Name: Dr. Daryl C. Howard
One Word That Describes You: #Woke
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
One thing that I am passionate about is the recruitment, mentoring, and retention of male educators of color. I work with an initiative called The BOND Project whose purpose is to help address this issue. Male educators of color are only 2% of the teaching force nationwide. Students need to see more diversity in their teachers. Creating workshops, advocating for resources, and providing support for educators seems ordinary but the need and potential outcomes are extraordinary.
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
There are a lot of people on this planet doing great things so anytime I am recognized for my hard work it is an honor. More importantly, to be recognized amongst other men of color is truly what makes this distinction special to me.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
I believe that struggle is relative. Some of us come from tough circumstances and we turn that resilience into positive energy. Others have individual challenges and they use that as the motivation to reduce challenges for others. As an educator, everyday is a beautiful struggle. You invest so much into every child and when you plant these seeds you never know if and when that process is going to yield fruit. There is nothing in the world that’s better than seeing your hard work yield fruit.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
I appreciate folks who keep it real. Being genuine and honest is my top expectation in a relationship. Our time in this life is limited and we can’t afford to waste it on people who don’t respect us enough to be consistent in word and deed.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
One project I am working on is another book. My first book, Complex People, spoke to college-aged students and young adults. I now want to create a work that speaks to an elementary-level crowd, black boys in particular. There is a great need for resources for this demographic.
What is the best advice you ever received?
To let my yes be yes and let my no be no.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Examine what your passion is, what strengths you have in that area, and when/how much time you have to give. Assessing the truth of what you have to offer leads to consistency and dedication that people will respect. You can’t save the world in a day but we can all have an impact.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
When I speak in front of a group, I walk through the event in my head a number of times. This process helps me become familiar with the flow I expect but also it allows me to proactively troubleshoot if something should go askew.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
Hanging out with my wife and kids—with no strict agenda—is the best way to unwind. We laugh and crack jokes (my kids are really funny) and I get to enjoy them in the age/stage that they’re in. My best vacations include being able to see extended family as well as doing something new and exciting with my family.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would return to South Africa, but this time I would take my children. Both Johannesburg and Cape Town are beautiful places with beautiful people. In many ways, the history of apartheid resistance parallels the struggle for racial equality in America. I can’t get enough of the stories of freedom fighters and activists who fought to topple oppressive forces.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.