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“Why you should educate yourself.” With Beau Henderson & Dr. Peterson Pierre

A great leader must have integrity which is a combination of morality and character. Morality is not doing what is wrong and character involves doing what is right; the latter requires courage. Compassion and humility are also very helpful. You should have a clear vision, help others reach their goals, while inspiring everyone to do […]

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A great leader must have integrity which is a combination of morality and character. Morality is not doing what is wrong and character involves doing what is right; the latter requires courage. Compassion and humility are also very helpful. You should have a clear vision, help others reach their goals, while inspiring everyone to do their best as you lead by example. The ability to delegate, clear and effective communication, and an attitude of gratitude are also important.


As part of our series about 5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Peterson Pierre.

Dr. Pierre is a respected board certified specialist in dermatology and cosmetic dermatology. Stanford-trained, Dr. Pierre has earned a superior reputation for his treatment of diverse medical skin conditions that affect more than one’s appearance, including treatment for cancer related issues. Dr. Pierre has helped many patients combat depression, anxiety, and a lack of esteem brought on by skin ailments, helping them regain confidence and find renewed joy in life. His services include the latest laser technology for treatment of rosacea, age spots, sun damage, wrinkles, and scars.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

Iwas born in New York City and later on moved to Brooklyn. One day, halfway through the first grade, my mom said we’re going on a little trip to which I responded: “But, I’m going to miss school!” She assured me it would be OK. Next thing I know, I’m on a plane to Haiti (my parents were Haitian immigrants) where I would spend the next 10 years! Talk about culture shock! Imagine being a six year old in a foreign country and you don’t know the language! I remember the first day sitting in class being completely clueless until the teacher started doing math (I knew numbers). I acclimated and adjusted (weather was great!) but once I graduated high school, I knew I had no future there so I returned to NY where I attended Queens College. I then moved to the West Coast to go to Stanford med school. Some of the best years of my life! Got a great education, met my wife (who’s a pediatrician), and decided to sign for an additional 4 years for internship and residency. After I graduated, the reality that we couldn’t afford to live in the Bay area hit so we moved to Thousand Oaks. We have 2 kids: my daughter just finished her 2nd year at USC and my son just graduated high school (ceremony August 3rd). With all those odds against me, by God’s grace I made it! One of my goals in life is to reach back and pull up as many as I can. The other is to leave the world a better place than the way I found it.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Without a doubt, the Bible has transformed my life! When I was in college, I was very angry at all the social injustice and racism I saw regularly. Then God showed me a few things:

1. I’m fearfully and wonderfully made

2. I’m made in his image

3. He loves me with an everlasting love

4. Racism is not a problem with me; the problem lies with the racist

5. Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessing

6. “Vengeance is mine!” says the Lord.

A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders and the anger was gone, never to return! Thank God for that! Bitterness has been described as a poison you take every day hoping it will harm someone else.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

My wife and I graduated with student loans and had just had our second child a year later. Six months later, my wife decided to give up her practice to become a full time mom. Around the same time, I was learning how to become generous. I had no idea how I could possibly give when we barely had enough to meet our needs. Even though I didn’t understand, I trusted God at his word and started giving. Within a few short years, we were able to pay off all school loans and purchase a house way outside of our budget.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

A great leader must have integrity which is a combination of morality and character. Morality is not doing what is wrong and character involves doing what is right; the latter requires courage. Compassion and humility are also very helpful. You should have a clear vision, help others reach their goals, while inspiring everyone to do their best as you lead by example. The ability to delegate, clear and effective communication, and an attitude of gratitude are also important.

In life we come across many people, some who inspire us, some who change us and some who make us better people. Is there a person or people who have helped you get to where you are today? Can you share a story?

