We are living during a radical shift in the landscape of Higher Education. Typically, our industry frames “service to the profession” as a requirement of our membership in the profession. While volunteer work is critical to keeping our profession alive, I would like to shift the narrative to focus on people instead of an abstract industry. Howard Thurman, a spiritual advisor to many leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, passionately outlines a love ethic we should adopt. Thurman believes a love ethic should be inserted into the systems and communities of the world. Thurman outlines three steps to this process that include a want to love, disciplined use of the imagination to envision the circumstances of the lives of all people, and a sense of leisure or enjoyment. These core elements define much of his philosophy on love. Thurman’s emphatic belief in love influenced people like Martin Luther King Jr. to fight for racial and economic justice for our beloved community.

Today, I am asking you to extend love to fellow and future colleagues of the profession. If you have some time outside of caring for yourself and others personally, please sign up to be a TPE volunteer. We have several volunteer opportunities that assist candidates who desire to with our communities. In closing, Parker Palmer’s 1999 book Let Your Life Speak, outlines the importance of vocation. Palmer explains, “Vocation does not mean a goal that I pursue. It means a calling that I hear.” If you choose to volunteer, please use every opportunity to remind candidates that their professional position is not who they are, it is a calling they have chosen to answer.” Sign up to volunteer at The Placement Exchange today! For more information on volunteering email: volunteer@theplacementexchange.org

Nick Bates

Ambassador and Volunteers

Associate Director

Boston University’s Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground