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Watch Gloria's TEDxEverett Talk :

"Legacy: The Current of Life"

Dr. Gloria Burgess
Legacy: The Current of Life

A true story about the intertwined legacies of my father, Earnest McEwen, and his benefactor, Nobel laureate and Pultizer Prizewinning author William Faulkner.

The two ordinary individuals did the extraordinary. They dared to dream beyond the status quo of the Jim Crow South, honoring each other's dignity and humanity across cultural, social, and racial divides. 

GLORIA J. BURGESS, PhD, is CEO and President of Jazz, Inc. A trusted advisor, consultant, and executive coach, she works with nations, organizations, teams, and individuals to align their vision, values, voice, and impact. Her approach is grounded in intercultural competence, appreciative inquiry, and advocacy on tough issues. Gloria works with established and emerging organizations to achieve optimal performance, cultivating cultures that are grounded in authenticity and trust. Her 30+ years of expertise includes strategic visioning, equipping values-centered leaders, developing high-performance boards and teams, mobilizing and leading transformation, intercultural agency, and legacy consciousness.

Gloria holds a PhD in Performance Studies from USC; an MBA in IT and Organizational Behavior and Design from USC; an MA in Leadership and Applied Behavioral Science from Bastyr University; and graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan. She has served as a Trustee for Cornish College of the Arts and Board Member for Alliance for Education, First Place School, Antioch University, Friends of Third Place Commons, and Leadership Tomorrow.


An award-winning poet and author, Gloria has shared her poetry and insightful commentary on PBS, National Public Radio, British Public Radio, and Slovenian National Radio. Her books Legacy Living and Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside focus on values-centered living and leading. Gloria’s recent books include Leading in Complex Worlds (ed.), Flawless Leadership, and Pass It On!, an inspiring picture book about her father’s life-changing relationship with Nobel Laureate William Faulkner.

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