seth Godin and a guy named Chartreuse even though I don't know who they are. So
thanks  And of course thanks Tim for helping tell this story. And hi Mom, Dylan, Truman & Beecher.

 
 
Apr15
Jackie Robinson - Courage, Character and Self-esteem
April 15 sticks out in our mind as income tax day. Here is a more pleasant thought for the mid-month of April. 

On April 15 in 1947, Jackie made his big-league debut against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field for the Dodgers in
Brooklyn. It changed baseball.  Itjackie Robinson.jpg changed the United States. To commemorate this historic event, Major League Baseball has named April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day to honor number 42, who changed baseball forever when he broke the color barrier.

Robinson was a contemporary and enjoyed a deep friendship with Dr. Martin Luther King. Both men shared a strong commitment to change and to making the world better for all people. Both men mattered and should be remembered and studied as leaders.

As the first African American to play baseball in the Major Leagues, Robinson faced tremendous pressure in life and in baseball. It was as much his leadership in life as it was his leadership on the baseball field that made him such a great role model for all people. Jackie Robinson believed and lived nine values. These guided his life, on and off the diamond.

  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Teamwork
  • Persistence
  • Integrity
  • Citizenship
  • Justice
  • Commitment
  • Excellence

"A life is not important, except in the impact it has on others' lives."
-- Jackie Robinson

That is the essence of leadership.

To know more, check out the Jackie Robinson Foundation and consider these two books about Jackie Robinson and his life:

J robinson book.jpg"How to be Like Jackie Robinson: Life Lessons from Baseball's Greatest Hero"

"What I Learned from Jackie Robinson"

Mar14
Learning from Slobodan Milosevic's Destruction
Slobodan Milosevic, former President of Yugoslavia was found dead in his cell on March 11, 2006 in the UN war crimes tribunal's detention center. As noted in a great editorial in the Washington Post, milosevic poster defaced with mud

“The life of Slobodan Milosevic offers another lesson in how one individual can shape the course of history.”

Milosevic, who came to power as Yugoslavia emerged from communist rule at the end of the 1990s, flamed racial tension and promoted ethnic cleansing that resulted in brutal civil war and the deaths of 200,000. The editorial notes that while contemporary political leaders Nelson Mandela and Mikhail Gorbachev sought peace in highly charged environments…..

“Mr. Milosevic was the antithesis of those great leaders. More than is generally recognized, at least in his own country, he was personally responsible for the most destructive conflict, and most terrible atrocities, recorded in Europe since World War II.”

My hope is that the life and death of Milosevic reminds us that the those who use hate, fear, intolerance, force and violence in their quest for power and authority do not lead but eventually fail. It was Gandhi who said,

“Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.”
Feb 8
Coretta Scott King First Lady of Civil Rights
More than 10,000 mourners gathered at a Baptist church in Lithonia, Georgia, to pay tribute to Coretta Scott King, a champion of racial equality and the widow of Nobel peace laureate Martin Luther King Jr.

Corretta King funeral.jpgHer  funeral, held at a Baptist church in Lithonia, Georgia,

“drew a "who's who" of the political and entertainment worlds and the U.S. civil rights community.”


If Rosa Parks sparked the modern civil rights movement, Coretta Scott King was the first lady of the U.S. civil rights movement.
Continue Reading
Jan18
Glory Road Story is Glorious
By mere coincidence I watched the movie Glory Road on Monday evening, MLK Day. The subject matter and timeline of the story provided a different lens to the racial issues of the mid-sixties and those that brought positive change to the situation.

glory-road.jpgGlory Road follows the path of Texas Western University (currently UTEP) basketball team in racially charged 1966 and is based on the true-story of Texas Western coach Don Haskins, who was the first coach to deploy on all-black starting line-up for a college basketball team in the NCAA national championships.

It is an inspiring story of courage and leadership. The movie has received mixed reviews and rated 6.1 on a scale of ten but still was the top box office draw.

