Joerg Schmitz 0:08
Welcome to The Inclusive Leader Podcast. The practice of inclusive leadership enables us to tackle the complex challenges of our times. This is the space for conversations about inclusive leadership. I am your host York Schmitz and I welcome you to this episode. True inclusive leadership is thoughtful, deliberate, context sensitive, and contributes to social change, and communal healing. Akosua Adampo. Ampofo describes herself as an activist scholar, her work is informed by her faith, and a commitment to what she calls social gospel, at the heart our questions of identity and power within families, political and religious spaces, and also the knowledge industry. Our conversation touched on many issues, African knowledge systems, masculinity, LGBTQ plus race, colonialism, and popular culture to name just a few. But we barely scratched the surface of any of these complex and nuanced issues. Her message is clear, to discover and leverage our own individual agency as learners. And interestingly, as healers, it is a great pleasure to welcome our CO Sua, to the inclusive leadership institute, and to share Kure. Well, and so let me ask you, is I ask everyone in these podcasts, what do you do?
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 1:46
Thank you your very much for inviting me to this and for the opportunity to talk about what I do, because I love what I do, and I like to talk about it. So obviously, I'm an academic. And so I teach, and I do research, my areas of interest, if we distill them, you know, into little sound bites, I'm broadly interested in the issue of gender relations, gender power, inequalities, and so forth. And within that, in the last decade or more, I've been also very interested in looking at constructions of masculinities, among young black men, then I'm also interested in my research and teaching in what quote unquote, we might call African knowledge systems. So you know, what, what makes knowledge African as opposed to anything else, is really, and I'm here, I'm going to quote our first president, something he said, When the Institute of African studies where I work was opened, he challenged us to approach our disciplines in African centered ways that this was because as a pragmatist, he recognized that the university, you know, the modern university, if we want to call it that is a European creation. I mean, we can talk about ancient universities in Egypt and Sue, you know, Sudan, and so forth. But the modern university that we currently practice is a European creation. And it came with disciplines as they were formed and developed in Europe. And he knew that not every approach was going to be appropriate for our context. And that, in fact, some of them might be inappropriate for our context. But this is the university that we had, and we were not going to change it overnight. And so at the Institute of African studies, we should approach our work by asking those questions very consciously from from a position of who we are, and where we are, in our context, politically, socially, and so forth. So, you know, this is really, you know, in a nutshell, the sorts of areas that I'm interested in. And of course, if we look at that, there's inequality and there's race in there. There's, you know, issues of poverty in the recently and this is not an area that I researched, but from an activist perspective, and I consider myself to be a scholar activist. There have been issues in our nation related to, you know, the citizenship of queer people, LGBTQ community and how they are seen and treated and the options and opportunities that they have or don't have. It's not something that I am academically trained them to address, but these are certain issues of that I'm socially conscious about, you know, environment and so on. So when I walk out of the Academy. These are spaces that I inhabit with others where I will participate. You know, I will join a petition in my youth I would be on a march even though I wouldn't have necessarily have the scientific competence to deal with them. But as a human being I can I'll take part.
Joerg Schmitz 5:16
Sure. So it's so fascinating. And we should probably tell the listeners that you're in Ghana, you know, located.
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 5:23
I am in Ghana. I am a professor at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, which is where I've been since 1989. Yes.
