We live in challenging times. People seem to look for reasons to see differences instead of realizing how we are really the same. Many politicians don’t represent the best of who we are. Some individuals who are supposed to protect and serve without favor have drifted from the ideals of their profession. Education is vastly different in one geographic area than another. Many people are still excluded from the benefits that everyone in our society is supposed to have access to. And, I’m excited.
I’m excited because I know we can be better and because we have the ability to change. I’m excited because there are a lot of people who realize that now is the time to stand up and start that process. I’m excited because there are leaders in our communities who want to make a difference, who know that they have what they need to make a difference and are willing to step up, come together, have the tough conversations so they can make a difference in their communities. They want to be a part of building accountable communities. And I’m excited to lead those conversations.
An accountable community is a place where people keep their commitments to each other. These commitments are based on values. Specifically, for a community to be accountable they need to be living the values of inclusion, access and equality, social action, advocacy and lifelong learning. When these values come alive division is eliminated and a vibrant community where creativity, collaboration and innovation leads to solutions is born. This is a community that people want to be a part of and live in.
I for one believe that it is time to change the direction we are headed as a global community, a national community and as local communities. I’m no longer sitting on the sidelines thinking there is nothing we can do. It is time to start the conversation on accountability and stay on that conversation until the tough issues are discussed and we are making the changes we need to make.
We are kicking off a pilot program with four communities called The Accountable Community Project™. In these four communities we will work with leaders from all areas of business, education, government, not-for-profit and healthcare to define these values for themselves and to identify, in their community, where they need to focus their efforts to make sure they are living their values.
We will involve people of all ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, faiths and races. And, for what might be the first time, everybody will come to the table as equals with the opportunity to express their opinions, desires and solutions.
Additional conversations throughout these communities will bring more people together who might not have normally sat around the table to have discussions on how to better live their community’s values and make their community a more viable place long-term.
It is time to be accountable, to build accountable organizations and to look at our communities and make them accountable. Doing this will move us forward in building an accountable world.
Division will only hold us back. The only way we all can come together is through our values. When our communities know and live their values everything will change. If we want the best for our kids, and we do, then building an accountable community only makes sense and it is the only logical option moving forward.