The Neighborhood Anthology
on Leadership & Authority ed. IX postlude


I didn’t believe him at first. It was only when I begin to engage him, and watch him, did I understand it wasn’t a facade. He was genuinely committed to reconciling black and white South Africans and to build a nation**. –  Rory Steyn, Chief of Security and Personal Bodyguard of President Nelson Mandela 


Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger

by Kendall F. Person

On September 21, 2010, Tyler Clementi was a freshman at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey. He was well-liked among his peers, and raised in a loving, supportive home. Studying at one of the finest universities on the eastern seaboard, and living within the shadow of The City of Brotherly Love, Tyler had the world at his feet and everything to live for. On September 22, 2010, Tyler Clementi, left an ominous note on his Facebook Page, scaled the George Washington Bridge and without further adieu… jumped.

Two students, one was Tyler’s roommate, were arrested for secretly video taping Tyler as he shared a private moment with his boyfriend. To assure the humiliation was complete, they then uploaded the tape, and blasted it around the world via twitter. The defendants were later convicted for invasion of privacy, and received a 30-day sentence.

As tragic as his death and the resulting non-sentence of the wealthy offenders, the most important question, at least for Tyler, would never find an answer. Humiliation at that level is far greater than most of us will ever face; but he was loved by his family and had a host of good friends. How could that not have been enough? How could the ignorance in hate, overpower his sphere of leadership and manage to destroy his life? And how could two young people of the same age, feel granted the authority to bully a classmate in such a callous way?

Leadership is connected to our decision making abilities. It is fueled with emotion and guides our sensibilities. It comes at us from every direction, telling us what to believe and who we should not trust. So if leadership has failed in our homes, communities, schools and churches, confusion and panic become impostures, giving the allusion, that the leadership void has been filled, then  granting authority to an imagined fear.

The Neighborhood  Anthology on Leadership & Authority, serves as a reminder: We have held the tools of change all along. As leaders of our families, clubs, precincts, cities, networks, campaigns and self, we must think bigger and we must comprehend, what we project, those who follow will project as well. But if a leader is led by those he leads,then we the people must seek  leaders like President Mandela  and his faithful bodyguard, whose history together was much more divided, than we believe we are right now. .

By asserting our authority to reach out to one another with decency and in peace, we not only free ourselves from a windowless box, with walls made only of differences, but it gives rise to communication, opening our hearts and allowing our minds to embrace the idea of earning and establishing trust — the foundation in leadership building. .   .


— — TAG: an online game played and published SEP 2015

** Paraphrased. Read or listen to full Rory Steyn interview for context.


Seeing all the cops in riot gear time and time again these last few months. Armored up, and black as night, giving off that command presence of Darth Vader himself…. {Perhaps} for a lot of the black kids/adults, they don’t see cops, they see Darth Vader.

an interpretation by Illustrator James D. Foster

Law Enforcement through eyes of community



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