Joerg Schmitz 5:31
Oh, that's great. And so maybe we can, we can talk a little bit about I mean, there's so many questions that come up for me, but I mean, something you said was really intriguing to me. One, is this European creation of the university and African knowledge systems. How should we I mean, especially for the non scholars, you know, in the audience, but how should they be understanding that conversation? And what are African knowledge systems? I guess, would be a very basic question perhaps,
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 6:05
yes, it's, it's complex. But in a certain way, it can be very simple, I'm going to see if this example might make any sense. So there's a former professor at the Institute of African Studies called Professor George Hagen, he was, you know, quite senior, when I joined the Institute as a Junior fellow. And he wants to this story that I have used in a couple of talks, and also in a publication of mine. So he says, when he was doing his PhD in the UK, I'm gonna say, Cambridge, or Oxford, it was one of them. And he was a fresh student, and they were at dinner. And he took a jug of water, and served himself. And then a young man, one of his colleagues, kind of gently prodded and said, Well, you know, from a polite perspective, you should serve others before you serve yourself. And then his response, according to Professor Hagen, his response was that well, where I come from, you actually have to drink the water first, to see if it's okay, before you serve everyone else on the table, right. So that would be the human thing to do, make sure the water is fine. So in that small example, tells you a number of things that, first of all, the water quality in different places, is not necessarily going to be the same. You might also consider the fact that somebody who is ill intentioned, could poison the water, because they weren't, you know, they they have some some bad plan that is afoot. And then thirdly, that these two different cultures, obviously have different ways of looking at hospitality. Right? He says that he made the point, then, and I'm making the point now also, that it's not a matter of one form of hospitality is better than the other. It's just that they are different, right. And the fact that they are different means that you, and I think that this is something one of your other speakers talks about a curiosity that has embedded in it an interest in the human. So I want to understand what the other person's culture is not just because I'm curious, for curiosity sake, but I want to understand them better to be to be in a better human relationship with them. And it will also make me less judgmental, it will open my eyes to see that there are different perspectives. And that in some cases, and in many cases, the other person's perspective, there could be a lot in it, not only for me to learn, but also apply in my own life. And this is important when it comes to knowledge, because there has been so much that has been assumed to be the correct way. In science in history, and politics, sociology, whatever it is, and the correct way is then imposed on another society. It doesn't work, it may take away their sense of identity. Sometimes it influences policy, and then we have, you know, policy decisions that are so wrong, because they don't fit the social, economic political context of the people on whom they are imposed. And so it's it's so important for us to, you know, whether we were looking at climate change, or gender issues or marriage systems, whatever, to fully understand, not just understand the societies but understand if you like the science behind it, because whether we know it, obviously or not, there is a certain kind of science behind it. There's a philosophy behind there's a theory behind it, even if people don't articulate it. So, you know, that's kind of what it's about. I assume
Joerg Schmitz 9:58
that this And this wouldn't be a surprise actually. But this this almost this obsession with one singular truth, there is a is a point of distinction between, you know, a European based knowledge system and perhaps a more relativist haiku context, knowledge system that that we could see in other places that even that thinking that you just articulated around relativism, maybe cultural.
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 10:33
Yes. And if I might may add, it's also important, from the, from the optics of things and how that makes you feel. So today, it's very fashionable, you know, to say, I don't see someone who is like me, and so I don't feel included. That, of course, is extremely important, we didn't use to talk about it. But imagine going into a classroom, even though you don't see the photographs of the office on the textbooks or the texts you're using, you know, the names tell you that they are not from where you are. And sometimes even the descriptions about your society that you're reading, and those books could be like, Oh, that's not how I experienced it. Or worse, still, could be very demeaning, and massive. I mean, we all know about the racist literature and so on. But these are the kinds of things that incremental recognized we will be contending with, and we still contend with, so sometimes we have conflict might be too strong disagreements with our colleagues. So my institute is multidisciplinary, we have this African centered focus, as opposed to, right, we may have disagreements with our colleagues in sociology, or history or political science or economics, who are not necessarily you know, there's, there's almost an assumption that once you are in a university on African soil, then you are going to take an African approach, but that's not necessarily so. And so sometimes have disagreements with our colleagues about approaches about methodology. It's like we you know, why would you use a quantitative survey to ask this particular question? You're not, you're not gonna have anybody answer it? Or why must we insist that people sign consent forms? When, you know, in that community that consent form is, is going to give an indirect message to the person that why do you not trust me? Do you think that I'm lying to you? Or do you think I'm only doing this so that you can pay me? I said, I will speak to you about my knowledge. And we've agreed to sit here, why do I need to sign a piece of paper? Well, that's what the funder wants, and, you know, things, things like that.
