Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life And Legacy

January 15th marks Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer and improve their communities. Six perspectives from the McKinstry community on how we can best honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today and every day:
Lavell Flamon, Repair Specialist

“History is not staticIt has the power to shape our perceptions and influence our behaviors in the world. History is not dead. It lives through all of us and propels us into the future. As I reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the upcoming holiday, I contemplate the significance of his life, the history of his life that we are exposed to, and the history in the making in which we currently participate. In today’s political environment where history and its retelling are hotly contested, it is vital that we extend beyond our comfort zones and expose ourselves beyond the narratives of the Montgomery bus boycott and his I have a dream speech. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an individual amid complex times and of a paramount struggle. To fully understand his work, we need to understand the world in which he arose from, and the multiplicity of challenges and dangers that world presented. In his pursuit of justice and equality for African Americans, he was fully aware that the liberties of humanity were at stake, both within the U.S. and abroad. He knew deeply that the journey towards equality and justice connects us all, and we all have a necessary and valuable role to play. The courage and dedication of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was not his alone, it was shared among all the unsung individuals who risked their lives and livelihood for a better world. We all have that ability to rise to the occasion and contribute, at any level. It does take courage to step up to advance justice, and I know we have that strength inside of us and the willingness to act.”

Ty Duncan, Business Operations Coordinator

“I believe that honoring Dr. Martin Luther King involves reflecting on his principles and actively engaging in fostering positive change. We must continue to advocate for laws and policies that promote equality and inclusivity, while keeping in mind our own behaviors to ensure that they align with the principles of justice and fairness. Additionally, we should educate the youth about Dr. King’s life and work, teaching them the values of empathy, compassion and understanding for the next generation. Honoring Dr. King is an ongoing commitment to promoting justice, equality and human rights. As Maya Angelou said, ‘The plague of racism is insidious, entering into our minds as smoothly and quietly and invisibly as floating airborne microbes enter into our bodies to find lifelong purchase in our bloodstreams. That being said, we have to continue encouraging open and respectful conversations about race, equality and justice. In these conversations we have to encourage empathy and understanding. Any injustices affect us all as a society. Embodying his principles in our daily lives will contribute to honoring Dr. King and continuing his legacy.”

Theresa Little, Senior Talent Development Manager

“I believe Dr. King gives us direction on what we can do every day to best honor his legacy in his ‘I have a Dream’ speech from 1963. There are few lines within that speech that speak to how I try to live every day. One line states, ‘let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you, my friends, we have the difficulties of today and tomorrow.’ I believe this means to keep a positive disposition when pushing to strive and thrive, day in and day out, through the challenges that we face. 

I also believe it is important to support non-profit organizations who have a quest for equality similar to Dr. King’s hopes and dreams. This year, I was honored to receive McKinstry’s 2023 Impact Award, which comes with the ability to provide $5,000 to a non-profit whose mission aligns with McKinstry’s. I’ve chosen to award this money to Urban Impact Seattle. This organization hosts an annual tribute to Dr. King with their MLK Prayer Breakfast. I have contributed monetarily to this organization and cause in the past and will continue in the future, but how cool is it to provide such a significant donation supported by a company I love working for!?! I believe all of this represents parts of Dr. King’s dream!”

Estee Toutai, Business Operations Coordinator

“Martin Luther King is one of history’s most inspiring and influential civil rights leaders. His example of sacrifice, service and conviction in the face of great injustice reminds us that positive change is possible when we join together in solidarity. When I think about the challenges we face today, I am touched and reminded by one of Dr. King’s most repeated messages. What are you doing for others? Dr. King always urged people to uplift their communities by being of service. We can honor Dr. King’s legacy by serving others in countless ways such as reaching out to a neighbor in need, performing a random act of kindness, mentoring someone or simply sharing MLK’s story. To me, working toward a more just and equitable society, where everyone is valued and respected, regardless of their race, ability, religion or background is the best way to honor MLK.”

Tisha Wilson, Business Operations Specialist

“One of the best ways I believe we can honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today and every day is by doing our absolute best to practice positivity daily. In one of Dr. Kings speeches, he states We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. One of my goals daily is to stay positive, help others, and see the bright side of thingsyou can find the good in everything if you stay positive. I truly think that if we all tried to follow a peaceful path, we would not only honor Dr. King, but we would uplift those around us and change our own lives in ways no one imagined.”

Andrea Barron, Account Manager

“We can honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. every day, by standing up and speaking against inequality and injustice around us when others don’t. Be an everyday walking example of inclusion by putting the love of people first. Not just with words but through our actions, such as community support.” 

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