If you have an ally you have someone who’s on your side. If you have an accomplice you’ve got someone who’s got skin in the game with you, they risk as much or more as you do.
I recently went to see the movie Harriet. The very obvious thing is that Harriet Tubman was a woman of great faith, and courage with many allies. What’s not so obvious is that she had accomplices as well.
While Harriet is the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad many folks are unfamiliar with her accomplice Levi Coffin a white man considered the President of the Underground Railroad who helped to free thousands of slaves. Harriet ran some 300 slaves through the railroad, but every freed slave from every conductor came through Coffin’s railroad. He risked as much as any of the conductors. He was an accomplice.
We all need allies to open doors for us, to drop our names, or recommend us. But finding an accomplice is a rarity. Willie Jackson is leading this conversation in the area of race.
When we see the work as belonging to someone else, or some other group even if we agree we don’t lean in, we don’t put our necks, our reputations on the line with them. That’s their issue! Here’s the thing…if it’s important enough to be a real issue for them (whomever they are)…it’s really an issue for all of us.