Joerg Schmitz 12:48
Yeah, it's, it's really complex. And it just also demonstrates the long shadow historical shadow that colonialism has cast, right, because it's almost this internalized attitude of colonialism as well. Now, I'm curious, because you mentioned all these different areas, including so the construction of masculinity, for example, among black men, how does that relate to I guess, more broadly, the notions of sexuality and and you mentioned the LGBTQ issue, even though that may not be, you know, your scholarly focus, but your activist focus, but from an African centered perspective, how does that relate or apply? I would say,
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 13:34
if you're doing gender studies, at some point, you're, you're looking at issues of masculinity anyway, you know, whether you whether you foreground it or not. And so for me, I don't have biological sons. I have two biological daughters. But I like to think that I have a lot of children, the young people in my life and part of what drives me as concerned for for their well being and their livelihood. I look at the world and I'm like, What kind of place are we living for the next generation anyway? So what you read and what you had, and what I myself was working on that related to men was often very apt was negative, you know, so you're looking at HIV AIDS? Well, men don't want to wear condoms. So women are getting infected. You're looking at family dynamics. Well, you know, men are very abusive, they're beating up their partners. You know, all of that is happening. And these are things that I myself researched. And these are the findings. Maybe at a more nuanced level, you'd have you know, work about young men as father as providers and so on. But there was also sometimes a certain, let me say Eva instrumental approach to it. So how can we make men better fathers so that blah, blah, blah. or certain paternalism, you know, wow, look at these guys. They are great fathers. They actually, you know, hanging out to their little children. And, of course, as a researcher, you know, it's it's more complex than that, and I was intrigued. And, you know, as my daughters were getting older, you know, and I'm getting more senior, as a scholar, there are more issues that young men have in their lives that I'm becoming interested in. So, you know, I was interested to better understand what makes them tick, because we're all products of our society. We, we, you know, we sometimes as as women, or as mothers, we complain, quote, unquote, that the young men that we don't want, our young women to date have been raised by other women who are like us. So, you know, the men, the young men, that we are not happy with fair treatment of young women, or even other young men have been raised by somebody, some mothers and grandmothers, sometimes some fathers and grandfathers, you know, so what is it that's going on with, with these young men? How do they see it, of course, I would often hear the pressures that they themselves face to uphold these notions of masculinity that we know are often very impossible to uphold, you must be a provider, you must strongly must be all these things. And just to hear their stories about, you know, what's going on with them, I had done some other work earlier, you know, on a more objective, quote, unquote, quantitative level to see what was related to what. But now, I just wanted to hear young young men stories, and in different parts of the continent, and where I could, I'd have these conversations also, in some in Germany, some in the UK, some in the US, mainly with young men who consider themselves to be African, they may be first generation they may be passing through as students or whatever. And also to see how race was implicated in that, and issues of sexuality. Of course, I was also interested in I have to say, these these conversations have, I go somewhere, ask a colleague, can you find me some young men to talk to, so I don't, I don't have much, say in some, some instances, I go somewhere, and it's a conference and I pull a young man and I've had a conversation with can you find some other people for me to talk to, and so on. So these are very kind of self selected groups. But there have only been two instances where there have been only two young men who have self identified as same sex loving, or queer or gay or whatever. So I'm hearing stories about what we would what they will call cisgender men, right. So these are, these are men who identify as straight heterosexual or whatever. So I can't from that research, I can't say too much about, you know, queer identity or queer life, because there wasn't, there wasn't that much to hear. But there's a little bit you know, and then you, you hear their stories as human beings and the nuances between the power they have, as well as their vulnerability, and those who recognize that, you know, in spite of their vulnerabilities, they still do have a lot of power, and room to operate. And it's just work that I want to put out there. So these conversations are being formed into a documentary. And of course, there's also anytime I've done work or spoken, on issues of masculinity, I get some pushback from from some feminists, because it's like, you know, we're, we're really not done with all the work on on young women, right? And we don't want to dissenter, the conversation, and put the spotlight on on men as as if they are the new victims on the block. And, of course, this is not my intention. But I do have to be careful that I don't inadvertently, you know, create some of that appearance. So it's, it's, it's a balancing act to, you know, to put this on the table in the especially in the context when most of the work agenda was about men and women, right, that you don't you don't destabilize the space and take the spotlight of the people who really are having a harder time, I would still say,
Joerg Schmitz 19:35
I mean, I'm just resonating a little bit and again, not from the academic side as much as really from this this pursuit of inclusive leadership or inclusiveness. It strikes me I mean, in so many companies or in so many organizations, there is the same tension that you're describing a little bit with. The focus is on women and women's development, but the org denunciations are actually shaped by men and for men, oftentimes, and the male experience doesn't really get discussed. And, and it's that same tension, you know, and I have oftentimes believe that in order to change things, we actually do need to, you know, add the voices and experiences of men, not to make them the new victims or so. But actually to understand the relational dynamics between the two. And to get to the human core of some of that. It's really interesting to hear you talk about that,
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 20:38
