When George Washington reluctantly accepted the nomination to be the first President of the United States, he got to select a crew that he thought would provide him with much needed support in building a nation – the first Cabinet and Supreme Court Justices.
On April 30, 1789, when George Washington stood on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, to take his oath of office his “boys” (also known as his Cabinet) were: Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State (age 45), Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of Treasury (age 34), Henry Knox as Secretary of War (age 39) and Edmund Jennings Randolph as Attorney General (age 36).
The Royal Exchange in New York City housed the first meeting of the Supreme Court on February 1, 1790. The men in attendance included Chief Justice John Jay (43), John Rutledge (52), William Cushing (59), James Wilson (49), John Blair (59), and James Iredell (40).
In a conversation with Jamilah Seifullah, my bestie, she challenged me: “Who would you [roll with] if you were called to run the country?” Since the Vice President was the one with the second highest votes in the first election (and wasn’t a running mate of the President), I looked up the total number of people that meant I’d be able to select – 10. “And,” Jamilah made plain, “you must personally know them.” OMG! I thought about all of the mentors I’ve had over the years (aka The Old Heads). Then I allowed my right brain to consider a world I’d love to live in, where America is an example of what’s possible…
I’d request the following people join me in envisioning a New America:
As my road dawg (like Gail is for Oprah), she has always kept it real with me. She is a women who rose from limited means to a career that could afford her her wildest dreams, then chose to leave that cushy corporate position to teach math and science to under-privileged youth in Bed-Stuy. She is an inspiration. As Co-Founder of The Reconstruction Period, I know she is out to see another Reconstruction Period.
The son of two doctors and double-Masters degree holder from Stanford University, Jullien “PurposeFinder” Gordon has proven himself to be a strategist for the millennial generation. His vision for what our workforce – and ultimately our society – could look like would make everyone stand up and pay attention. Gordon’s self-proclaimed purpose is “to help as many people as possible reach their full potential by helping them making a living doing what they love and in the process of doing so achieve my own.”
His 30 Summit Legacy presentation on Love and Gratitude reminded me to have those very things at the source of all I do. His e-mail signature reads: In health and beauty, Anthony, UNM Family and Community Medicine, 2008 First-Time Dad Award (self-nominated, self-awarded), 1989 Hall Monitor, 2nd Team Alternate, Northfield Elementary! Word. With a background in health, and his tendency to lead in poetry (like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez), I will attempt to keep him by my side always.
ADRIENNE MARIE BROWN
Affectionately known as The Luscious Satyagraha, Ms. Brown is the woman you want in the room when the new Constitution is being drafted. Her history of leading social movements is unparalleled. And as co-author of How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office, I am almost sure she has something in writing that can start us on our way to a new experience of liberation.
ROLANDO BROWN (no relation)
His tweet @rolandobrown: "recording old scribe wisdom in honor of ancient griots and fishes; etching life force energy conductors on facebook walls & twitter streams.” The world knows him as a tech-organizer. Those who love him most, know him as Father, Poet, & Chief Cultivator of MVMT. We’ll need a MVMT. ‘Nuff said.
Originally from Medellin, Colombia, this woman is the most passionate artivist I have ever met. When she first came to America and saw all of the litter in the streets, being the generous being she was raised to be, she thought she would have to begin picking up bottles and candy wrappers that circled her feet. She dreams of being part of an intentional community and will one day apprentice under Jayson Fann, learning to build Spirit Nests from sticks.
STEPHEN N. SMITH
Author of Stoking the Fire of Democracy: Our Generation's Introduction to Grassroots Organizing, Smith is on a mission to be a major force in America – leading a fatherhood movement. He has worked alongside youth, HIV+ activists, job-seekers, war veterans, and ex-offenders. He is a proud member of the campaign to Reform Immigration for America. Who wouldn’t want this man on their team?!
Chris is the only soldier who has been able to hold my attention while talking about his experience without me wanting to puke. A former nuclear submarine officer and an Iraq war veteran who worked on strategic energy problems, his knowledge of how our military works is like having the Spook Who Sat by the Door on my team! His love of humanity puts him alongside the MLKs and the Iqbal Masih’s of the world. I pray he remains protected as he stands up to The Beast like this kid.
His LinkedIn Bio reads: Have fun. Change the world. Sleep well. The perfect blend of Tech-geek, Innovator, and Philanthropist, Mike makes living itself an art. One of the brilliant minds behind some of our generations illest contributions – Behance and All Day Buffet – he broke the Higher Education debt bubble story days before major news outlets caught on. Always ahead of the curve, his vision pulls us towards new realities (that includes a drink at the end of a short day’s work).
After being photoshopped onto the cover of his alma mater’s Undergraduate Application cover, he sued and demanded that the University put aside money for actual recruitment of minority students; he won. Over the years, he has taken on challenging positions that build organizations and develop programs in conjunction with corporations, NGOs, and government agencies. He has been successful there too. Gotta have at least one gangsta in the line-up who wears a suit and tie.