Twitter global public policy strategist, and social entrepreneur, Reggie McCrimmon, encouraged an N.C. Central University crowd to become agents of change by seizing the moment, maximizing opportunities and conducting reflective leadership Sept. 17 through WebEx to kick off NCCU’s Rock the Lyceum lecture series.
“Moral and humble leadership is what we need, but often what we don’t see,” said the NCCU alumnus.
“I’ve always been inspired to serve and lead [the community] in order to speak up for those that don’t have the ability to do so,” he explained.
McCrimmon spoke on the value of relationships, HBCU’s, and talked about his start in politics. He explained that there is a need for more diversity, especially African Americans, in politics and the workforce in general.
“There was, and still is, a lack of African Americans represented in Congress, particularly in higher positions,” McCrimmon said.
McCrimmon has had the opportunity to work with Congressman G.K. Butterfield, U.S. Senator Kay Hagan, the former governor of North Carolina Bev Perdue, and American attorney Angela Rye.
He also served as the director of member services and external affairs for the Congressional Black Caucus, the president of the Congressional Black Associates, and has gained experience in public, private and non-profit sectors during his tenure at Capitol Hill.
Mass communication senior and NCCU’s Collegiate 100 Black Women President Zaria Johnson interviewed McCrimmon.
“In light of recent events, do you think various companies’ responses to diversity and inclusion (are) genuine, or pure marketing to hush the crowd?” asked Johnson.
“Speaking from experience, I think most of it has been tokenism and window dressing,” McCrimmon responded. “What I hope companies are striving for is representation.”
McCrimmon went on to share solutions towards inclusivity and the importance of preparing global leaders.
“We have to take the time to check our own biases,” said McCrimmon.
“Doing that as an individual, gives you a certain level of empathy that’s necessary for us to continue building towards an inclusive environment.”
A panel of NCCU student leaders were also given the opportunity to ask McCrimmon questions.
“What was the best piece of advice that you feel was essential in the development of who you are today?” asked Student Activities Board Vice President Jada Anthony.
“No matter how good you do, or how bad you do, [people] are going to talk sh** regardless,” McCrimmon responded with a laugh.
“[He] told me to ‘always identify three things to focus on that I feel I have to accomplish’…and that approach has been helpful to me to this day.”
Miss NCCU Imani Johnson, Student Body President Shaun Coleman, and SAB President Alexis Harp were other NCCU student leaders among the panel.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that we mistake ourselves by saying, ‘In five years, I’m going to be this’,” said McCrimmon. “But the thing is, you already are, so start building now.”
The virtual event was hosted by NCCU Division of Student Affairs.
Rock the Lyceum will continue its social justice-themed series on Sept. 30 with the virtual event titled “NCCU Pulse Check.” This event will be an open discussion concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and the upcoming presidential election.