and to give them to give them voice, because I know there's always attention should we give voice to the powerful? And how much space do we give to the powerful? You said, you have different questions that you raise, and one of them is why one does this, I think, and this, I'm quoting from an interview respondents in another project that I've been involved in, that's tracing women's activism in Ghana. And she says, there's just too much inequality in the world for us to focus only on our issues. And so, you know, powerful people also have issues, they may have different kinds of issues, but the kinds of issues they have impacted us. So we need to understand them, we need to appreciate them not to, like you said not to say well, okay, you know, when we're giving you a pass, no, but you need to be also at the table, sometimes not always, sometimes. And to have a table where you can also talk like when we're doing race, it's for years, one focused on race, always from the other eye in the non white. And it's important for people to do race work from the perspective of white people, but from a socially conscious perspective. And one of the things that drives me in the work on masculinities is, you know, the hope, the prayer that the young men who participate in this, and some of them, obviously, are very conscious, especially those who haven't yet had this aha moment. You know, it's like in conversation, they're like, Yeah, right. I think I should be doing more of this and less of that. And maybe I could do this other thing. And perhaps, in my church, or this community group, maybe we shouldn't be doing things this way. And for me, that's like, where I want things to go that the if you like, quote, unquote, the oppressors, eyes go open, and they're like, Wow, I didn't realize that this behavior of mine was so oppressive. And perhaps I should be, of course, they are oppressors who know exactly what they're doing and have no intention of changing. We don't want to waste our time with such people. But they are indeed, people who can go through transformation. And I've seen it, and I think we're all on a journey, you know, all on a journey. We didn't arrive, where we are today, we learned from other people, we've changed some of our behavior, we I cringe at some things I've written in the past, or things that I have said, and I'm grateful that there was no microphone on me, I'm like, wow, you know, is this what you really said? Then, this, you know, we're all learning and people need an opportunity to, you know, to express themselves to be heard, and to have the opportunity to transform themselves.
Joerg Schmitz 23:41
I think oftentimes, not with everyone, like you said, but oftentimes, the powerful, or the privileged, in certain cases, they feel excluded from the conversation about change, and they are experienced, not particularly recognized, and acknowledged. And once that happens, actually, change becomes possible because we can, we can negotiate power. And I think it's such an important precondition. So now I need to ask you, and you were leading this a little bit, why do you do that? Why is that the focus of your work?
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 24:18
You know, I think for some of us, it's also built into our DNA is you see those kids on the playground, who from day one, you know, they are making sure that nobody is cheating. But more seriously, I don't know. It's the it's, well, firstly, it's the discomfort with inequality because I don't like to be mistreated, you know, but also recognizing that somehow I can't enjoy my own humanity or my privilege to make it more practical to the max when the next person is having a hard time. I am the Shona I believe have this response to the greeting When you ask the Shona of Southern Africa, you asked, how are you and their responses? Um, well, if you are well, so there's this recognition that or boon to, you know, our wellness together, it's a recognition that somehow I'll do better if everybody else is doing well. So that's maybe from a self interested perspective. But I also, I want this world to be a fairer place. That may be pie in the sky, we are idealistic, it's Nirvana, we may not achieved the sight of heaven if we believe in heaven. But I think that there are enough people who care who can do the work of social change, and that they need, they need a number of things, sometimes they need their permission, right? They need the permission to do what it is they want to do that it's okay, it's okay for you to go out and speak on behalf of queer people, when they need sometimes the skills to do this, and you and I know this, that in social media now, you know, there's a lot of people just jumping and shouting, they may not achieve a lot, a lot of hot air and noise, and not very much necessarily happening. And this is not to this is not to discount that there's a lot of positive energy in in social media. So sometimes you you actually need to be trained to, you know, how can you lobby, what's the best way to do a petition? Who should you go to which one should go to Parliament, if you are in a religious space, what can you do so those kinds of skills, and, you know, also the awakening, because I was talking about a journey, sometimes, oftentimes, most times, I think, we need these conversations, opportunities to walk in somebody else's shoes. And we can simulate that, you know, we can simulate that to roleplay, through conversations to a film that you watch, just to awaken our consciousness about the other person in the shoes they're working in, and how we could do things differently or participate in in something or sometimes not participate in something and shut up, that could also be important, sometimes participating, worsens a situation. And these are all things that, you know, one can do, because I maybe I'm, you know, I'm somebody I can sit still. And so to participate in, in being part of something, you know, the action, this will be active as part of me, you know, it also gives me a certain sense of, of relevance, you know, I'm not just walking around breathing in the oxygen, I'm also participating in, in changing things for the better. And that's also important for my sense of self worth. And I think that's true
Joerg Schmitz 28:06
for all of us, in a sense, right. I mean, I'm thinking about why I'm so enthused and focused on inclusive leadership, it's that same, I think, desire to contribute positively to creating a little more fairness and equity in a world that doesn't have a lot of it. And I think, especially when you recognize those historical legacies, we are standing on, you know, we have the option not to look there, or we should look there and then do something and, and that's I think what inclusive leaders do as well. And we can all make a tremendous contribution there.
