Embracing Uniqueness

Mellody, as a strong woman, what do you think is our role in society?

Mellody Hobson: Our role is to be forces for good and change. To use our voices – both individually and collectively – to push for equality. We cannot be bystanders in our own society – both locally and globally. Our girls are counting on us – those who are here and those who are yet to be born.

What can we do to empower other women and strengthen their role in society?

Mellody Hobson: The most important thing is to be brave. We cannot hold back or defer to others; there is too much at stake. Only if we encourage each other to speak up and come to the table with a unique perspective will we see progress.

What is your vision?

Mellody Hobson: Recently, I wrote a letter to my daughter, who has a whole world of opportunity ahead of her. In my letter, I tell her that with that opportunity comes the expectation that she will be grateful, kind, generous, compassionate, and embrace all of mankind. She can be or do anything, just as my mother said to me, but I expect her to believe the same is true of everyone. I want a society where everyone has the benefit, and none of the doubt. That is my vision.

What connection do you see between art and social engagement? What is our responsibility as collectors and philanthropists?

Mellody Hobson: Art has always inspired people to advocate for change and functioned as a representation of dissent and resistance. Art gives voice to the voiceless. It sparks conversations or social movements. It is our responsibility to encourage and nurture artists and create spaces for the power of art to flourish. We should be forward-looking and enable change.

You and your husband give back to society, supporting knowledge and education. How important is creativity?

Mellody Hobson: Hugely important. The world would be a better place if we were all unapologetically ourselves and original. Creativity is what allows for innovation, for progress, for reinvention. It is key to the continued evolution of the human condition for the better. Embracing creativity and uniqueness cultivates understanding and respect. I want to live in a world where we can see everyone’s potential. To get there, we first have to embrace our own creativity and uniqueness, as well as that of everyone around us.