Black History Today: Joshua Fields, embracing change as a vulnerable leader

This post is part of an ongoing Black History Month series written by Marcus Harden, a pillar of the South Seattle community and a truly unsung hero, as he honors the living legacy of Black history in his neighborhood and beyond, and recognizes the people who are shaping the future.

Joshua A. Fields.jpg

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you want to make the world a better place
(If you want to make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change”
- Michael Jackson

By Marcus Harden


Change is inevitable and it’s uncomfortable. Yet many great minds have lamented that the toughest change is of one's self. It’s been often stated before that one must “do their own work” before they can truly be in service to others.

The mission of doing your own evolutionary work while simultaneously helping others and organizations evolve is a skill set all its own — one which Joshua A. Fields executes masterfully.

If you know Josh (Joshua, J.Fields, DJ Music by J Fields) you know that authentic and transparent growth are some of his greatest strengths. He has always been thrust into leadership, whether in church, in the halls of Franklin High School, the University of Washington and or Howard University, or currently in Year 10 of service and leadership at AT&T.

What makes Josh unique is that he is the rare person with whom what you see is what you get. Honesty. Integrity. Humor. Humility. Confidence. And maybe most importantly a transparancy that transcends even his limitless charisma.

Whether evolving and pushing himself as a husband and father. Whether being the best son and Brother he can be. Whether be in service and honor to his friends. Or whether selecting the perfect soundtrack to wedded bliss, Joshua’s standards for himself exude and leak into everything he does and makes wherever he goes better for having him.

Yet his greatest trait within his authenticity is his courage — his courage to be himself and the courage that he gives others. Whether helping inspire a large corporation to utter the words “Black Lives Matter” or making his “team” feel like Family, or whether just this month leading a multi-billion-dollar corporation in conversations about the power of diversity, making it examine itself the same way he examines himself, people are changed because Josh is not afraid to change in front of and with them.

His consistent pursuit to better himself makes everything and everyone around him better. His courage to look in the mirror not only reflects his greatness, but shines and helps reflect the greatness of others. That among many other reasons is why J.Fields is Black history, today.