Former Olympian Howard Dell approaches every avenue of his life with the same drive, passion and persistence that propelled him, at breakneck speed, down the icy rollercoaster-like slopes of the International Bobsled circuit. Rich in abilities, wide-ranging interests and diverse pursuits, the multi-talented Dell is an accomplished actor, a musician and composer, and an expert on fitness, health and nutrition. He has crystallized his eclectic interests into his current role as a motivator and positive force for change.

I have been helpless, homeless, hopeless, which means that I like many have earned the right to comment on all three situations. Until you have actually walked a mile in another mans shoes how can your opinions be respected.

My Father, Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier are my heroes. They realized long ago that picking ones self up by his own bootstraps, although arduous and painful, was the only way to succeed in instilling a solid foundation of integrity, honour and pride in the human personality. My father always said that I had to be twice as good just to be considered equal. So that became my work ethic as I made my way through this thing called life, with itas vicious racists and equally disappointing domestic and international government policy toward the colored peoples of the world.

Education for the minority races is paramount to achieving the goals of such great leaders as MLK, Gandhi and one of my current favoritesa, Randall Robinson. As he so eloquently but it, a if we do not know our history then we are bound to repeat it.a Equality isnat easy; itas going to put up a fight. Let us remember the fate of the Hawaiian people, the native Indians, the aboriginals of Australia and of course the African American Negro. Lets teach that in our classrooms celebrate that and then you can talk about the land of the free and the home of the brave. Equality canat just be affirmative action; equality has to be the understanding of where we have been, where we are and where we are going as a people. Equality it seems is assiduously avoided because America is still over whelmingly struggling with irresolution and contradiction. aIt has been sincere and even ardent in welcoming some change. But to quickly apathy and disinterest rise to the surface when the next logical steps are to be takena

Itas hard to tell a 13 yr. old black child who is making $500/day selling crack on the corner that he should be in school and then off to College. Get good grades and then perhaps after you graduate with 40-100 thousand dollars in debt, that there might be a job waiting for you. Whereas the incentive in that, since history is written by the winners and we know nothing if anything about the losers, we are taught to believe in the golden rule. Those with the gold make the rules. I would argue that the lack of education of this child has created a hopeless attitude. Moral conscience, the attributes of right and wrong, compassion, understanding and love have seemingly been out weighed by the importance of money acquired at any cost to conscience. Things a child should could and would learn in an environment dedicated to helping others help themselves.

Amongst the colored people of America disillusioned with their nations current stand on black issues, this concern seems to be aa reflection of an inner conflict which measures cautiously the impact of any change on the status quo.a So itas not an easy task to convince our 13 year old to get off the streets and into school because of his fears of poverty. However if education in the black communities isnat addressed by itself and or the govat then the real cost of this failure lies ahead. The discount education given blacks in America will in the future have to be purchased at full price if equality in education is to be realized. MLKas economic dreams of equality can be reached. The poor can stop being poor if the rich are willing to become richer at a slower rate.a

Faced with the certainty that tomorrow is today Mr. Cosby realizes the African American is confronted with the fierce urgency of now if we as a people are going to lift ourselves up by our own boot straps. Life often leaves us standing naked and dejected with a loss of opportunity. But we as a people do have a choice. Welfare, ignorance and laziness I do not believe are choices. We must educate ourselves, striving for equality in all aspects of life. But this can only be done through education.

Howard Dell

Inspirational Speaker, Survivor, Professional Entertainer, Athlete and Trainor,

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