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Third Annual "Integrity-Centered Leadership Forum"

California State University Monterey Bay at the University Center -

Thursday, March 10, 2005

 CSUMB Ethics Panel
Mr. James F. Bracher and Fr. Robert F. Drinan

Facing 200 students in CSU-Monterey Bay's University Center - Fr. Robert   F.   Drinan, professor, former member of the United States House of Representatives and author, opened the Third Annual Integrity-Centered Leadership Forum assessing international human rights . He made the point in several ways that the United States needs to do more, immediately, with reference to securing and protecting human rights or the United States risks further harm to its global image. Exporting democracy and not protecting prisoners (of war) sends the wrong signal.

When Drinan completed his remarks, Former California Congressman, Leon Panetta expanded the conversation, asking fellow panel member, Jim Bracher, founder, Bracher Center for Integrity in Leadership, whose book, Integrity Matters he referenced; to define integrity in the context of scandals at practically every level of society. Bracher's comments centered on his Eight Attributes as evidence that individuals can behave properly when they do what they say and say what they do. "It is about building trust and confidence, between customers and companies and between producers and suppliers, between and among all stakeholders. This is the meaning of character and it requires honesty, openness and a host of behaviors that confirm steadiness and dependability."

Panetta voiced urgency and outrage over the deep-pocketed influence on policymakers. "I don't sense the outrage of what we're seeing in corporate America, or even in the media," said Panetta. "Money is speaking a great deal these days in terms of policy," he said. "If people remain quiet, then nothing is going to change."

Along with Jim Bracher, Salinas Mayor Anna Caballero and former Massachusetts Congressman, Fr. Robert Drinan, Panetta facilitated a two-hour discussion on international human rights, professional ethics and integrity-centered leadership.

Students were urged to organize and stand against corporate scandals and crimes against humanity. "Integrity is the foundation of reasonable and civil discourse," mentioned Bracher, "and it is the only path upon which individuals can never get lost."

Quoting Victoria Manley, from the Monterey (California) Herald, on Friday, March 12, 2005, "I meet a lot of people who are outraged, but are they organized?" asked Drinan, a Jesuit priest known for his strong and outspoken beliefs on human rights issues. "The voice of students is very compelling," Drinan told the group. "You can never know what the power of voice is going to do."

Though organized by the business school, the discussion at times took a poignantly political turn, wrote Manley. Panetta, Drinan and Caballero -- all well-known Democrats -- didn't hesitate to criticize the leadership in state and federal government.

Mayor Caballero spoke of accountability and related individual responsibility with making sure that adequate housing was provided for the workforce needed to sustain the economy of Monterey County; namely, agribusiness and hospitality workers.

Bracher reiterated the message about listening, carefully and graciously, even to those with whom one disagrees. Civil discourse can avert civil disobedience and violence. Thoughtful and engaging interactions can lead to constructive conversations, productive give-and-take and profitable efforts, whether business-driven or socially-motivated.

The Power of Voice


CSU-Monterey Bay's School of Business held its third annual Business Ethics Panel on Friday. The Rev. Robert Drinan, at right joined panelists Jim Bracher, left, Salinas Mayor Anna Caballero and Leon Panetta.

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