TD Bank will proudly observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day this Monday as Dr. King's message of achieving racial and social justice through nonviolent activism is more relevant than ever.
Dr. King committed himself to making the world a better place for years and affecting the lives of millions after first coming into national prominence with the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott to protest segregated seating in 1955. He was an adamant proponent of protesting and affecting change through nonviolent means.
Dr. King, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, is perhaps best known for his impactful 1963 speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, where he said
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.
Such powerful words that still resonate nearly 60 years later.
The goal of full diversity and inclusion remains unfulfilled in our nation, but one that must be achieved. As Dr. King wrote in his 1963 letter from a Birmingham, Alabama jail:
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
After Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, a bill was passed in Congress to observe MLK Day as a federal holiday in 1983.
"Diversity and inclusion are deeply embedded in everything we do," TD Bank President and CEO Greg Braca said in a note to bank employees for MLK Day. "We can succeed if all voices are respected and protected. We can attract and retain talented colleagues. We can provide the service, convenience and advice our customers rely on. We can authentically engage with communities throughout our footprint.”
MLK Day is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service
Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act in 1994, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service. It is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a "day on, not a day off."
The designation of Dr. King's holiday as a national day of service reflects his emphasis on giving back as he poignantly said:
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?
While more people have participated in the MLK Day of Service over the past decade in the United States, this year will be different because of the restrictions of in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are numerous local and national sites that offer outdoor and virtual options, including the national United Way, which lists local opportunities for the MLK holiday and every day.
TD Bank is encouraging all to consider volunteering this weekend in honor of Dr. King. "At TD, volunteerism and charitable giving are the cornerstone of our commitment to the community, and together we can make a real difference," Braca said.