Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King
An Article by Angela Montville, Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
January 17, 2022
As we celebrate MLK Day, which commemorates the birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I want to take a moment to reflect on the importance of his legacy and what the day means to us at Lineage.
Dr. King, whose life was tragically cut short nearly 54 years ago, was a pioneer of the civil rights movement who fought for equality and basic human rights for African Americans during segregation in the United States. In his pursuit of equality for African Americans, Dr. King also championed equality for all.
It is because of Dr. King’s fight that companies like Lineage are able to foster inclusive workplaces where the differences and commonalities of our employees are not just welcomed but celebrated.
To many, Dr. King was viewed as a devoted activist, a fearless leader, a teacher who had faith, hope and love at the core of each lesson, and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient recognized most for his moving ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. For me personally, he also symbolized the six core values that we at Lineage strive to embody each and every day – Safe, Trust, Bold, Respect, Innovation and Servant Leadership. Let me explain:
Safe – While Dr. King was dedicated to fighting for change, he stood firmly on his belief that violence was not the solution to bring about the desired change in society. Instead of violence, he developed a series of nonviolence principles for civil rights organizers to abide by.
Trust – His relentless faith, ability to remain hopeful during times of uncertainty, and his endless pursuit of equality no matter the obstacle earned the trust of his many followers. This perseverance had an impact on the most comprehensive civil rights legislation to date, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Bold – He continued to find the courage to organize and participate in peaceful protests despite facing many threats, violence at the hands of those who opposed what he stood for, and even jail time for his participation in these demonstrations.
Respect – Traveling across the Jim Crow South, he put his life on the line many times to challenge unjust legislation and authority with his demonstrations when many were afraid to do so.
Innovation – During the March on Washington in the summer of 1963 – long before social media and the technology we have today existed – he successfully assembled over 200,000 people in the nation’s capital through phone trees, letters and word of mouth communication.
Servant Leadership – No matter how big he became, he remained grounded and dedicated to fighting for the same oppressed and marginalized communities that prompted him to join the fight for civil rights in the first place.
Undoubtedly, Dr. King left an impact on not just the United States, but the world. Although we recognize that we still have a ways to go to truly reach equality, his work paved the way for many. It will never be taken for granted.
Whatever it is that you do today and frankly, every day, I hope you find a way to live out your purpose and serve others, just as Dr. King did. It’s days like this where I am truly proud to lead the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion journey at Lineage where we are committed to cultivating an equal opportunity workplace where everyone feels safe, heard, valued and respected.