More importantly than the how the story was portrayed by Hollywood is the story itself. Texas Western was a small school from West Texas with no basketball tradition, an unproven coach and an all-black starting team. It was an underdog all year long but overcame the unimaginable when it not only challenged but defeated the reigning elite all-white powers like Duke and Kentucky.
Continue Reading
Dec20
The Rock Star and the Nerd
Strange bedfellows indeed -  rock start Bono of U2 and famed nerd Bill Gates of Microsoft. Gates and his wife Melinda and Bono were named persons of the year by Time magazine.
 
Time noted that while sudden disasters grab the headlines, other tragedies unfold daily. time bono gates.jpg

"And who is proving most effective in figuring out how to eradicate those calamities? In different ways, it is Bill and Melinda Gates, co-founders of the world's wealthiest charitable foundation, and Bono, the Irish rocker who has made debt reduction sexy," Time's managing editor Jim Kelly writes.

It is fascinating to me that such an odd couple could share this distinction. What is important is not their differences but their shared commitment to make the world a better place. In this they are one. Their hope for a better world brought them together in 2002. At that time, Bill and Melinda happened to be two of only a handful of baby boomers that did not know and worship U2. Maybe that is why it worked.

Gates and Bono play their hands well and use their strengths. Bono uses his celebrity, influence, charisma and unworldly energy to meet and cajole world leaders. His ability to gain access to top world leaders resulted in the forgiveness of $40 billion in third-world debt owed by the poorest countries of the world. To his credit, his issues have not been political. He is equally comfortable and passionate talking to liberal, conservative and in between. His agenda is a solution not an ideology. His aim, an equal right to food and health for everyone.

Gates on the other hand has money. Lots of it. And to his credit, in 2005 he gave a bunch away for good causes. His concerns are education, global health, improving public libraries and supporting at-risk families.

As two pop icons from two different worlds, their reach and influence is far and diverse. Their message resonates as noted at Chingy84

“The coming 12 months are a test for us all - especially the leaders of G8 nations, whose vision and resolve have never been more on the line…..History's judgment will be harsh if we fail, precisely because we are the first generation with the power to succeed.”
Nov22
Murrow
Over the weekend, I fought through the movie going masses that were looking for sorcery from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire or in line to see a tribute to the Man in Black in Walk the Line. Don’t get me wrong, I am part of the masses. I am keenly interested in seeing both of these films, however, not on opening night. Instead, I took the contrarians path and threw down my ten spot and sat down to Good Night, and Good Luck.

The result was a mesmerizing experience. This was not traditional movie making but more a civics lesson from the past with clear implications and relevance to today. A review by Stephanie Zacharek from Salon.com could not have said it any better

"This is serious grown-up entertainment with a sense of history and a sense of style, the kind of picture almost no one knows how to -- or, perhaps more accurately, can find the means to -- make anymore."

Good Night, and Good Luck was directed by George Clooney, and was billed as a film that showcases the historic battle between Senator Joseph McCarthy  and Edward R. Murrow.

For me, the story this movie told was much more. It was about the power of one man’s murrow.jpgability to change history and the responsibility each of us has to seek and report the truth. On one hand, was the power of McCarthy and his ability to whip the public, through fear, into a froth of misguided judgment. Juxtaposed to McCarthy, was Edward R. Murrow, a seasoned and celebrated journalist who took a stand for truth and innovatively used the media to share that truth and thus, represented several qualities of leadership.
Continue Reading
Oct25
The Power of Rosa Parks
I have already written about great leadership and leadership principles found in historic military wars and battles such as World War II and the Civil War. It is easy to find leadership in such times of national crisis and battle.

The passing of Rosa Parks was a poignant reminder about the power of one.

One person sitting down for moral authority
One person standing up for truth
One woman
Rosa Parks
rosa parks.jpg
Rosa Parks who defied law and prejudice by remaining seated on a bus sparked the modern civil rights movement, died Monday evening at the age of 92. Her simple action led to a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system, organized by a then unknown Baptist minister, one Reverend Martin Luther King. This spawned the mass movement which culminated in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and an end to segregation.

"I am leaving this legacy to all of you, to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die - the dream of freedom and peace." - Rosa Parks.

Civil Rights Archives, Page 1 of 1
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