On Leadership From the Margins

The margins are where the magic happens.

On the edges of the community, the kingdom, the nation live the outcasts, the destitute, the oppressed, and the fools. And scattered amongst them are the wise women and men, the healers, the shamans, the creatively maladjusted, the wanderers, and the revolutionaries.

My hope is that this space is useful for many people who has ever felt like a misfit. We represent a sampling of the wisdom of the unpopular. The gems of the low-rank. The screaming conscience of those whose hearts have been overworked but underemployed.

In American society, the margins means people of color, women, immigrants, disabled people, neurodivergent people, queer people, trans people, indigenous people, trauma suvivors, sex workers, children, and others. Especially those who identify with several of these experiences.

My sense is that we are not legion. You do not think the same way as me. We are a collection of strange birds who understand that the best of worlds are built by honesty and cooperation not dominance. We are a coming-together of kind souls and fierce minds interested in healing, social justice, and benevolent novelty.

The Flock Forward logo, featuring several different kinds of birds flocking together, captures this intention for me.

Practically, this is a space that strives to, in it’s tiny way, advocate for and support leaders, writers, teachers, activists, artists, tricksters, and clowns who wish to share their gifts of critical, inspirational, revolutionary, and informative work. I will be happy to publish and share offerings of writing, art, classes, and services that match these values.

I am a tall, white, middle-class background, male presenting person.

I realize that it could be marginalizing toward the many individuals who experience more severe and multi-layered oppression than I do to speak of being an odd and emotionally scarred white male(-ish) as “from the margins.” My experience as a bullied, deviant, disabled, neurodivergent, genderqueer trauma-survivor is not the same as being, say, a queer woman of color in terms of my experiences of systemic oppression.

I continue to learn a lot to learn about this.

My aspiration is that this be a lively intersectional space where folx honor and learn lessons from the experiences of being a misfit. I’ll share what little I know in the context of oppression based on my experience and study, and I strive to listen carefully to the sharing of others experiences, and the insight that arises from them. I udnerstand it is very hard work to truly comprehend systemic power and privilege for dynamics where I am socialized into dominate roles.

I am interested in highlighting and welcoming leadership from folks who have experienced a wide range of conflicts with mainstream power structures. My personal Facebook and Twitter feeds are one way I share some of what I see.

It is my vision to participate in structrues are dialogue that are run as a collective, rather than in a top-down manner where one person is in control. If others ever wanted to share space here, I would really welcome that. I would prefer that my privilege, or the fact that I designed a site, not dictate what anyone else can or cannot do with the platform as long as we share similar values.