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 28:45
And we look into history and see so many people who have done so. And if I may add, because we live in a moment where there's so much frustration and pain, and if you're not careful, you feel like why should I even bother? And something that I say to encourage myself and to others is, you know, the the work that we do isn't only or necessarily so that we will see the results in our lifetime, right? Sometimes you don't get to see it, but you may see a little lighter on the horizon that something might change. Because you are so hopeful that change will come you continue and if we look at name anybody you know from Martin Luther King Rosa Parks, Kwame Nkrumah, you know, whoever Wangari Maathai, they did not necessarily live to see all the fruits, they may have seen some change. They did not live to see all the fruits of their labor but they sowed seeds. Some actions took place. They raised armies in the sense that many people bought into the vision and are continuing with it and I think that's extremely important to remind ourselves when we think there's no point, right? You know, all these political leaders are so bad, there's no point why bother?
Joerg Schmitz 30:09
So I have two questions. And one is, how do you keep yourself motivated? I guess, I mean, doing this work of change, you know, as you said, I mean, it can be taxing, it can be difficult it can, it's draining emotionally. And the change is not apparent, maybe in our lifetime, or at least not in the short term. So I'm just wondering how you keep yourself motivated. And then my second question was simply, what, from your studies, from your activism from, you know, what are some practical advice that people who are listening to us right now could could heed? Could could apply it?
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 30:53
Okay, what keeps me motivated, perhaps I can distill it to two things. One is I'm a person of faith. So I believe in a God, the God I believe in happens to be the Christian God, we don't have time to go into all their conflicts and difficulties about the way Christianity came to West Africa, and you know, all of that very problematic history with the missionaries and so forth. But anyway, at some point in my young adult life, I came to this faith. And so so that is very important to me, in terms of also social justice by see, I see that as an important part of the obligations of somebody who calls themselves to be a Christian, right. So I don't, I don't, for me, it's like, you really don't have a choice you need, you need to care, you have to do this. But it also means that, I don't think only in the in the worldly in that, you know, there's a temporal existence, there's, there's, there's an afterlife, there's a God, who I can trust, who can look after me, you know, times are difficult, but somebody somebody will see me through. And, and I genuinely believe that, and I feel that I have experienced that. So that's one also is just the impact on people. So, you know, if, if, and I think this is what inclusive leadership is about, if I can see a difference in one life, transformation in one person, on a particular day, at a particular moment, I'm like, wow, this is, you know, I feel good. And I feel that, you know, what I'm doing is worthwhile, and it's relevant. And I see that person, Excel videos, 510 years later, you see them, they are excelling, they still, they are people who care, they are making a difference. You know, it keeps you going feel like you're not wasting your time, at the end of a semester. I remember one class, I'm going to give two examples. My master's class and African Studies on gender and culture in Africa, there was a time when we used to have a lot of teachers and a lot of pastors, teachers wanted and a master's degree so they could get promoted. Pastors felt that they needed to understand gender, so they could solve problems in their churches, to whatever, you know, they were not necessarily were obvious, a lot of these pastors were previously very patriarchal. So they, when they would come to the class, they will be very heavily challenged by the text and, and often by other students in the classroom. Anyway, there was one who, at the end of the semester, said to me that his wife had said to him, that he should come and tell me that she's very thankful that he has been in the class, because she has noticed that there has been a transformation in the way that he lives as a person in their marriage as a parent, as a pastor, whatever else, right? So for me, I was like, wow, that's, you know, that's very heartwarming. And fast forward some 20 years, I was in sabbatical in the US and a small sectarian school in Southern California, in a very wealthy part of Southern California. And I was teaching a class that had been taught by a white man, there were very few black professors in this school, would not only was a black had come from Africa, and some students had to take that class. It was a required class. So they were not there because they were excited to take my class. And suddenly here, I was talking about colonialism and slavery and sexism and transgender people and so on. And there were people in our class who were offended, and did not want to hear this stuff. They were openly hostile. They probably did not know this, but I will be going to class in the morning I'm praying like, No, you have to take me through this class because I need to get this class done. And I need the students to be quiet And to listen and whatever, anyway, there was a student who, at the end of the course, white young man who said something to me to the effect that he thoughts, and I had interactions with him outside the classroom, because he had some issues he was struggling with, he thought that I might have thought that he was some right wing, redneck student, you know, hopeless