“Find someone with good will and good intentions and try to move forward. There’s no guarantee that we’re going to win when we’re doing difficult things. But it’s OK to not be as successful as we hoped. Don’t be afraid to take risks.” That’s the advice Sterling Lynk — pastor, local activist, LGM16 alumni and member of the LGMAA Council — shared with LGMAA Council President Jack Williams (LGM24) and LGM Program Director Lynn Wood (LGM12) during a recording of a Lead from Where You Are podcast.

Sterling talked about the systemic racism he experiences as a bi-racial man. He believes sharing his personal story and engaging in deep conversations is paramount to addressing systemic racism and economic and social justice. These conversations can be challenging and uncomfortable, but when we share our stories and learn our history is when we can see where we can go together. Sterling says as a pastor he understands the importance of personal engagement, community building and connecting with people who may be outside your usual sphere. These are the connections that can lead to larger and more meaningful conversations.

He shared hopeful observations, challenges that still loom and how his LGM experience helped prepare him for community engagement. He says there are lots of places for leaders to plug in and make a difference. And it all starts with asking “can we be more than civil and be constructive.”

About Sterling Lynk

Sterling is the Pastor at Dekorra Lutheran Church in Poynette. He’s also the Managing Director of Mighty Purpose, former Executive Director of the Madison Area Down Syndrome Society and served as Director of Operations and Economic Development Director at the Urban League of Greater Madison.

Sterling describes himself as a Vision-building leader - leaving legacies of strategic focus, systems and personal growth. He enjoys transforming organizations into values-driven movements with the ability to make what is possible and good into what is real and long-lasting. He strives to impact the world by giving himself so that anyone can discover their higher purpose, express that purpose in the world, find their story, and grow in wisdom and understanding. He does this through counsel, mentorship and creating environments where those around him can thrive. He says it’s about all of us fulfilling our highest potential.

During his career and personal life, Sterling has brought a drive for clarity, strategic and group-values alignment, stark truth-telling and questioning, intellectual honesty, accountability for execution, and a belief that the world can and should be a lot better.