Dr . Marc Lamont Hill speak at GFS Mercer Tate lecture.

“Our responsibility as citizens, as students, as teachers, as human beings, is to leave the world a little bit better than we found it,” said Dr. Marc Lamont Hill during the Oct. 15 Mercer Tate ‘48 Lecture on Public Service at Germantown Friends School (GFS).

Hill, founder of Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books and the People’s Education Center in Germantown, urged students to unleash their imagination, engage in deep listening and take action in their communities.

Hill, who also serves as a host of Black Entertainment Television (BET), a political contributor for CNN and a professor at Temple University, highlighted the importance of listening and reflection when working towards progress.

“Radical listening, deep listening, is about understanding the perspective of others by decentering yourself,”Hill said. “You try to understand the world through the eyes of other people.”

“I think Marc Lamont Hill was a skillful speaker who has clearly used his gift to enact change in the world,” said Asia Ng, a junior at GFS and a Germantown resident. “I’m sure his words inspired many in our school to make it their mission to enact that same sort of change in their own communities.”

“It was very inspirational to listen to a successful black man who owns and operates in Germantown, my neighborhood, speak in an environment where I am a minority,” said Faruq Adger, a sophomore at GFS. “He reinforced the idea that the next generation can make a difference in our community and society, which motivates me to act on change.”

The Mercer Tate ‘48 Lecture on Public Service is held annually in memory of the late Mercer D. Tate, a “lifer” at GFS who was a prominent public servant. It offers an opportunity for GFS students to hear from an influential community trailblazer and explore ways to take action.