It is said in a Call to Conscience (the Landmark speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) “that his dream of American moral possibilities expressed a universal hope for mankind.”
I was barely 10 days old when he gave the Eulogy for the youth of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church who were murdered. But these words are still fitting today in many ways..

“And so I stand here to say this afternoon to all assembled here, that in spite of the darkness of this hour (Well), we must not despair. (Well) we must not become bitter (That’s right), nor must we harbor the desire to retaliate with violence. (yes) Somehow we must believe that the most misguided among them can learn to respect the dignity and the worth of all human personality”

As a professional in the field of diversity recruiting I call to hiring managers for the very same things. To see people for the competencies that they possess, not the histories they have led. For we cannot always assess a person by where they have been in the past but by where they are going, and how they are planning to get there. There are a million stories of people successful by the world standards who despair to the point of suicide. Yet there are as many stories of resiliency and success by those who come from meager backgrounds but quite simply have the will and vision to succeed.

In his 1964 acceptance of the Noble Peace Prize Dr. King added “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality”

What I have seen unfold in the past 10-15 years gives me great hope that there are more and more who see the peace and brotherhood. Once we see it we can seek more of it, build it into our project teams, corporate goals, our personal lives and hopefully create a starry midnight of diversity and inclusion that grows into the bright daybreak…

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,

Patti Yaritz

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