“There’s the 'great man theory' that says leaders are born and they’ve always been leaders,” says Miles Feacher, Museum Educator at The Grove Museum. “But if we can change that viewpoint and recognize that everyone has the potential to be leaders, that influences history and who gets highlighted and recognized.”
Feacher’s personal connection with history and legacy does in fact lead back to a great man — his great-grandfather Moses White. White was a prominent leader and activist in Tampa, and owned several businesses including the first sit-down dinette for people of color. He is remembered for his calming nature and important role during the 1967 Tampa race riots when he fed first responders and protesters while calling for peace and facilitating conversations.
That same fire for facilitation remains lit within Feacher.
Feacher began his current position as Museum Educator during his third year at Florida State University, and his extensive leadership training has continually shaped how he builds programming at The Grove Museum. Next up is the Community Book Club, which will take place virtually on Thursday, Aug. 20, and features Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”
Feacher chose the book to honor the strong, black women in his family such as his grandmother. He sees the book club as an opportunity to welcome people into a community conversation and relay personal experiences through the lens of the novel.
“I think that’s so important to the entire process that everyone feels listened to and heard,” says Feacher. “One of my favorite things to do is end my dialogues with positive affirmations to acknowledge the courage it takes to speak from personal experience. The person leaves the dialogue feeling like they want to come back and that’s what we want more than anything. We want people to use The Grove as a place of community.”
While other children were tuning their televisions to Saturday morning cartoons, Feacher was entranced by historical documentaries. He gravitated towards the social sciences in school, and pushed up against who was getting included and left out of the conversation when it came to world and U.S. history courses.
Feacher will begin his final year at FSU this fall, majoring in international affairs and minoring in social entrepreneurship. His formative experiences in leadership have mostly taken place under the auspices of the Center for Leadership and Social Change where he has held positions as a Service Leadership Seminar facilitator, student coordinator and orientation leader.
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