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Essay

View this short video of Congressman John Lewis discussing his experience with good trouble.

Consider the Blackburn Institute’s vision, mission, and values.

Incorporate ideas from 1 and 2 in your single essay response to each the following three prompts.

“My vision is to develop a community of ethical leaders who collaboratively accomplish good and noble ends. A good community is comprised of more than one generation; embraces transcending values that esteem each citizen; and creates a sense of oneness, where individuals set aside personal gain, benefit or goal for the sake of the group.”

– Dr. John L. Blackburn

The mission of the Blackburn Institute is to develop a network of diverse leaders who understand the challenges facing the state of Alabama and the nation and who are committed to serving as agents of positive change.

In working to fulfill this mission, the Blackburn Institute is guided by four overarching values:

Facilitating a diversity of opinion by providing opportunities for students to experience multiple sides of issues impacting their communities as well as creating situations for open dialogue focused on fostering the resolution of issues rather than their mere identification.

Being called to action by inspiring active citizenship as individuals and collectively by identifying and implementing strategic initiatives for the common good.

Networking through the generations by providing opportunities for students and fellows to engage in dialogue and personal contact with advisory board members, alumni, faculty, community leaders, scholars, and political leaders.

Instilling a lifetime commitment by providing a rich collegiate experience so that, upon graduation, fellows are encouraged not only to continue to foster relationships with the Blackburn Institute and its members, but to also uphold the ideals of the Institute in their daily lives.

How do you understand “good trouble,” and is it necessary for the ethical leadership envisioned by Dr. Blackburn?

Describe a time in which you experienced an opportunity to “get in the way.”

How might your willingness to get into “good trouble” help you become an agent of positive change for the state of Alabama?

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