case. And he wants to let me know that as a result of taking this class, his worldview, his attitude to the other, you know, has has been so transformed, that he really feels that he was called to take this class, and he is so grateful to me for helping him to see, you know, if you like, what a jerk he was, and how ignorant he was, and that he really thinks that he's going to approach you know, life differently. I'm like, wow, you know, I want to cry, you know, you know, it's in your time. And that really, you know, really energizes me. And as I said earlier, I love to work with young people, you know, they energize me, they always have some new interesting thing that they're doing. And then if they are excited to be with you, because they think they are learning. You know, it's just heartwarming, practical things to do. Because I'm because I'm a teacher, and I do training. Obviously, there's power in reading, practically speaking, especially in this moment, post, you know, all the Black Lives Matter, George Floyd, you know, anti queer movements in many of our countries on the continent, there's so much material is like, you have no excuse to be ignorant. Just go and read, you know, so, practical things for people who want to bring about change, sometimes just put together, I'm going to call it quote, unquote, a syllabus. But I mean, something less technical than that, you know, four or five simple bits, you know, short pieces that people can read. Sometimes if it's biographical, autobiographical, it speaks to people. It's like a picture, they can understand the experiences of other people that they had never, for a moment thought about a disabled person, you know, that you have judged for being on the street begging. So you know what one practical thing is put material together for people to read. The reason I've been involved in, in film recently, and I talked about this film on women's activism that I'm doing with a colleague, the director of the film is one of my PhD students. She's a filmmaker, and tracks. It speaks to the experiences of 16 woman who came of age in the 1970s. And activism and my colleague is an MS. Kate Skinner. She's at the University of Birmingham. She's an historian. So that's, she has this historical interest. For me, it's the sociologists the activist part. Anyway, two of the things that we wanted to do was break this myth about, you know, feminism being a foreign import to Ghana, and also being something that is recent. So Beijing, the UN movements, the UN decades and so on, okay. That's what brought women's activism to Africa. No, that was that's not the case. Women were doing activist work long before that. And in very interesting ways that people are not aware of today. It's like, why are we reinventing the wheel as somebody in the film says, you know, when they showed us to stand on, just continue the work, there's no need to start again. And I find film to be such a potent way. Because especially in what I'll be saying bad things about young people, young people don't read as much as we used to. And film becomes a very positive way. So if you can make a film, you can surely find a film that speaks to what your agenda is, you know, and share it and use that as a tool. Podcasts, I think are amazing. And then having conversations with people, both to listen and to share, and also to build teams, to reference healing. In these times of trauma. It has bell hooks as we can heal in isolation, we heal in community. And if we are to healing community, we have to also suffer or feel other people's pain in community. And that has to be done in conversation of some kind. So you know, depending depending on what your goal is, what it is you're trying to do, who you're working with, just bringing people around the table and have a conversation, and possibly a series of conversations about deep issues. And if people believe that you sincerely care about The topic that you're putting on the table, they will, they will be vulnerable and share. And it's it's both a learning experience for the person who's facilitating or initiating this conversation. But also the people around the table learning and hearing from from each other. So that's, you know, that's just a few. And it's an opportunity to build teams to work together, they kind of find who they have good chemistry with, and they can work together to do things together.
Joerg Schmitz 40:28
It's so important that you highlight that it's not just about learning. And we can be agents of learning, but that through that learning, we can be agents of healing as well. That's, I think, an aspect to our agency that we, that many of us may at least forget,
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 40:46
we live in times where we need all of us need healing. I know I need healing in many areas, I'm sure you need healing, and you know, some of what we suffer from self imposed. Some of it is, you know, it's a world we live in the world is not a fair place. And it's deeply historical, as well, deeply. And so we have to recognize the pain, and do this through this healing work.
Joerg Schmitz 41:12
Thank you so much for you know, just sharing this and, you know, taking us through your professional research, your personal motivation to this, and focusing us on what all of us can do, and making this very practical. And I really appreciate your time. I know that we'll hear a lot more from you. And I'm so excited to have you part of what we do at the inclusive leadership institute. So thank you for now.
Akosua Adomako Ampofo 41:39
Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed this conversation. Thank you so much.
Joerg Schmitz 41:52
Thank you for listening. You can sign up for more wherever you get your podcasts, just look for The Inclusive Leader Podcast. To find out more about the inclusive leadership institute. Visit us at www the inclusive leadership institute.com