TROY—Dr. Calvin Mackie believes the United States has too many people with responsibility but not enough who accept accountability.
His message to the 10th Annual Leadership Conference Celebrating Black History Month, co-sponsored by Troy University and the City of Troy, Saturday highlighted the differences not between races, sexes or socioeconomic classes, but against those “in the know and those not in the know.”
“The greatest leadership you can have is to put yourself in a position to take of yourself and those who depend on you,” he said, referring to the two lessons of leadership taught to him by his mother.
“Your job is resource, but God is your source,” and “kill or thy shall not eat,” were the two lessons of leadership my mother instilled in me,” he said. “Troy, Alabama, or America is not going to change until we want to change it for ourselves.”
Speaker, author, professor and inventor Calvin Mackie is a former associate professor of mechanical engineering at Tulane University in New Orleans. President Bush honored him with the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Mackie to the Louisiana Recovery Authority, leading the state’s rebuilding efforts following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He is the author of “A View from the Roof: Lessons for Life and Business.”
He was featured in Spike Lee’s HBO documentary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Parts" and has appeared on national shows as the PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer and the Tom Joyner Show. Dr. Mackie is President of the Channel ZerO Group, an organization committed to maximizing the effectiveness and potential of individuals and organizations.
Mackie told attendees that education, personal effort and self-reliance were the keys to claiming hope and providing a secure future for each individual and the nation.
“Personal leadership is about getting up and doing things that enable us to make our own way in this country,” he said.
As part of the closing session of the conference, four students were recognized for leadership abilities: Robert Etheridge, James L. Watkins Jr., and Nikki Roberson; and the conference presented the Athletic Achievement Award to Sam Sellers.
The Leadership Conference also awarded its 2011 Leadership Award to Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr., Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford, University Trustee Lamar P. Higgins and Dr. Shirley Woodie, who together pioneered the first Leadership Conference. The awards recognized their “outstanding contributions” in establishing the conference.