Community Leader Spotlight: Denny and Lou

Community Leader Spotlight: Denny and Lou

November 2, 2020
Category: Open Minds Respectful Voices
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A White woman in a black dress and a White man in a grey suit smiling in front of a green bush.

This is part of a series of spotlights on community leaders in the Triad who have signed their names to NCCJ’s Open Minds, Respectful Voices initiative to affirm their commitment to practicing the initiative’s 5 Community Practices in their daily conversations. Here’s what Denny Kelly and Lou Bouvier, founders of Bouvier Kelly and co-chairs of NCCJ’s 2020 Citation Award Dinner, had to say:


Why did you sign on to the Open Minds, Respectful Voices initiative, committing to the five Community Practices?

These five simple practices could really propel us forward in developing the compassionate community we all want.  We appreciate NCCJ’s providing a platform that everyone in the community can follow to create conversations that bring us together to learn and respect one another.


What are you learning through your practice?

Instead of avoiding people whose opinions, outlooks, backgrounds and judgements are different, we are pro-actively engaging them and trying to listen with all our heart.


What do you hope happens in our community as more people sign on to the Open Minds, Respectful Voices initiative, and commit to the five Community Practices?

We can’t fix problems if we don’t understand them.   The more people who commit to these five community practices, the better we will understand where our neighbors are coming from and how to support and respect each other.


What advice do you have for others who are just starting to engage in these practices?

Look for opportunities to practice.  Engage others and check your immediate reaction at the door to give yourself time to think and listen to others. They are telling you their “truth.”   Imagine yourself in their shoes and ask them to do the same for you.


Attend the virtual NCCJ Citation Award Dinner on November 11 and hear the remarkable stories of this year’s honorees, Mary Kendrick and Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas, who have brought so many people together using these principles.