This week, I join the thousands traveling to Washington D.C. for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall. This will be the first major monument on the Mall honoring someone who was not a past president and the first for an African American.
While many connect King’s dream and life work to the civil rights movement, those who recognize only his work to ensure equality for African Americans may miss the true impact of his life legacy for worldwide peace and humanity for all. King spoke out for equality for all citizens and dreamed of a world where people, all people, would be judged only by the content of their character.
Long before any holidays or monuments in his home country, the world acknowledged King’s significance by granting him the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1964. During his acceptance speech, he remarked that “mankind’s survival is dependent upon man’s ability to solve the problems of racial injustice, poverty, and war; the solution of these problems is in turn dependent upon man squaring his moral progress with his scientific progress, and learning the practical art of living in harmony.” King remains one of the most heavily quoted leaders even today and his messages continue to inspire and teach.
Formed in 1968, Intel has grown from a few hundred engineers focused on a vision to a company of over 90,000 employees driving technological innovation around the world. The late Robert Noyce, one of Intel’s founders, expressed often, “Do not be encumbered by past history – go off and do something wonderful”, and we have continually strived to do just that.
Intel has continued to build products that have changed how the world lives, works and plays. Simultaneously, we have remained committed to being a socially responsible corporate citizen of the world. Our employees volunteer millions of hours in classrooms and community centers around the world and over the past decade alone Intel has donated over $1B to education. Our commitment is based on the fundamental belief that we cannot succeed until all people have the opportunity to fully participate in the growth economy.
As a global operation in over 50 countries, we recognize the power of working collaboratively together across cultures and geographies. Our employees represent a mosaic of humanity, many of which weren’t even alive during the civil rights era, and yet recognize and express the significance of Mr. King’s legacy on their lives. His fight for their rights to pursue their life ambition is one they recognize and one that helped bring them to Intel thus, representing an achievement for which we can all be grateful.
The decision for us to support this week’s dedication events was an easy one to make. As the platinum sponsor of the Dare to Dream luncheon, we are proud to honor the women of the civil rights movement and their legacy of strength, hope and dignity. That they dreamed so much for us at a time when evidence of progress was invisible reminds me that we have the responsibility to dream as big and build on their legacy for the next generation. With that in mind, our Intel team will also volunteer at the “Dream Keepers: Encouraging Future Leaders” youth event encouraging youth to pursue science, technology, engineering and math.
Our team will watch, with a tremendous sense of pride this Sunday, the unveiling of the monument to the life of a great leader and be reminded of how far we have come and how much has been sacrificed for us to achieve the progress we have accomplished to date. I, for one, will stand in awe knowing that forever there will be children who will visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial and learn about what he stood for, what this country stands for, and what it means to role model true leadership for the world. But, as I return to my office Monday morning, I will do so with the humbling reminder of how much work we still have to do to ensure that his dream is a reality for all. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial stands as a testament to what we can do when we come together to drive positive change.