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Muddy Boots Blog

May 1st

Posted by griffithd on May 2, 2019 at 10:35 AM

On May 1, 2019 I was elected by my fellow board members to be the next Chairmen of the Academy of Natural Science of Drexel University effective July 1, 2019. I am humbled and honored by this call and I am energized by the challenge given to all of us to be “A force for nature”. Ironically May 1st also marks six years as the Head Coach at Episcopal Community Services.

I have two passions as I go about my final professional chapter after forty plus years in the for profit world. They are dealing with the issues of Intergenerational Poverty in the City of Philadelphia where I have the privilege of being the Executive Director and Head Coach of Episcopal Community Services whose focus is asking our stakeholders to look up and to challenge poverty with courage, capacity and will. The second is our environment. I have been an outdoorsman my entire life and can see with my own eyes the impact of climate change. The data and the science is clear. Ice fields around the world are receding, ocean temperature is rising, CO2 levels are climbing, our weather grows more extreme, and sea level rise is very much an issue around the world. Add to that the issues of air and water pollution and the associated health and environmental issues we clearly face a growing and complex set of challenges.

My two passions have much in common.

First the data is clear. Poverty in America is growing and the issues of economic mobility and the lack of access to opportunity for many of our citizens is undeniable. Climate change is occurring, its impacts are profound, and the scientific fact based data of the state of our natural world is also undeniable.

Second the way home with both issues starts with education and awareness of the issues for society at large.

Third the need for civil, researched, and fact based debate and problem solving in order to craft informed and effective public policy is clear. We can ill afford for either of these issues to become partisan. The social and economic algebra is compelling, it impacts all of us, and that doing nothing is unacceptable on a local, national and global scale.

Sadly, looking at the data in both area, we may have crossed tipping points. Even if that is so, do we want our legacy to be to future generations that we saw the evidence, and we were so arrogant that we failed to respond meaningfully. That greed took precedence over great-grandchildren?

My work in my last professional chapter, and I would hope our work, is that the answer is no. That as citizens of Philadelphia and a larger world we looked to our better nature and we responded to the call to service. That we understood that our self-interest, starts with our neighbors. Neighbors both local and global.

I am humbled by the call and in turn I ask you to join us in this work. To be a force for nature and to look up and challenge poverty. To do both with Courage, Capacity and Will.

I want our grandchildren to know that we took a stand and we acted on the critical issues of our time.

Do you?

Categories: Muddy Boots, Leadership, Griffith Thoughts

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