Rabbi Harry R. Richmond is pictured on the cover.
Leading is something that anyone can do, anytime, anywhere. For many of us, the biggest question is how well we recognize and take advantage of the occassions where our leadership can make a difference, especially when the work doesn’t feel easy or comfortable.
The protagonists in the Winter Journal’s cover story found themselves faced with just that kind of moment. When an influential preacher with intolerant views and Nazi sympathies sat on the cusp of power in 1938 Kansas, an unlikely quartet of Wichita clergymen, including Rabbi Harry R. Richmond of Congregation Emanu-El (featured on the cover), faced a dilemma. They could stay out of the line of fire or take the risky step of acting on their concerns.
What they choose to do sounds almost like the beginning of a joke: A rabbi, two priests and a minister climbed into a truck and drove together across Kansas to pursue their shared mission of promoting religious tolerance. Seth Bate, a leadership developer at Wichita State University who studies and researches Kansas history, tells what happened next.
The story of the Four Horsemen of Tolerance, the name given to the four barnstorming ministers, shows the potential risks and rewards of stepping forward. It’s one of several features in the issue that will help you think more deeply about how — and when — to answer the call to lead.
Other stories of interest in the winter issue, which will be arriving in mailboxes soon:
- KLC President and CEO Ed O’Malley recounts his experience serving on a jury in a murder trial and what he learned about decision making, leadership and civic duty.
- Learn about a variety of events, opportunities and happenings by reading the Dispatches from the Kansas Leadership Center.
- Voices of Civic Leadership columnist Mark McCormick writes about how a quest to rename Wichita’s airport reveals the challenges of energizing others through leadership.
- Kansans from across the state, including Buddy Shannon of Wichita (pictured above), “speak up” about their concerns and what they would like to see happen in the Sunflower State to benefit the common good. Read more here.
- A influx of 49 first-time legislators into the Kansas House of Representatives significantly influenced the tenor of last year’s legislative session. Writer Dawn Bormann Novascone profiles the experiences of five newcomers, including Charles Macheers of Shawnee (above), and explores whether their unusually large, well-connected freshman cohort will be able to vote their values, stay connected and make an impact into the future.
- Discover the connections between negotiation and leadership in a story about Marshall Christmann, a state representative from Lyons who serves as a labor negotiator.
- Young professionals don’t have to wait to make a significant difference in their communities. Writer Anne Dewall tells the stories of three women, including Michelle De La Isla of Topeka (above), who have stepped into key public service roles. They show how it can be done and what you should think about in making the leap yourself.
- Participants in Lawrence’s community leadership program are looking to play a key role in shaping their city as the community faces new challenges. Leadership Lawrence has turned out more than 700 graduates since its creation in 1982, not counting the nearly 40 people in the 2014 class. Writer Brian Whepley profiles how Leadership Lawrence graduates, like 2010 alumna Ericka Dvorske (above), are helping the community address big challenges and move forward.
- If you want to teach youth leadership, you have to give young people the opportunity to truly lead. That’s the approach being taken by a communitywide collaboration taking place in Cowley County. Lindsay Wilke, assistant director of Leadership Southwestern, describes the program being administrered by her college, the challenges it faces and how program organizers are trying to address them.
- View pieces by featured artist Brian Hinkle of Wichita (above) and read poetry by Denise Low, second Kansas Poet Laureate.
- Read about Konza Clubs and how they work with the Kansas Leadership Center to help alumni continue their leadership learning.