It’s mid-afternoon and I am moderating a panel discussion as part of a one-day conference. As I walk into the large, rectangular meeting room, I notice half the room’s filled already with people waiting for our session to start. The panelists arrive and I take my seat with them in front, facing the audience. For … Continue reading On Belonging
I believe there's a shift happening in the U.S. Where white supremacy and patriarchy remain thick, people are grateful to see the usual suspects in charge. But in other places, where the air is less smoggy, people are downright fed up with the old guard (OG). People are ready for someone else to lead. … Continue reading Whose Turn Is It Anyway?
I've decided to try a new medium. I don't know what to call it. A lot longer than a blog post. Not quite an eBook. Really it's more like a manuscript. In it, you'll find four of the talks I've given over the last four years. You'll read common themes but also discover some new … Continue reading Jess Talks
"Do you speak Spanish?" The Latino professor asks, in between bites of deliciously fresh tacos. We are at an outdoor wedding reception in Santa Ana, California. He and his wife happen to be sharing a table with me and a white couple. The professor and I are in the middle of a lively conversation with … Continue reading Dinner with the Professor
In our part of the United States, the world has come to work here at various tech companies and startups. Whether their transition is across the country, across the pond, or across the globe, each newcomer wonders, 'Will there be a home for me here? Will I belong?' Seattle does not have a good track … Continue reading The Welcome We Give
I think the key difference in working downtown versus the suburbs is proximity. Buildings and structures are closer together; human beings physically share space. As I make the cold, wintry walk to my office, I walk alongside other commuters. I also pass by the homeless and marginalized on the street. One day, one man in … Continue reading The Invisible in the City
"PEOPLE don't like crossing the bridge to the other side. They stay on their side of the bridge, we stay on our side," advised a local pastor years ago, before we moved to Washington State's Puget Sound area. He added, "That's just the culture, the way things are around here." Why do people prefer their … Continue reading Crossing the Bridge to the Other Side
If there’s a list of values to prioritize, hospitality probably wouldn’t be on top of most people’s list. It’s a value-add, definitely a nice to have. Like a hospitality suite. Or snacks and coffee after a church service. It’s not core to the experience but definitely nice to have. Is hospitality core to the gospel … Continue reading A Culture of Hospitality