When I was in college, I had a college advisor. When I told him I wanted to apply to Stanford, he said to me: “Well, you know, we’ve only ever had one student get accepted to Stanford!” “OK, I said, I’ll be the second!” I promptly got a new advisor, Helen Hendricks. Unlike my first advisor, she believed in me and gave great advice, devised a terrific plan of attack to give me the best chance of achieving my dreams. She had a very high success rate with the black students. She was very smart, encouraging and became my cheerleader. Because of her, I got accepted to most of the top 10 med schools in the nation, including Stanford. I am forever grateful.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. The United States is currently facing a series of unprecedented crises. So many of us see the news and ask how we can help. We’d love to talk about the steps that each of us can take to help heal our county, in our own way. Which particular crisis would you like to discuss with us today? Why does that resonate with you so much?

I’d like to focus on social injustice because it’s been going on for centuries and the solution is crystal clear: give EVERY human being the same treatment: justice and equality for ALL! This is a human rights issue!

This is likely a huge topic. But briefly, can you share your view on how this crisis evolved to the boiling point that it’s at now?

For centuries, the US has refused to acknowledge the unalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator: that ALL men are created equal in His image. Black people have always been treated as property to be dealt with however the owners see fit. There has never been social justice or equality. The list of unarmed black people murdered by the police keeps getting longer and longer. Very few have been arrested and even less convicted. If George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery were Caucasian, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. The path to justice would have been clear. Why should the color of one’s skin determine the outcome in cases such as this? We’re tired of being abused. We simply want justice and equality. All lives don’t matter until black ones do.

Can you tell our readers a bit about your experience either working on this cause or your experience being impacted by it? Can you share a story with us?

One morning when I was in med school, I was on my way to class and was stopped by the police who asked me to get out of my car because I fit the description of someone who just robbed the apartment complex. As he was searching the car, the description of the suspect came in over the radio for all to hear: “Young black male with an afro.” Except, I had just shaved my head! We simply made eye contact (there was so much I wanted to say but I’m smarter than that) then I got in my car and left.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Steps That Each Of Us Can Take To Proactively Help Heal Our Country”. Kindly share a story or example for each.

1. Recognize the social injustice. Don’t deny its existence simply because you haven’t experienced it directly. If there is a situation whose outcome would have different simply by changing the victim’s skin color and nothing else, that evidence of a major problem.

2. Educate yourself. Seek to listen to others who have been harmed, seek to learn about matters that may be foreign to you, things you may never even have thought of, then take action.

3. Morality is not doing what is wrong. If you’re not racist, that’s great! You’re not participating in evil acts. But it’s not enough.

4. Develop character: not only should you avoid doing what is wrong, you should actively do what is right. Speak up, speak out against evil.

5. Each step requires courage. Each step takes you out of your comfort zone. Each step demands that you overcome fear: fear of what your family might say, what your friends may do, and what others may think. Real lives hang in the balance.

We are going through a rough period now. Are you optimistic that this issue can eventually be resolved? Can you explain?

This is a very simple issue to resolve. It’s about basic human rights and justice. If George Floyd had been Caucasian, would we even be having this conversation right now? Would there even be a question as to the right course of action? It would be clear to everyone. The question we need to ask ourselves is why is it not so for a black person? “Can” the issue be resolved? Absolutely! We simply need to do what’s right and what’s just? “Will” it be resolved? is another matter entirely. Unfortunately, we have a long history of the justice system failing blacks in this country and that makes it very difficult to be overly optimistic regarding the resolution of this systemic problem that has been around for centuries.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Silence is complicity with evil. It’s not enough to not be racist, you must actively be anti-racist. That doesn’t mean fighting evil with evil, anger with anger or rage with rage. It’s being willing to listen, understand, see another point of view, and repay evil with love and blessing. This is about human rights. When we don’t respect life, we devalue ourselves. Fighting evil takes courage but it’s always the right thing to do.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would have to say LeBron James, Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson. I’ve been a huge basketball fan my whole life! The main reason I would like to meet them is to discuss ways in which we can unite the black community, help give a hand up to those in need, and change the laws in our society to recognize the inalienable rights endowed to every black person by their creator. These three men have been very successful by many standards, are well respected in America, and therefore, have the platform and perhaps the connections, to bring this all to fruition.

How can our readers follow you online?

Facebook: Pierre Skin Care, IG: @pierreskincare, pierreskincare.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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