RBG And Turning A Trail To A Highway

Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday brought with it instant questions and analysis about what her death means in this American moment, and all the possibilities of what will happen next. Of course, her life was extraordinary, so a momentous death is to be expected. In reading profiles and stories since her death, one piece of her legacy that has resonated with me is that she was willing to do the work of identifying the doors that were shut for others. The many doors she opened, she opened not just for herself but for others – both in that moment and for future generations.

Speaking about Justice Ginsburg’s death, Pratt N. Wiley, President & CEO of The Partnership (a New England non-profit dedicated to enhancing the competitiveness of the region by attracting, developing, retaining and convening multicultural professionals) spoke about the role of trailblazers, saying that change takes place when trails become paths, that become roads, that become highways, allowing access to all. And that’s what Ruth Bader Ginsburg always did. When she blazed a trail, she paid it forward.

How can each of us do the same?

This Week’s Tip:

Take time this week to reflect on the doors that have been opened for you throughout your life and your career, and ask yourself how you are paying this forward to hold the door open for others. These may be an individual moment where someone has made an opportunity possible for you, or a movement that has allowed people in your identity group(s) to do something that was not previously possible.

  • What kindnesses have others shown you? What moments in your life relied on someone vouching for you, or taking a stand for you?
  • How can you do the same for others – at work, in your community, and elsewhere?
  • What movements have resulted in the privileges you now hold?
  • What actions – big or small – can you take this week to open the door for those who need it?

Try this out this week, and let us know how it goes in our Facebook group! We’d love to hear from you. As always, you can subscribe to our feed here, or sign up for our weekly newsletter to get these articles directly in your inbox.

Published by Ian Jackson

Ian Jackson is the founder of Building Bridges Leadership, which works with individuals, teams, and organizations to create authentic community in the workplace. He also writes children's fiction and teaches creative writing.

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