A Black Woman at War

Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant of both your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.

—Sun Tzu, Chinese military strategist

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“We are in a battle for the soul of this nation,” said Joseph Biden while racing toward his final showdown with Donald Trump last year. The pronouncement turned heads, his invocation of an ancient philosophical concept crashing into a heated public reckoning over whose nation, exactly, was hanging in the balance.

When we use the word “soul,” we are typically referring to that immaterial force that sustains and also distinguishes a life—whether that life belongs to a human individual or a collective life form. If there is a fight to hold on for dear life, as the “battle for the soul” implies, there must be something out there that is threatening to kill that life. Survival instincts push all living things to set up defenses against threats real or perceived. For human beings united under a constitutional government, there are bound to be different views and values around what gives life to a people, and what, conversely, causes them harm. In the United States, this conflict has reached a fever pitch.

What is our nation’s soul, and who’s defining the battle lines? How might the answers to those questions help each of us discern our role and shape the strategy to win?

I don’t ask these questions rhetorically. For centuries, politicians, journalists, historians, educators, and pretty much every white male in a position of power have been able to define America’s principles and values. They have written the laws, told the history, shaped the norms, and named the stakes for the rest of us—indigenous people, black people, various peoples of colour, and women. This extraordinary influence wielded from such a narrow cultural lens has not only influenced generations of lives in the United States, it has also set the stage for standards of behaviour toward black and brown bodies that reverberate around the world.

“When I think of the soul of the nation, I think of the process of becoming, and what it is we want to become.” So said poet laureate and Muscogee (Creek) Nation member Joy Harjo. For me, a black woman with a gift of leadership in a country whose default lens remains both white and male, I am convinced that the battle our political leaders invoke must be in support of liberty and justice for all. Christians have a special role to play in this battle as truth-tellers who defend and promote righteousness. But are we ready? Do we understand the stakes?

Continue reading at Comment Magazine.

A Call for Mentors

It’s #MentoringMonday!

One of the great joys of my life is mentoring. Mentoring changes lives. It certainly has changed mine, and prepared me for leadership. That’s part of the reason why my 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Leadership LINKS, Inc. has made mentoring our priority. We are an intergenerational, multi-ethnic Network of women and men who are committed to raising up the next generation of leaders.

Over the past few years, we have focused on mentoring middle and high school girls, while preparing them for leadership. However, with this year’s spiritual theme of “Mentoring Across Generations,” we are expanding our mentoring program into the next phase of “College and Career” for young women who are either in their first years (freshman or sophomore) of college, are attending a trade school, or are in the early stages (first couple years) of a defined career.

We are also gathering a team of men who are interested in mentoring middle and school boys.

So, if you are a Christian who works in the marketplace, and have a passion for raising up the next generation of leaders, I invite you to join our leadership team. Find out more and complete the mentor application on the “Call for Mentors” page on our website.


These are the names of just a few of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women that I love, am honored to work with, and support

I also have the pleasure of knowing, learning from, and working with Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, Eugene Cho, and Pastor Ray Chang (President of the Asian American Christian Collective or AACC). In light of the massacre on March 16, 2021 in Atlanta, the AACC (including several of the friends I have mentioned here), have drafted a statement that I was honored to sign. I encourage you to read, consider doing the same, and then supporting the organization as they work towards education for all and healing for the AAPI community.


On March 16, 2021, a 21-year-old white male massacred eight people, six of whom were Asian women. Authorities have now released all of the victim’s names and ages but as of yet, little is known of their stories. We choose to honor them by sharing their names and the little we know at the time of this statement in order to center their humanity: 谭小洁 Xiaojie Tan, 49, an owner of one of the spas, and mother to one daughter; 김현정 Hyun Jung Grant, 51, a single mother of two boys; 冯道友 Daoyou Feng, 44; 박순정 Soon Chung Park, 74; 김순자 Sun Cha Kim, 69; 유영애 Yong Ae Yue, 63; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33, recently married and a mother to a 13-year-old son and an 8-month-old daughter; and Paul Andre Michels, 54, a former Army infantryman who owned a business installing security systems and was doing work for one of the spas. It must be said again: Each life had a story with layers of backgrounds, families and loved ones, and hopes and dreams.

We mourn the loss of these precious people made in God’s image. We are outraged along with the Asian American community as a whole over the violence that has surged during the pandemic yet has roots from long before it. 

Asian American Christian Collaborative (AACC) condemns and denounces the violence committed in the Atlanta massacre on March 16, 2021. We call Christians and church leaders to make a clear and urgent response condemning this heinous act of hate, and we invite all Americans to work toward the dignity and respect of Asian and Asian American lives, especially women. 

Continue reading and sign the statement here.

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