Hey there! Did you miss me? I sure missed writing last week, but I had important work that required focus. I am going to resume the Alphabet Soup letter writing campaign this week. If you're just joining this journey, you can catch up on those posts, here.
Last Thursday Friday and Saturday I joined 39 other civic and business leaders in the Houston region as a part of the Center for Houston's Future Leadership Forum. We spent a few days locked up in a hotel learning about Houston's rich past and think tanking about the region's promising future. From educators to the media to business executives in a variety of industries, sectors and sizes, I was truly humbled to be selected to participate.
When I reflect on this experience, my mind thinks of two things. Honor and home.
H is for honor.
What does honor mean for you?
We are honored in several ways. It can come in the physical form of an award, a plague, a gift, and sometimes it's even money. And then other times, being honored is something even greater...
For me, I am honored when I'm asked to serve. It's that call you get that says...we need you.
We need your help...your ideas... your energy...and leadership.
That call came to 40 of us across all walks of life and we each accepted the responsibility to be a part of something bigger than any of us.
So, I am honored to be a part of this team that's tasked in the next 5 weeks with taking a focused learning journey diving into one of five areas: healthcare, education, infrastructure, diversity, and civic vitality. I am serving as the team leader on education, a critical focus area in developing our children and ultimately our workforce. More specifically, we'll explore why some parents are involved with their children's education and why some aren't taking into consideration income level and ethnicity.
The purpose of the learning journey isn't to solve anything...yet. It's to learn...to go into the field...the place we call "home" ... and explore and then come back and share those learnings with the others. It's about the discovering the #whatb4how.
So, H is also for home.
Houston has been my home for 13 years. It's the second largest growing city, next to NYC in America. It's the most ethnically diverse city having no clear ethnic majority amongst Whites, Blacks, Latinos, and Asians. (Source: 2010 census). The Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, under the direction of Dr. Steven Kleinberg have been studying socioeconomics and demographics for 33 years.
In our presentation last week Kleinberg said, "There's a fundamental irreversible transformation happening in the ethnic composition of Houston, Texas and America. We are the first nation to say we are a free people and we come from everywhere." Likewise, our economy is going to rely on human resources and intellectual capital will be necessary to compete in the 21st century. However, there is a great disparity among those who have academic opportunities and those who lack access.
Need I explain more why I am so honored to be a part of this opportunity to understand more so that we may shape and form what might become?
Here's a brief clip from Kleinberg's study or you can view below.
If you want to explore more, the 32 years of reports can be found here.
So here I go.
I'm honored to call Houston, home...honored to be a part of a learning journey that's just beginning...honored to be a part of the leadership who will help the region respond to the opportunities ahead.
What does honor and home look like for you?
What are you doing to take your own learning journey discovering the 'what' first, before even thinking about the 'how'? How are you shaping your home? your future? your world? What opportunities are ahead?