Reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy with INSPIRE’s Global Public Relations Lead
- Posted on January 16, 2023
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
As the INSPIRE Black Employee Network family rings in a bright new year, we are excited for all that is to come for our members. Specifically in coming weeks, we approach Black History Month as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Both hold substantial historical and personal significance for all of us – and we hope to see you with us in learning and celebrating!
MLK Day has always been marked as a day of service, where Americans can come together to serve their communities, learn, volunteer and give back within our means to meaningful causes. In previous years we have seen Avanade employees make a genuine human impact in local communities, whether it be through volunteerism or giving campaigns. Now more than ever it is pivotal for us to come together as a community.
For Fredrick Douglas Williams, this day is a day of visibility, continued interest, and forever learning about the past and how it paves the way for the future. Through the work and legacy of Dr. King and other notable heroes from history, they provided us with the tools, tips and knowledge to be forever utilized as a forward constitution for equality.
“When I think about equality,” he says, “I immediately think about his – and their – efforts. And I never take for granted that, had it not been for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others, we would not have the language available today to use to break past the barriers of racial discrimination. There would not be an emphasis on equality had it not been for the efforts of our Black heroes from those days.”
Each of our members celebrates and reflects on this day in unique and personal ways. For Fredrick, there is one experience that had a lasting and profound impact.
“I traveled to Atlanta in 1986 with my classmates to visit the tomb of Dr. King,” he says. “And looking over the audience, I could see his now departed spouse, Coretta Scott King, sitting ever so nobly to honor his legacy. It's an image that is forever ingrained in my mind.
“I hold on to it when I think about how his efforts impacted us because MLK is more than just a legend you read. He was a living person, and seeing his wife across the audience in a crowd, honoring his legacy, makes celebrating him real for me. Every day is a new day to practice treating someone as your equal, so they turn around and present that same opportunity to the next person. I'm so appreciative of Dr. King!”
Another exciting way INSPIRE plans to honor this impact is through an upcoming event in collaboration with the Jewish Employee Network (JEN). This day will honor Avanade’s commitment to corporate citizenship by creating authentic learning experiences and motivating a generation of NYC students from diverse communities to think more critically, creatively, persevere and engage with STEM and robotics more meaningfully and joyfully.
For INSPIRE, this is a great opportunity to commemorate Martin Luther King’s legacy of finding ways to lead, give support, and for JEN to take action to power the Jewish concepts of Tikkun olam (world repair) and Gimult Chasidim (giving back).
“I'm most excited about our collaboration as a whole!” Fredrick says. “There's something beautiful about the intersectionality of a common goal that motivates me to inspire. The idea of sitting on the front lines to mold young people's thoughts and attitudes is something you must honor when given the opportunity. So, it was a no-brainer to think about working with JEN, another fantastic employee network at Avanade, along with INSPIRE to aspire to the community. It utilizes the combined common interests of both Employee Networks to achieve equality.”
I visited 5 years ago the Martin Luther King Museum in Atlanta. It was a privilege to see this. The original speech "I have a dream" was the most impressive. 🙏