No matter where in the world you might be, the words “I have a dream” probably sound familiar to you. This powerful phrase, once said by American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., is also the title of a speech he presented to millions in 1963, in which he called for equality for Black Americans. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he shared his vision of a free and just society, where people would be judged by their character and not the color of their skin.
60 years since that historic moment, his legacy continues to resonate with people today. Desmond Manford, Sr. HR Business Partner at Marvell, shared his reflections with us as we discussed King’s meaningful impact on society.
Growing up in Ghana, Africa, Desmond knew about Martin Luther King, Jr, but learned more about the civil rights leader's impact, sacrifice and vision as he lived and studied in the U.S. “I realized while nothing is perfect, some of the benefits I received were a direct result of the civil rights movement. Just the ability to be able to go to college - going through college was truly amazing,” shared Desmond.
As Desmond learned more, he felt inspired to do more – acting on his passion for volunteerism as a gesture of gratitude and honor for a leader and country that has done so much for him. Nestled in his community of Folsom, California is the Twin Lakes Food Bank, which provides food to those in need. Desmond is an active member of their leadership team, providing expertise in the field of people, performance, hiring, succession planning and other HR tasks. He invests his time in strengthening the organization by advocating for their mission, helping families access food, and searching for new ways to nurture the mental and physical health of those living in his community.
Pictured above: Doris, Desmond and their children Dolcy, Derek and Danielle
The impact of King’s work can be found throughout the world, weaved into the way we think, the way we work and the way we live. As we approach Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday (January 15), we encourage you to embrace the spirit of service this month and engage your community as a volunteer in honor of King’s legacy.
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