Partnering with communities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

OneTen speed coaching session

Jan 11, 2024 | Alveda Williams, Ph.D.

“Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


As Martin Luther King Day approaches, I ground myself in his words – words that resonate as powerfully today as they did in his time, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?’”

As Chief Inclusion Officer, I continue to challenge myself to take a moment and listen – listen to the needs of our communities and beyond. How can we do more to lift up others and help our Company support organizations that do the same?

Dow ACTs – Building Up Communities

Dow ACTs was created in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. One of the key actions is to help organizations that are developing talent in communities where there is great need. I draw inspiration from these community partners we support under Dow ACTs. Let me share a few examples:

  • OneTen, which aims to close the opportunity gap for Black talent and others who do not have a four-year degree by casting a wider net for talent and lowering barriers to a family-sustaining job through a “skills first” approach.
  • The Dow Leadership and Treasure Academies: three-year educational programs to enable a more equitable talent pipeline for students with diverse backgrounds.
  • The Last Mile Education Fund, which takes an abundance approach, investing in a broader group of students already committed to technology, engineering fields and skilled trades by providing support for challenges they face beyond their control and incubating them to be the next generation of innovators.

I am thrilled to share announcements from several organizations – including OneTen, Dow Leadership Academy, Dow Treasure Academy and the Last Mile Education Fund – that we will continue to support funding and employee volunteerism efforts so they can continue to do great work and help people in need.


“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.'”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Organizations like these undoubtedly have a huge impact on communities. However, serving on any scale – even in one person’s life – fulfills the spirit of MLK Day. To those who have MLK Day as a paid day off, don’t just take this as time “off”, but make it a time “on” to reflect on events that have shaped our history and to give back to others through a day of service in your own community. Don’t know where to start? Connect with organizations like nonprofits and schools and ask what they need on MLK Day and every day. Ask, “how can we help?”

The question Dr. King poses: “What are you doing for others?” is a gift to us. A call for reflection that yields action. A call for service that lifts others up. A call to roll up our sleeves and change lives. As Dr. King asks, let’s do for others on MLK Day and every day.
 

Alveda Williams, Ph.D., Chief Inclusion Officer, Dow