Black Legacy Month (BLM) is a time in which the entire Dartmouth community comes together to celebrate and recognize the triumphs, struggles, and excellence of Blackness at Dartmouth.
Throughout the month of February, the Tuck and Dartmouth communities offer a number of events and programs to celebrate BLM. The purpose is to recognize the Black experience, explore topical issues in the Black community while giving context to a vision of what the Black future could be, and engage the Dartmouth community in an appreciation for all that Black people have contributed to the campus and the world at large.
Who do you most admire and look up to? Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by my parents. They inspire me in what they do and say. As I have grown older, I have come to recognize the sacrifices they have made silently to create the best upbringing possible for me and my siblings. I am grateful for them, and when I think about them, I want to do and be better.
How would you describe your life philosophy?
One of my favorite life principles is: “appreciate everything.” In life, we have some experiences that build us up and feel like a win and others that feel like unprecedented and insurmountable challenges. Though, with each life experience there’s often a truth to be learned. I’ve found joy in reflecting and growing while progressing in life, and I’ve grown appreciative of all opportunities to learn.
In your opinion, what makes a good leader?
For me, a good leader is one who is willing to lead progress from the front and do the work required to lead change. The sacrifices of leadership are often done in silence, without overt recognition or reward, but the fulfillment eventually comes from making your people and community better off.
Zach Panton T’24 is from South Florida. He originally came to Dartmouth for his undergraduate studies and medical school. Throughout his experiences, he grew more curious about the financial and economic drivers of healthcare, and Tuck was the obvious choice for the pursuit of his MBA studies. The community, camaraderie, and strength of the Tuck community were perfect for his pursuit of learning, self-improvement, and career development.
What does diversity, equity, and inclusion mean for you today, and in your words, why is it so critical?
To me, diversity, equity, and inclusion is ensuring fair treatment and opportunity for all. It should aim to eradicate prejudice and discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics (age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, race, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sexual orientation). Allowing hate and prejudice to permeate the walls of society sends society backward.
How do you define “success”?
I define success as being fulfilled, happy, safe, healthy, and loved. I also define success as an equal opportunity for all. When there is a level playing field and everyone has an equal opportunity, that means we can all win together. Although this is an ideology that I believe some groups of people do not share, I am optimistic that someday things will work out.
In your opinion, what makes a good leader?
A good leader is someone with the ability to influence a group of individuals in achieving a common goal. A good leader should embody the following characteristics: good listener, empathetic, aware, persuasive, forward-thinking, and constant growth of their people. Hence, a good leader must always think through the lens of both a leader and a follower whenever they make decisions.
Josh Kotey T’23 is originally from Ghana, West Africa. He’s been in the US since 2008 and served in the U.S. Army. He worked at two prominent consulting companies in Boston and has an MPH from Boston University School of Public Health. During his free time, he enjoys listening to music and engaging friends in intellectual conversations. He hopes to return to his home country Ghana and contribute to its development someday. He believes that all humans are here in this life for a purpose, and that his is to make a difference by not only being a good citizen but contributing to the lives of other underprivileged humans. He’s currently pursuing his MBA at the Tuck School of Business and is a member of the Black Students Association at Tuck.
Many Voices, One Tuck celebrates the stories of our vibrant and diverse community. What’s your story? Email DEI at Tuck if you’d like to contribute to the MVOT project.
Note: MVOT is open to members of the Tuck community, including students, alumni, faculty, staff, TEE and Tuck Bridge participants, and MHCDS graduates.