Oprah talked last night about the power of witnessing Sidney Poitier win the Academy Award for best actor when she was a little girl. And there are surely little girls who watch Oprah today, imagining that they too can be business women or actors or philanthropists.
It’s a busy travel season for me, so this will be short. But as I travel throughout the Church it’s increasingly clear to me that we need more women of color in leadership positions in the church and beyond. Little girls are watching us and they are brown and black, as well as white and olive in skin color. Little boys are watching too and they long to see leaders who look like them.
But white children and white adults need to see people of color in leadership too. White people need to acknowledge that people of color are essential leaders and inspirers and creators in our country for all of us. The women of color in my own denomination are among the most brilliant and talented leaders we have. We are missing out if we do not hire them, listen to them, and honor them.
Image of the amazing Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, Annie Scales Rogers Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond and the first African American woman ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1974. Photo from Union Presbyterian Seminary.