Happy #ThankYouThursday. At the Corporation for Black Male Achievement we are holding fast to this weekly tradition of committing to send five gestures of gratitude to folks in our community letting them know how much they are loved and appreciated. Whether by an old-fashioned phone call, text, tweet or smoke signal, take a pause right now and let at least five people in your network know how thankful you are for them.

Today, I want to send #ThankYouThursday love and appreciation to Minda Harts, who I met about five years ago and has since been an illuminating presence not only in my life, but in the lives of so many others – especially women of color — through her platform of speaking, podcasts and books.

I remember vividly the day when Minda did a “Miles Davis” on me and my staff during a staff retreat, where she was the featured speaker. While she was nervous and in the process of polishing her now captivating presentations, she was authentic and vulnerable.

Minda was sharing her story, her struggles, her vision for the path forward when she suddenly turned her back to the audience, like Miles Davis would often do while playing his instrument. Something landed with me at that moment, as I realized that Minda was an instrument for healing and liberation with sharing her story, which she would eventually do in her best-selling book, The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table. So many Black women felt seen, saw themselves in Minda’s story and gleaned strategies for navigating and flourishing in their work places and entrepreneurial endeavors.

Thank you, Minda, for your courageous leadership and for demonstrating how to be committed and prolific with your gifts! From that first encounter five years ago speaking at our staff retreat, to building a platform and community for thousands of Black women entrepreneurs and professionals, and also for men like myself who are gleaning insights and inspiration from her work. Minda’s next book, Right Within: How to Heal from Racial Trauma in the Workplace, is due out in September so get your preorder in today.

Speaking of book preorders, resounding #ThankYouThursday love and appreciation to the many folks that have rushed to preorder my book, I Too Am America: On Loving and Leading Black Men & Boys. We set a goal of 1,000 orders before August 28th and we’re halfway there, thanks to your support!

And one last #ThankYouThursday virtual hug to Minda for her endorsement of my book and, most importantly, for her friendship.