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Highlights from #MILLSUMMIT’s leadership-focused first day

One lesson: Inclusive teams may be uncomfortable sometimes. Create them anyway.

Zack Jones, Margaret Arzón, Cierra Hall and Sebastian Little on a #MILLSUMMIT 2019 leadership panel. (Photo by Holly Quinn)

Leadership was the theme of day one of the 2019 Millennial Summit, which took over the Chase Center on the Riverfront on Tuesday with more than a dozen panels, high-profile keynotes and a room full of exhibitors.

Here’s a combo of our top takeaways, plus favorite #MILLSUMMIT tweets to help fill the gaps:

1. The definition of inclusivity is broader than you might think.

Twinkle Borge, leader of Pu’Uhonua O Wai’anae (POW), a self-governed village of people living unhoused (Borge doesn’t use the word “homeless”) in Hawaii, and a keynote speaker, said communities should build relationships with its members who don’t have houses.

2. Inclusive teams may be uncomfortable sometimes.

Create them anyway, because, as Mike Wisler, CIO of M&T Bank said during the “Diversity as a Business Imperative” panel, “disagreement is not optional.”

https://twitter.com/NatalieHines1/status/1158872378115534848?s=20

3. Take risks, choose your fear.

Kechi Okwuchi — a burn victim advocate who survived a plane crash, immense personal loss and the trauma of body-transforming injuries — talked in her powerful keynote about accepting that fear will always be there, but doesn’t have to hold you back. Since the accident, she went on to become a finalist on “America’s Got Talent.”

4. Action (even if it’s small) begets action.

The panel “The First Person You Must Lead is You” brought together leaders in the area innovative leadership. Zack Jones, director of Dual School, talked about teaching people to start something, “so they can go on and start more things.”

5. Education equity starts with listening to students.

In the fishbowl talk on “Education Equity and Adequacy,” administrators and educators were “tapped out” and replaced by students, who shared their own stories of firsthand experiences in today’s high school classrooms.

Do you have a #MILLSUMMIT takeaway that we missed? Reach out to us on Twitter.

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