“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
My life goal is to take the Civil Rights Movement to a new level!

As a Black male growing up in Atlanta, I believed I was heir to the social change and service legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King's example, I made a commitment to use my education and professional life to help solve the economic, social, and political problems I saw in the Black community.

I now realize that the world I saw then is only part of the larger world Dr. King saw. When he said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere," he was speaking not only of Selma, Montgomery, and other turbulent cities in the South but also of places where there are no Baptist churches, Jim Crow signs, Marches on Washington, or Black populations.

I now realize, having studied and worked in Africa, emerging Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, that problems like poverty and social inequality are linked in communities around the world.

Working as an international banker has given me a greater appreciation for the ability of capital, public/private-sector partnerships, and sound legal infrastructures to help solve some of these problems.

Equipped with these perspectives and my responsibility as a "keeper of the dream," I hope to promote entrepreneurship in the US and abroad, change US policies toward developing countries, and create linkages wherever possible among disadvantaged communities.

After September 11, Dr. King's words ring with new urgency: people around the world are caught "in an inescapable network of mutuality"; we wear a single "garment of destiny."

— Rod Norman