Dr. MLK Jr. in the Words of Academy Bank Associates

Martin Luther King Jr. addressing a crowd in Washington DC

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stands as a symbol of justice and equality, inspiring generations with his impact on civil rights. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, he received numerous accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Audio Book and a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

King's legacy goes beyond historical achievements; his words and actions have left a lasting mark on the pursuit of racial equality. His famous "I Have a Dream" speech and teachings resonate as a powerful call for a united and just society where everyone is treated fairly, no matter their race or background. So, as we honor MLK Day, let's remember his lessons and keep striving for a more inclusive and fair community.

As MLK Day approaches on January 15, we asked our associates to share what MLK represents for them. In their words, they reflect on the enduring impact of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and the importance of his teachings in inspiring positive change for a better future. Join us as we celebrate MLK's vision through their perspectives.

“Dr. King instilled hope in the Black Community, while there were many others that contributed to his success as an inspirational leader, no one could execute on the delivery of HOPE the way that he did. As a Black Woman, I’m often in spaces where I am the minority, but I show up with confidence and HOPE because I deserve to be in those spaces. Each year my family uses this Federal Holiday to give back to our community in ways that shows that his work was not in vain and to continue his legacy of instilling hope in all communities we serve that need it.”

-- Tarena Terry

“This holiday to me represents never forgetting what it was that MLK fought for and seeing some of the dreams he dreamt coming to fruition.”

-- Alex Mendoza

“I love kindness. I think there is kindness in all of us. I admire courage. My mom had ‘Don’t ever give up!’ as a reminder in one small corner of her dresser mirror. I value the significance of content of character.  That’s all that really matters to me anyway.  Dr. King was significant to me as a 10-year-old.  I loved to listen to him speak on the radio and on the television.  I did not understand the “meanness”, as my grandma described it, that was going on around him.  I came to understand that as I grew older. So, every year when we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory, I feel hopeful. That 10-year-old kind of hope where people are kind, courageous, of good character, and they want to treat others well because it is the right thing to do.”

-- Christine Vandeventer

“To me MLK Day is a chance to acknowledge progress that has been made in civil rights while recognizing that there are still challenges and inequalities that need to be addressed.”

-- Quinton Weld

“Martin Luther King stood up to a difference for every race, while his words spoke for every nationality to fight against segregation. He has taught us that dreams have tremendous power to keep us alive and give us hope.”

-- Samantha Hammer

“MLK Day provides an opportunity for reflection on the civil rights movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s contributions, and the ongoing struggle for social justice. It's a time to consider how these issues impact society today. This day gives us opportunities for engagement, dialogue, and understanding. It can be a time to join conversations about racial issues and learn from diverse perspectives.”

-- Nicholas Kelliher

“While I like to think that I pursue racial justice every day, MLK Day creates a focused moment of reflection. In our country we still have so much work to do to advance equality. But more than anything, I don’t want to be the “white moderate who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice.” I want to be an active participant in promoting justice and equality.”

-- Jessica Gardner

“In a time that wasn’t very open to change in the unfair treatment of African Americans, other races, and other ethnic groups in America, MLK stood for equality for all people. Although, Dr. King was involved in other of groups, causes, and movements for social change, he went on to organize the largest civil rights movement in American history.”

-- Rickey Pierce

Member FDIC

Photo Credit - CNP, Getty Images