God Willing and The Creek Don’t Rise

Photo Credit: Shelah Marie


Late last Friday afternoon, I joined a Zoom call. Several DJA team members were there as was a client in Detroit. In all, three Black women, similar in age, were present. The obligatory, “How are you doing?” started the conversation. Our client pausedwe’ve developed wonderful rapportaverted her eyes, and said “You know, God willing and the creek don’t rise.” All three Black women in the meeting burst into familiar laughter. We were in a space in which we fully belonged, able to experience and share a mutual sense of exhaustion in a way that reinforced sisterhood and support. I haven’t stopped smiling since. 

The saying “God willing and the creek don’t rise” has been around for a long time, but it was likely popularized in Johnny Nash’s song “If the Lord’s Willing.” Most folks I know attribute it to our Big Mamas. Wikipedia describes it as an...

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Talking about Values and Politics: Something’s Gotta Give

Image Credit: Palo Alto City Library

Four years ago, the day after the election, I walked into the offices of a company that is an international powerhouse in the communications industry. Several months before, I had been scheduled to be onsite, offering anti-bias workshops for executives who had flown in from various regional offices across the U.S. A long planning process had occurred but not one of the creative teams had prepared communications in the event  Donald Trump became the newly elected president. Not one. Everyone was running in circles trying to figure out what to do. Everything seemed blurry and surreal. Regardless of political stance, most people were shocked by the outcome. That day was a mess, an incredibly unproductive, emotion, and confusion-filled mess. 

We can’t know what additional surprises this election will hold, but we can learn from recent experience. Today is, with so much attention on the attributes and expectations of leaders, also a...

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