2012 Rock Ethics Institute Stand Up Award Recipient
Joshua Brady Branch Class of 2013, Political Science, Schreyer Honors Scholar, Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellow, Penn State University Park
We are often encouraged to think of leaders as people who rise to the occasion in extraordinary circumstances. Anyone with a commitment to changing cultures in which privilege and exclusion are the norm, however, knows that it is more often than not seemingly ordinary, everyday circumstances that call for the extraordinary actions of a leader. Once the need for leadership is widely recognized, any number of people will step forth and express their willingness to take on the task. Being among the first within a group to respond to a call that others are not yet hearing requires a different kind of courage and marks a different kind of leader.
When someone does this in a way that gets people to look more carefully at their behaviors and to compare them with the standards for treating others that they say they accept, that person provides us an example of ethical leadership. In his work as an ally for the LGBTQ community, Joshua Branch models this kind of leadership, which we believe to be worthy of recognition through our Stand Up Award.