Maybe I was wrong

It’s easy to dismiss Generation Z as…doomed. Any time I see news bubbling up about them or foolishly reinstall Vine on my phone, I grow less and less hopeful about the future.

But recently, I’ve been inspired by a generation of brave leaders like the young men I met last week.

Today, I had the pleasure of publishing something on Abernathy from one of the young men I met that day. From his email to me over the weekend:

So in the spirit of taking a leap of faith, I briefly spoke with you after the period ended and told you about my passions in writing. Also I very much mirror your frustrations as it regards to the pejorative portrayal of African American males in media, and I think that it is pertinent to also include different experiences and perspectives of different African American males.

So I have written poems, stories, and college essays about the struggles of being an African American male, being a black gay male, being a black male in poverty, and how these three identities often conflict with each other. So if those are some of the things you might be interested in, I would gladly email them to you. If you can respond back to this email I would greatly appreciate it.

James Fisher, age 17, gives me hope for the future.

My heart is swelling with pride today.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.

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