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Thank You Dr. King!

When I present my diversity program at schools I remind the students how thankful I am for what Dr. Martin Luther King did for me too. Being a person born with a birth defect in 1957 was much better than let’s say being born in the 1920’s. Back then people like me would have never had any opportunities I have had in my life.

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There were many times when I had my share of people with their own lack of knowledge assume things about me that weren’t true. My shop teachers in junior high school and high school for example, wouldn’t let me use the table saws because they thought it would be too dangerous for me, and assumed I couldn’t hold the wood in place with my shorter right hand. A driver’s education instructor that said I couldn’t drive a car because my right arm was too short for the shifter.  I also remember trying to get a shoe salesman job in the early 70’s only to be rejected several times.  Here I was demonstrating that I was a go getter, that I had the drive to be that store’s best salesmen, but store manager only offered me a stock boy job, even though the sign in the window clearly said they were only looking for a shoe sales positon.

Thanks to Dr. King he not only helped men and women of color but he also helped people like me too.

I now have all the opportunities and freedoms as anyone else with regular arms and ten fingers.

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As I explain during my middle school and elementary school diversity assembly programs, there are still a few people out there who don’t know me that may still be making some assumptions about what I can or can’t do. Thanks to the civil rights movement, the civil rights amendment and diversity training in schools, students and adults are less likely to make judgment. Thank you Dr. King!

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