Over 50 years ago, many were moved by a man who called a nation to action. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to the struggle for equality. On this day, we recognize his leadership and peaceful pursuit of justice.
Our journey from repression and segregation to inclusion and celebration is compelling but continuous. I see the enormous strides we have made but I am also aware of the distance we still need to go. Through Dr. King’s example of relentless dedication and devotion, we must continue to push for equal rights and opportunity.
President Obama said that it is our “collective responsibility as a great Nation to ensure a strong foundation which supports economic security for all and extends the founding promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to every American.”
Increasing diversity in the workplace should be a fundamental goal for all businesses and I am encouraged to see this priority embraced with greater frequency. It is more common to find Chief Diversity Officers sitting at the table within the C-suite and Employee Network Groups providing support to their constituencies. While it is important that the workforce reflect the demographics in society, it is the diversity of thought that truly contributes to the success of a company.
Dr. King devoted his life to serving others, reminding us that “human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle.” Commemorating Dr. King’s life is not only a tribute to his accomplishments and contributions, but also a continuous reminder that every one of us must play a part in carrying on his critical work.
I am fortunate to live near Washington, D.C. and the recently dedicated Martin Luther King Memorial on the Mall. I have visited it several times and each time, it is a moving and inspirational experience. I encourage everyone to visit the site and take a moment to reflect on the transformational dream one man shared with a nation.
Tara Baten McDaniel is Senior Director Communications, Corporate Services and has served as the National Secretary and Regional Co-Chair of Sodexo’s African American Leadership Forum (A Sodexo Employee Network Group.)