My dad was a ‘girls dad’ before it became a popular and trending hashtag on social media. With four daughters, he was preparing us for the world, for boys and to navigate life.

My dad was the first person I ever heard who said, “that’s a brilliant glimpse of insight,” when as kids we finally got some point he was trying to make.

The lessons I learned from my dad were many. Through my dad, the physicist and mathematician, I learned about the ozone layer and areosols, and climate change long before those facts were introduced in school textbooks and Al Gore’s book, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Through my dad I also learned about philosophy. I learned about Rene Descartes, “I think, therefore I Am,” the man, the mathematician and the philosopher from my Dad.

It was my father who taught me to value myself. My dad was the first man to ever tell me I was beautiful.

Today, I found myself thinking about what my dad’s take would be on the events our nation is facing.

I know for a fact he would already have researched the Covid 19 virus, and would have some theory or brilliant glimpse of insight into the cause and effect, along with potential hypothesis or solutions.

As for Black Lives Matter and the riots, his take would have been that Black Life Matters and the reason to find ways forward is that simple. Black life is human life and it matters.

When my dad was a young man long before I was born, he spent a summer in a little southern town called Pineapple, Alabama. He use to recount a story of how he and a friend (who would years later become my father-in-law) were chased by the KKK late one night. Even in his retelling, I always knew how unnerving that night had been for him.

My dad was a standing in the gap kind of guy. Not sure what that means? Well there is a biblical scripture found in the book of Ezekiel 22:30 which says, “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall, and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.”

My dad, was that stand in the gap guy. I learned my lessons about leadership from my dad and will never forget what he told me once, after I found myself in big trouble for following behind some older kids.

“Are you going to be a leader or a follower? You get to choose. But leaders make choices, followers are given the choice.”

I’ve never forgotten that.

I learned to stand in the gap from my dad. And as we move forward to make our world a better place, I’ve learned to be one of those leaders who help make choices that can change the world, and change our narratives about diversity, equity and inclusion.

This is my favorite photo of my dad and I. Someone took a picture of my dad and I, while he took a picture of me. His shadow looking over me. I feel that presence now. So today, I’m standing in the gap for those who come behind me.

And, that’s a brilliant glimpse of insight.”