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The Negro Spirituals as Leader: Exploring Art, Artistry, and Archetypes

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When: Saturday, 27 October | 14:00 - 17:00 | HALF DAY
Where: Palm Beach County Convention Center - 1L
Ticket Price: ILA members - $45 | non-members - $60
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What manner of leader could help an entire people group find peace and prosperity and make significant progress even as they were forcibly dislocated from one continent to another? The Negro Spirituals. How can this be? We don't often privilege art or artistry as Leader, but that's exactly what the Negro Spirituals are.

This session is for those who are committed to leading authentically in an intercultural, global community, for those who want to refresh, enhance, and equip themselves as catalysts for transformation.

Focusing on the Negro Spirituals, insights from the facilitators' research and life experience, and interpersonal dialogue, participants will be invited to co-create an environment of inclusion, acceptance, and respect. Participants will engage in experiences that will conjure new possibilities in a world fraught with chaos, confusion, and complexity, a world where authenticity, adaptability, creativity, and improvisation must become normative, so we can co-create contexts for continuous progress, peace, and prosperity.

For more information, download the long description.

  Who Should Attend?

This session is designed to enhance the leadership capacity of novice, mid-career, and senior leaders across professions.

What Will Attendees Gain?

Attendees will:

  • Understand and have experienced first-hand how creating art and artistry is an act of leadership
  • Embrace a larger vision of leadership that spans boundaries and ventures into new territories
  • Harness the arts to develop their creative energy
  • Be inspired to incorporate intercultural approaches to leading
  • Have an appreciation for the importance of creating a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for both leaders and followers
  • Have experienced and applied to their own leadership a fresh framework for sense-making that empowers leaders to embrace progress, savor peace, and move toward prosperity

Track: Leadership Development

Workshop Leaders & Presenters

Gloria Burgess John Burgess
Gloria Burgess
Seattle University
John Burgess
Music for Transformation


Gloria Burgess is a Distinguished Scholar, Professor of Transformational Leadership, award-winning poet, and performer. She has presented keynotes, master classes, and artistic tributes on African-American, African, and other oral traditions for 30+ years. A Cave Canem Poetry Fellow, a prestigious collective of poets and writers of the African diaspora sponsored by the American Academy of Poets, she has recorded a CD of original poems with music composed and arranged by her husband John. Gloria holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from the University of Southern California and has served as regular and visiting faculty at various universities.



John Burgess is an international leadership consultant. He works with diverse organizations on values-based leadership. John is also a Maestro and conducts Music for Transformation™ with organizational leaders throughout the world. A Visiting Faculty in an executive leadership program at the University of Southern California, he also collaborates with his wife Gloria on legacy projects. John holds a degree in music from the University of Michigan's School of Music, Theatre, and Dance and an MBA from the University of Southern California.



Paul Kosempel is currently Teaching Associate Professor in leadership studies at the University of Denver (DU) as well as Interim Director of the Pioneer Leadership Program. Paul joined the faculty in 2007, and soon after received his PhD in interpersonal communication from DU. His professional experience includes over twenty years in higher education in various capacities including career development, leadership development, and operations management. He is co-convener of ILA's Sustainability Leadership Learning Community. His research interests include leadership and sustainability, assessment of leadership learning outcomes, and mentoring and leadership. He is also part-owner of the Green Bay Packers Football Team.



Charles David Tauber, M.D. is a founder of the Coalition for Work with Psychotrauma and Peace and has been its Head of Mission for Southeast Europe since 1995. He developed Pragmatic Empowerment Training (PET), a participatory course in communication, psychology, civil society, non-violent conflict transformation, and human rights for people without previous education in these fields. He has given therapy and supervision to victims of war. Previously, Tauber worked with various groups in The Netherlands, assisting asylum seekers and refugees and lay volunteers. He grew up in the USA, where he worked with environmental and peace groups starting in 1966.



Sandra Marić, grew up and studied in Zagreb, Croatia. Before joining to the Coalition for Work with Psychodrama and Peace as Deputy Head of Mission for Southeast Europe in 2006, she worked extensively with children and young people in eastern Croatia. Sandra holds a Masters in Sociology from the University of Zagreb. Her role with the Coalition includes therapy, research, writing, and a wide variety of other Coalition tasks.