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New Leaders Council

Meet Ricky Burgess

Meet Ricky Burgess 2016 Pittsburgh Fellow


1. Favorite Book of all time  AND the last book you read?

My favorite  books is a tie between  I MAY NOT GET THERE WITH YOU by Michael Eric Dyson and INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison, though Toni Morrison is my favorite author, going away.  I just finished reading  The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert and The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

 2. If you could master one skill you dont have right now, what would it be?

 The skill that  I would love to have  is speed reading, so that  I could get through more books.

 3. Whats your Zodiac Sign? If you know anything about it do you think its you?

 I think  that  I am an  Aries,  but  I am vehemently  opposed to the signs of the Zodiac.

 4. Whats the First album you bought and what media was it on? (CD, tape, 8 track?)

 My first album was a II by Boys II Men on cassette tape.

 5. If you had to sacrifice one of your five senses which would it be and why?

I would definitely give up my  sense of taste, because I value  my  sense  of touch,  sight  and hearing a lot, and losing my  sense of smell will take away  much of the benefit of taste anyway,  so taste is the default  sacrifice.

 6. What was your dream job growing up? Astronaut, cowboy/girl, Science Ninja?

 I know I am kinda a nerd, but my dream growing up was to be a sociology professor and a public intellectual.

 7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 My passion is sustainability and so I want to be helping lead the Pittsburgh  community  as we ensure both the environmental and economic sustainability of all of our communities.

 8. Whats your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?

 Perhaps this is myopic,  but my favorite  thing  about  Pittsburgh  is my  family.

 9. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

 The international trip I would most like to make  is to Ghana,  since as an African- American man, I do feel a connection to West Africa, the likely origin of many  of my ancestors.

 10. In what ways are you a leader? In what ways are you a follower?

 I tend to reject the leader/ follower  dichotomy;  instead I try  to follow four key principle in all of my  interactions with others:

1.  Being a man  of integrity

2. Showing  love to everyone

3. Seeking growth  for both myself and those around me.

4. Focusing on serving  other people first, particularly the disenfranchised.

 11. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

 The superpower I would most love  to have  is healing,  so I could radically transform the lives of people around the globe.

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