All posts by Terry Howard

© Terry Howard is an award-winning writer, trainer and story teller. He is a senior associate at Diversity Wealth, a contributing writer with the Chattanooga News Chronicle, The American Diversity Report, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Huffington Post and New York-based Catalyst. He can be reached at wwhoward3@gmail.com.

Missing my little buddy David – by Terry Howard

“The biggest problem with having a disability is that far too often
people see it before they see you!”

I met little David at a local Starbucks a few years ago.

You see, I was hunched over my laptop searching the internet for a new twist for a piece on people with disabilities given that October is National Disability Employment Month. Over a third cup of coffee, I was focused, oblivious to the comings and goings of folks entering and leaving. But in truth, I was in my zone and preferred to keep it that way.

But little David – his Downs Syndrome and all – had other plans for me. And others.

At the top of his lungs, David called out “Hey brother” as he approached a surprised me at my table in the corner. A high five and a hug later, David was off greeting and hugging others in the place. And like me, all were startled and clearly smitten by little David. It was written all over their faces, our faces. Their silence spoke volumes.

“David, David, get back over here. Leave these people alone!” demanded his mom; words she’d no doubt uttered many times before – words obviously to no avail. But that was before she realized how deeply David touched all of us that day.

Three minutes later, and with little David in tow, mom headed to the door and, David being David, waved and bellowed to us, “good bye my friends.” And we all, in unison, in different words, with moisten eyes – patrons and Starbucks employees alike – stood up and returned, “See ya David!”

And for a few seconds we all stood there, in complete silence, absolute strangers no longer, knowing somehow and full well that we’d just been touched – and connected in our humanity – by an angel.

Now I’ve returned to that Starbucks a number of times since then, feeling cheated by the brevity of that meeting with David, wishing and hoping my little buddy would be there.

But no such luck so far. But I’ll keep going back.

Yes, I’ll keep going back…. wishing and hoping!

Mighty is the Mongrel: Diversity – by Terry Howard

Diversity defines the health and wealth of nations in a new century. Mighty is the mongrel. The hybrid is hip. The impure, the mélange, the adulterated, the blemished, the rough, the black-and-blue, and the mix-and-match – these people are inheriting the earth. Mixing is the new norm. Mixing trumps isolation. It spawns creativity, nourishes the human spirit, spurs economic growth and empowers nations.”

As much as I’d like to, I can’t claim that the above quote belongs to yours truly. No. Its actual source is G. Pascal Zachary’s, The Global Me: New Cosmopolitans and the Competitive Edge.

Initial reactions aside, you have to admit that this one’s a classic thought-provoker. Once I ceased quibbling over Zachary’s intriguing choice of words and began really processing this on a much deeper level, it started to hit home.

And here’s why.

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Exorcising the disease of “perfection” – by Terry Howard

How about a show of hands from those of you out there who consider yourselves perfect?

Humm, not a single hand went up. Maybe you didn’t hear me right, so I’ll cuff my ears, kick the volume up, italicize, capitalize and repeat the question; HOW ABOUT A SHOW OF HANDS FROM THOSE OF YOU WHO CONSIDER YOURSELVES PERFECT?

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26 tiny paint brushes- on writing! – by Terry Howard

Okay, I love to write.

Am I good at my craft? Well, only my readers can answer that question. But I’m here today to share a bit about my history as a writer utilizing the Q & A format. Here goes:

Q: Terry, when did you decide to become a writer?

A: Although I love sports, it didn’t take me long to realize that a NBA career was not in my future. And science and math were not my strong points. Singing? Dancing? Since I’m the worst singer and dancer in the history of the world I ruled out those two options. So I figured that since putting pen to paper was something I enjoyed, plus I had great English teachers, I decided to major in English in college.

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Rejecting rejection! – by Terry Howard              

Rejection!

Who the heck needs it? It’s personal, can hurt deeply and can leave an indelible emotional scar. Fact is, just like the air we breathe, we live in a world where rejection is all around us, always has been, always will be.

Rejection is part and parcel to life in general, to systems and eco-systems, to processes, to negotiations, to decisions, to change and reactions to change. Arguably, the worst types of rejection occurs when the body rejects an organ transplant or chemotherapy.

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The Atheism Challenge – by Terry Howard

‘Terry, I’m (gasp) an atheist!’  There was not a hint of anger in her during the entire time “Mary” and I talked that afternoon in the crowded sandwich shop. In fact, it was just the opposite. “Mary” laughed, we laughed, so hard and so much that out of the corner of my eye I could see icy stares from booths nearby “telling us” to pipe down so that they could get back to their business dealings, grandkiddos, tuna sandwiches, chips and lattes. Here’s the email “Mary” sent me the Friday before that prompted that late Monday meeting:

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Consider the Iceberg: Untold Challenges of the Boys in Blue – by Terry Howard

Readers, you’ll need to rely on your imagination to read this narrative.
Let’s start with a few actual “voices from the ranks.”

First Donnie, a middle age white police officer who got out of his hospital bed after recovering from a brutal beating by a drug dealer and returned to street duty, to the profession he still loves.

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Let’s Talk about Sexual Harassment in the Workplace – by Terry Howard

The American Diversity Report sat down with Terry Howard, Senior Associate at Diversity Wealth. The subject? Sexual harassment and the recent emergence of the issue in the media. We wanted to hear his thoughts on why this has emerged from the shadows and, most important, what the organization should do to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, what effective training programs look like and follow-up actions are critical.

ADR: Once again, sexual harassment has muscled its way back into the headlines thanks in part to the high profile exit of Bill O’Reilly from Fox News. Any initial thoughts?

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The Politics of ‘the angry black Sistah’! – by Terry Howard

Other than race (black) and gender (female), what else do April Ryan, Maxine Waters, Joy Ann Reid and Angela Rye have in common?

The answer? They’re smart as heck, forceful in expressing their politics and views, and more than able to defend themselves against disrespect. You see, while others (yes, men, this also includes many of you too) sit in silence these powerful women won’t hesitate to hit back despite the potential for being tagged “An Angry Black Woman.” (If you’re unfamiliar with these women Google them before reading further.)

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What to Do About Upticks in Hate! – by Terry Howard

On a balmy recent Sunday afternoon, the KKK visited Douglasville, Georgia. Throngs of us decided to pay a visit to our visitors. Many gathered along the road, some with their families and lounge chairs as if they were about to watch a Christmas parade. Some brought Bibles, others protest placards bearing words unprintable in this space. As expected the police turnout was large as was the media.

You see, the KKK came to protest the sentences of a local man and woman who received long prison terms for yelling racial slurs and pointing guns at participants at a 10 year-old’s black kid’s birthday party.

Continue reading What to Do About Upticks in Hate! – by Terry Howard