Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Today – January 20, 2014 – is the MLK Day of Service, a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It asks Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. It’s the only US federal holiday observed as a national day of service.
Dr. Martin Luther King was also, of course, a prominent leader in the U.S. African-American civil rights movement, and originally the holiday was instituted in 1983 – after a long struggle – to commemorate his contributions to this movement.
As the executive champion for Symantec’s Black Employees Network (SBEN) – one of many Employee Resource Groups available to employees – I encourage each of you - employees, customers, technology professionals - to ask yourself the question I opened with. What am I doing for others?
“Dr. King is an agent for change in the lives of us all,” says Eric Hylick, Symantec technical support engineer and Heathrow’s SBEN Champion. “As I’ve grown to learn more about his sacrifices, accomplishments, and leadership, I have come to have a deeper understanding of his legacy. That legacy calls all of us to be change agents, as well – all of us should think about how we can make positive changes in our own lives and all those lives we come in contact with.”
Celebrating Diversity and a Commitment to Social Good
As a way to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy, Symantec's SBEN chapter in Heathrow, Florida, will feature several guest speakers for our employees beginning the week of MLK Day and stretching into February’s Black History Month. Featured speakers include Andrew West, author, technology thought-leader, philanthropist, and entrepreneur; Pastor Riva Tims of Orlando, Florida’s Majestic Life Church, and Cecil Miller, Lockheed Martin CIO. These speakers have been asked to share thoughts on African American figures who have inspired them, and the current projects they are focused on in their own lives.
Additionally, Symantec offers a number of opportunities and incentives for employees all over the world to become involved in their local communities, and to celebrate the diversity of our entire employee base. Employees can start an SBEN chapter or join their site's local community relations committee, Green Team, or one of our Employee Resource Groups. We currently have groups focused on women employees, Black employees, Hispanic employees, LGBT employees and allies, and our newest offering, Symantec Leadership and Empowering Asian Development (SymLEAD). All of these groups provide opportunities for community outreach and social engagement. Employees can also participate in the regional volunteer opportunities offered each quarter, arrange a team-building service project for their department, or simply engage with the charitable organizations they care most deeply about.
Lastly, employees can access Symantec's Matching Gift and Dollars for Doers programs to support personal charitable and volunteer contributions.
The MLK Day of Service website also offers project toolkits for service projects related to disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. Anyone can search for volunteer opportunities in their local community here.
I believe that diversity within the workforce provides Symantec with a unique competitive advantage within the market, and that all of our individual differences should be respected and celebrated. I also believe that service is a cornerstone of integrity, something we should all strive for every day.
To learn more about Symantec’s commitment to community service, visit the Community Investment page of the Corporate Responsibility website.
Lenny Alugas is Symantec's Senior Vice President, Renewals.