LeadershipRacial Equity

Women’s leadership, philanthropy and racial equity now

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In September 2020, WKKF’s President and CEO, La June Montgomery Tabron, joined women leaders from across the globe for a special webinar with the International Women’s Forum.

In that conversation, Tabron offered timely reflections on women’s leadership, the role of philanthropy, and racial equity and racial healing in communities today.

Watch and learn more about her leadership journey, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s decades-long investments and why leaders should be committed to racial equity and racial healing for the long haul. 

Reverent power and courageous leadership have shaped La June Montgomery Tabron’s leadership journey and approach.

The first concept of reverent power, Tabron described as “collaboration and influence rather than command and control. It requires strong interpersonal relationship skills. That is something that I have focused on my entire career.”

In summary, reverent power is:

  • Connecting with people, understanding people, listening to people;
  • Then speaking from a place of connectedness rather than from any level of authority.

She went on to explain the second concept of courageous leadership in four ways:

“First, you must have the courage to speak and say your truth. Second, you must have the courage to champion a vision all the way through. Third, you must have the courage to rely on others. That’s the courage to be vulnerable and to let others know where you’re vulnerable and show that you rely on them. Fourth and finally, you must have the courage to persevere.

“No matter the circumstances – and I think in my 33 years now at the Kellogg Foundation, I’ve shown that over time – these two principles have followed me throughout my career.”

For 90 years, the Kellogg Foundation has stayed true to its founder’s belief that all people have the inherent capacity to solve their own problems. 

“When Mr. Kellogg said I’ll invest my money in people, it’s because he knew that people create the systems. People can change the systems and people sustain the solutions. So, I invite you to join me and many, as we take part in changing the nation and the world for future generations.

“My urgent priority is getting money on the ground so that while we have the will, while we have the awareness, while we have the action, that people have resources to fuel transformative change in our nation and the world.”

Communities around the world are calling for leadership and action. This is our moment.

“No matter our sector, or our position, we can’t be complicit any longer. From my purview, complicity is the opposite of courageous leadership. It throws in the face of everything I’ve learned about leadership and how to lead. Because if you’re complicit, you’re quietly aligned with the perpetrator.

“I speak to you in a moment where I think the need for leadership and racial healing is palpable. People in the streets today all over the world are crying out for leadership and action, and we represent the leadership that they are asking for. So, I’m here today to say to you, that this is our moment.”

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