On January 15, 2019, Martin Luther King, Jr. would have turned 90 years old. This year, in honor of his life and legacy, the Merkle Americas Diversity & Inclusion Council launched an initiative for employees to engage, learn, and support the spirit of civil rights through community service.
How Merkle Celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day
In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that leads service and volunteering, with driving this effort. Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a "day on, not a day off." This day is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "beloved community."
To celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Merkle US offices partnered with local charitable organizations in honor of the National Day of Service and held activities that promoted and encouraged discussions on the significance of Martin Luther King Jr. and diversity.
Employees were able to participate in selected office activities such as
- Engaging in internal discussion topics on topic such as cultural diversity, prejudice, and discrimination.
- Pledging to donate money, food, and books to local charities and schools.
- Giving by volunteering time to help local nonprofit agencies in communities where Merkle has offices
The New York office joined forces with Dentsu’s Diversity Matters and 360i’s BEiNG for a joint celebration. We partnered with PS 352 New Bridges Elementary to donate books for grades Pre-K to 5. We also celebrated with the documentary 13th, and a happy hour along with diversity themed crossword puzzles and an MLK Jr. Fun Facts poster.
The Columbia, Maryland office partnered with Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center to make 75 Meal Kits. Grassroots is a multi-service crisis intervention center providing 24-hour assistance to those in need in the Howard County Maryland area. To thank all the office volunteers that put the meal kits together, the Columbia office served Taharka Brothers Ice Cream and watched the PBS documentary, “Eyes on the Prize, America’s Civil Rights Movement.” The Taharka Brothers organization is a big proponent of social consciousness.
The Denver office partnered with Volunteers of America Mission, an organization that supports the local homeless community. Team members prepared 50 lunches to support the organizations ‘Pack a Sack’ program and went on site to prepare and serve dinner at the Mission.
The Charlottesville, Virginia office partnered with International Neighbors, a local organization that supports 800 of the nearly 4,000 refugees in Charlottesville. Employees donated to its Winter Coat Drive through a Charity Beer Cart and employee donations of clothing. The office hosted TED talks on two powerful topics, including Resilience Education, which works with the University of Virginia’s Darden School to provide MBA-taught classes for inmates.
Contest in honor of MLK Jr. Day
Next, Merkle will support a lucky employee’s visit to a civil rights site or monument. We’re hosting a contest for an all-expense paid trip, and the winner will be announced at the end of March. Stay tuned!