Ferguson-March
Millions March / All-Nite Images

December 31, 2015; KTRS-AM (St. Louis, MO)

In October, University of Missouri (aka Mizzou) students toppled an administration and shook the American higher education system. The Mizzou actions rippled throughout the country, but Mizzou was not ground zero. Rev. Osagyefo Sekou, Bayard Rustin Fellow at the Fellowship of Reconciliation, has said, “You don’t get Mizzou without Ferguson.”

Following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9th, 2014, and the unrest that followed, the Ferguson Commission was established “to guide the community in charting a new path toward healing and positive change” by addressing “the underlying root causes that led to the unrest.” The Commission officially ended its work on December 31st, 2015, though the unofficial lessons we are still learning about leadership may be among the most important for this century’s nonprofit social change organizations.

According to Brittany Packnett, an activist and executive director of Teach for America St. Louis, what has emerged from Ferguson was change “