Joshua DuBois is one of our country’s top voices on community partnerships, religion in the public square, and issues impacting African Americans.

Joshua led the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in President Obama’s first term and was called the President’s “Pastor-in-Chief” by TIME Magazine.

Joshua is the author of the bestselling book, The President’s Devotional: The Daily Readings that Inspired President Obama, a compilation of the devotional meditations he shared with the President and narratives of faith in public life.

Today, Joshua leads a consulting firm, Values Partnerships, that develops creative engagement campaigns for diverse sectors and audiences, provides strategic advice on complex issues, and markets and produces films and television programs with meaning and value.

Connect with Joshua:

Resources Mentioned:


Key take aways from Joshua:

  • I continue to be grateful for my kids. I have an almost 3-year-old, August and an 8-month-old, Adelaide.  Adelaide has this wide, gummy grin, no teeth in her mouth now.  But every time she surprises me with a big smile, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
  • I found my passion for social justice and for the least of these around us as a young child and it shaped my childhood.
  • My faith has been an anchor for my life, in practical ways, me doggedly pursuing a relationship with God and my faith.  It has been imperfect and uneven, but continually coming back to that center is important.
  • I’ve had this impulse of being hungry for more, with a constant drive forward, even when there were countervailing impulses, like self-doubt, of which I’ve had a lot, and imposter syndrome, which I think we all go through, and I certainly have — fear of a new move, a new position, of saying the wrong thing, of not completing, of not doing.
  • My hunger overrode the fear, and when I stepped up to the edge of various cliffs, my impulse, even with the fear that was certainly there, was to jump and just trust that the heavens would open up and somehow I would soar.
  • I have always had a focus on being excellent at the thing that’s happening right now.
  • I raised my hand and leaned in.
  • The helpful thing for me has been not looking too far beyond, trusting God for the longview but really maximizing whatever is in front of me right now.
  • Values Partnership is a significant company in the private sector that meets real needs, a social impact consulting firm that (1) produces and promotes films and TV shows that have an impact on the people that watch them; (2) we advise a range of clients on tough issues related to race and religion; and (3) we’re launching a tech company called Gauge, a mobile focus group with influencers and experts.
  • I believe there is tremendous untapped wisdom in communities, in everyday people.  I believe in closing the gap between brands, organizations, institutions and the communities that have all the knowledge. So, we work to help our client connect with all these communities and build things.
  • Our mission is about closing the gap between brilliant people, particular in communities of color, and the brands and organizations that we work with — bringing them together so that both can benefit.
  • I have a natural instinct towards margin — I don’t overspend. I have an irrational fear of the bottom falling out at all times.
  • If you ask for money, people will give you advice; and if you show that you can be helpful with advice, people will give you money.
  • I’ve learned to not be shy about requesting that we be paid what we’re actually worth.  Hold the line about your pricing.
  • Every project is not for you.  You can’t dance on every record.
  • I recommend folks pay the IRS and then pay their savings before paying anything else.  Get in the practice of saving for yourself and your family, almost first.
  • I know that 10 – 15 years from now when my children are in high school, I want the tilt of my life to be towards home, which means I have to work towards that.
  • I’m really interested in continuing to learn what I don’t know and being very clear about that.
  • I’m learning my own nuances or quirks and managing around them and bringing in the type of people who can smooth out the rough spots.
  • As an entrepreneur dad, be aware that there are gonna be some times where your heart is gonna break, because you have to go to work and you’d rather be at home; and think about the ways that you’re gonna explain that to your kids and advance; then cultivate the type of relationship with your partner where they are affirming those messages and where you all are on the same page about what you’re telling your kids about your own absence.
  • I have all these plans and ideas, but I start every morning in prayer and seek God’s face about what he’d have me do for each individual day.


One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

  • Wake up one hour earlier than you normally do and dedicate that time to God and to asking yourself questions about yourself and answering them in a quiet and peaceful space that works for you.
  • Drink more water!


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