Transcript for video from Sterling McKinley, ICJS Justice Leader Fellow:
Hi, this is Sterling McKinley, and I’m the president of Diversify Digital, a company that trains minority business owners how to do digital marketing in order to do more sales. I’ve been a part of the [ICJS Justice Leaders] Fellowship now for a few months, and it has been very refreshing learning different things.I’ve always had a passion for social justice and the greater good, but one thing that stood out to me is that this Fellowship gives you some of the background behind that. Learning the Christian texts and the Islamic and Jewish texts really strengthens what I do. Also, they just look a bit deeper into what I do, taking into account all the people who are affected, taking into account different perspectives, and making sure that what I’m saying and doing in my business is reflective of my true values. Another thing that stood out to me is the idea of justice, especially going through the Jewish laws about justice and fairness. It’s sad to say that a lot of that responsibility we don’t see in the world today, so that is something that I’m borrowing and putting both into my business and the way I handle myself. I think that’s very important. Overall [this Fellowship] has given me a broader perspective. It’s helped me get out of my own head and my own thoughts and start thinking about other people and how they’re perceiving things. Even when I’m helping people, thinking about how my help is coming across: Am I doing it in a way that’s uplifting and empowering, not looking down at them? That’s very important. The other big thing that stood out to me is the sense of ownership; that everybody is a part of this...should be part of the solution—fairness and justice are not just jobs for politicians or nonprofits. All people need to be involved in justice, making sure that people are treated in the same way. The idea that we’re all a part of this—whether it’s business or faith or whatever it is—we’re a community and everybody plays a part in that. The Fellowship has been so refreshing and so eye-opening because I’ve been able to really get an understanding of why I feel a certain way, based on certain principles. I think that’s really going to help me as I go forward in my career, even when I’m in the boardroom talking to CEOs and executives. I can speak now at a deeper level, [with] a deeper understanding. This has been so refreshing, and it’s always just nice to be around other thinkers...people who are thinking about how to solve problems. Because, in the world now, there’s a lot of complaining, there’s a lot of criticism, but there are very few people who are sitting together and thinking about how we can relate, and how we can be one. The Fellowship has been great, and I can’t wait to continue for the next few months and learn more.
The city of Baltimore is part of a national conversation around questions of justice, race, and community. In the initiative Imagining Justice in Baltimore, ICJS will contribute the perspectives of local Jews, Christians, and Muslims to the public conversation about (in)justice in Baltimore. Each contributor represents her or his own opinion. We welcome this diversity of perspective and are not seeking a single definition of justice between traditions, nor denying the multivocal nature of justice within traditions.