Reflections on MLK Day
By Dr. Alvin B. Tillery Jr., Head of DEI
January 13, 2022 · 1 min read
The holiday celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an important moment of reflection for me each year. As an African American born three years after the movement Dr. King and others led to make America a multiracial democracy, the course of my life has been fundamentally shaped by the impact of his efforts. Without Dr. King’s work, I would have grown up in a different neighborhood, been educated in schools of lesser quality, and have had far less freedom to move in this society which is typically hostile to Black bodies.
Dr. King’s vision that America could become a “beloved community” serves as the foundation for my life’s work as an executive educator and consultant on diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. For Dr. King, achieving a beloved community in the U.S. meant that everyone would have to do the internal work of overcoming bias and the external work of redistributing resources in our society to promote equity for marginalized communities. I have made these values the center of my work over the last decade, and the C Street team and I hold them up as the cornerstone of any successful DEI program.
Moreover, on this particular MLK Day, one year after an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to overturn President Biden’s election and the multiracial democracy Dr. King fought so hard to achieve, it is evident that we need all hands on deck in every facet of our society to reaffirm his vision of America as a beloved community.