Public trust in the American health care system has eroded to a new low during the COVID pandemic as evidenced by Black Americans’ angst over participating in the politics of health. The deadliest pandemic in U.S history pandemic presents a special set of health policy issues for communities worldwide, while Black Americans watched the theater of the absurd with political appointees in an unfriendly administration promote remedies from appointees and advisers who had little to no experience in public health.
So, when the health industry asks that Black Americans and people of color adhere without question to new health mandates, well, many are reluctant.
In addition, the COVID-19 vaccine controversy in communities of color regarding the development and distribution process of the vaccine has been wrought with political distractions and misinformation as confidence in health officials and the legitimacy of the health administration has reached an all-time low.
Aaron Oskin, founder of Govrn, an organization dedicated to giving people a voice and power in politics and democracy, breaks the process down to explain the trust problem in today’s critical political environment, especially as it relates to credibility with Black constituents.
Soskin spoke with rolling out about his organization’s model approach to critically thinking through power issues in community development and measuring the outcomes.
What is Govrn’s mission in this politically charged climate?
To build the next generation of politics to empower communities to make real change by putting constituents, politicians, and experts on the same team.
Please describe your leadership style.
[It’s] leadership by partnership. Being a leader does not mean telling people what to do, but by having them build the vision with you to make something amazing you never even dreamed of. The hardest thing sometimes is letting go and letting the team take on a life of its own, but when you do you create the space for magic to happen.
Speaking of management, how do you utilize technology to benefit your organization?
We use technology to enable remote work collaboration and build community. What we’re building at Govrn touches an unreal amount of different disciplines, and as a result we’re talking to tons of individuals who are thought leaders in their space spread out around not just the country, but the globe. We use technology to not only connect with them but build a community with them where they can come together to contribute and help us build Govrn.
What three skills are critical for the future executive you hire for your organization?
Learn quickly, execute deliberately.
If you’re not having fun, then the team definitely isn’t having fun.
So, what are you reading now? Name your two favorite books.
Right now, I am reading three books: How the Internet Happened by Brian McCullough; Outline by Rachel Husk, and Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam.
My favorite books change pretty often. Right now, my favorites are The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.