Like everyone, the Howard Tech team was shocked by the brutal death of George Floyd on May 25th. Within days, I watched businesses, governments and many community organizations make statements on race relations, police abuse, socio-economic injustice and much more.
As I read and listened to these statements, I sometimes wondered why they were being made, and whether HTA should make similar public comment. Were these messages shared in a genuine effort to bring healing and restoration to affected communities? Or were they made as part of a public relations move, as if there was an opportunity to leverage “showing compassion”? I confess to being cynical at times and wish I was not.
After much thought, I decided that Howard Tech would not post a broad public comment. If our clients, friends or partners were disappointed that they did not hear from us, no one has said so. My desire is to share things that will hopefully make a tangible difference, and at the time I sensed that an HTA pronouncement wouldn’t accomplish more than perhaps making ourselves feel better.
On Monday morning, June 1st, though, I decided to call a mandatory staff meeting for that afternoon. As an executive leader of HTA, I wanted to clearly share my perspective with the our team. Everyone made themselves available and we gathered at 5pm that day via Zoom. I shared frank personal observations to get the conversation started and most of the team stayed on the call for 90 minutes. Our mission of building community starts inside our company, and if we accomplish that then we’ll have a chance to impact outside of our office.
This video captures my comments in the first 12 minutes of that meeting and shares one of our small efforts to change our corner of the world. We continue to dialogue internally to foster growth and understanding among us, and welcome the chance to discuss hard topics with you. Real change and community building is very hard and happens through relationships over time. We are thankful to be on that journey with you.