Aramita “Minty” Ross was born around 1820, an African-American woman who worked as a Union Army nurse, cook, scout, and spy during the Civil War; however, you may know her as Harriet Tubman. One day she walked into a grocery store when another Afircan-American man came running in. He was being chased by a white man claiming that he was his slave. She did nothing to stop him and instead hoped that he would escape. When suddenly, she was injured by the white man flailing a rock towards them but instead of hitting the runaway, he hit her on the head instead. She suffered from head injuries for the rest of her life. Despite this experience, Harriet Tubman also realized at that moment that she wanted to spend the rest of her life helping others.
She would become the most famous “Conductor” of the Underground Railroad. The Underground Railroad was not a railroad but rather made up of houses, tunnels, and roads set up by abolitionists and former slaves to aid other slaves from escaping. Tubman also took part in a military campaign for the Union that resulted in the rescue of at least 750 slaves and would place herself in great danger when she would return to slave states. Harriet Tubman had the idea to sing songs through code as a means to communicate messages and warnings about their travel. She was often called the black “Moses”, because like Moses, she led people out of slavery. Tubman wanted to abolish the suffering of African-Americans and risked her own life in order to save her entire family from slavery and helping others become free.
Harriet Tubman embodied many qualities of a great leader. Here are ways you can grow attributes to become a great leader.
- Empathy – Understand your differences as an advantage to learn how you can relate to others.
- Persuasion – Despite how talented and driven you think you are, you are only as strong as your weakest link. Focus on expressing your mission to those around you, so that they follow suit.
- Stewardship – Think about how you can serve others and not just serving your own self-interests.
- Conceptualization – Don’t just think about how to take action but make the move. One step in front of the other.
- Building Community – Encourage others around you to act for good. Model the way you want them to act and you would be surprised by how it inspires those around you.
Oftentimes, it is easy to just follow the crowd and lay low. Yet, you may find it to be much more fulfilling to focus on something bigger than yourself. How can you leave the world better than the way you found it? For this week’s #MakeItHappen, think about ways that you can work on your leadership skills and try to be better today than you were yesterday. Let us know how it goes and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story and tag us on social.
Go make it happen,
Luly & the YTeach Team
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
– Harriet Tubman