It's the year 2000. I'm introduced to Robert Swan, five minutes before he goes onstage to deliver his FAST company keynote address. Mr. Swan is the first person to walk to both poles, from about 700-900 miles away each trip. With generosity, he listens to my story about my father
on Admiral Byrd's III expedition to Antarctica.
Next thing I hear is an announcement from stage-"Will the daughter of George W. Gibbs, Jr. please stand." I stand as Robert Swan adds to his already packed speech, "I'm honored by a man who worked humbly to make one of Admiral Byrd's expeditions successful. The George's of the world, who quietly serve and don't receive much thanks." It's important to know we are not alone.
Together, we build a better world.
This is the first time I acknowledge, in public, my father's accomplishments. I don't even know
(at this time) any details of what happened on the expedition- only that he was a part of it. I feel compelled to connect to this famous explorer and tell him this little known part of Antarctic history.
Robert Swan impressed me that day with his Presence. His willingness and ability to adjust his remarks on the spot is an important model for leadership. It's not all about us. If we're willing to change in an instant, we can make a lasting impact with one small gesture.
Learn more about keeping Mother Earth's last frontier forever protected.
We are All Antarctica is a story about my father George W. Gibbs, Jr’s adventures as the first person of African descent to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. He sailed on the famous ship the USS Bear in 1939 to 1941 on Admiral Byrd’s III expedition to the South Pole. It was the first joint venture with the US military and private exploration. Gibbs went on to serve humanity in countless ways, paving the way for not only people of color in the community of Rochester, MN but for all people to become more human, serve their community and appreciate differences.
Through compassion, tenacity, faith and countless hours in the trenches, Gibbs’ life is a model for community service, equality and fun. As the lowest rank on the ship, he was honored for his contribution at a time when people with dark skin were considered less than human.
This story integrates my experiences with natural healing, the arts, the science of the ice, the metaphysics of the South Pole and the history of the expedition and its mystery.