The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by FedEx Global Citizenship Team

April 2, 2018


MLK’s Impact: Reflections from FedEx Leadership

April 2, 2018

On the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s passing, members of FedEx Executive Leadership reflect on his enduring legacy and share personal experiences on how he impacted their lives and careers.



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Comments on The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    Jason Winik says:

    Lived in Atlanta for three years and visited Dr. King’s gravesite once or twice monthly. Each time I visit the city, I go there and walk around for a bit. More people need to be judged, as he said, primarily by the content of their character.

    VeLa Johnson says:

    It is great to see that we continue to honor the memory and the legacy of Dr. King.

    John Duchon says:

    Sounds like a meaningful initiative!

    Michael O'Brien says:

    I remember the events of 1968 so well, although I was only 11 years old at the time of his assassination. Rev. King has been particularly inspirational for me, standing up for something he believed in, something he believed in so strongly that he put himself in harm’s way to effect change. That is true love – laying down one’s life for your friends. I pray that we never forget his message, so eloquently expressed in his “I Have a Dream” speech, that we judge others not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. That is a transcendental message that withstands the test of time.

    BRENDA WEATHERS says:

    It is amazing to me that FedEx is honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King keep up

    Anita King says:

    I so look forward to volunteering for Martin Luther King, Jr Day of Service via FedEx Cares. It is a privilege to work for a company that supports diversity! A day on not off.

    Lisa Hibbert says:

    Honoring the Legacy of Dr. King, for me is my spiritual foundation, humility, love for my fellow human being, no mater the race or background. My work ethic and daily life, are mirrored after Leaders such as my Parents and Dr. King. I am a proud African American Woman, because of the strength and the courage of Dr. King and many, many other longsuffering, Africans and African Americans, before and after him. Lastly,I am proud to work for a Company, that allows me to express such a sentiment. Thank you,
    Lisa Hibbert

    Mary Ann Schott says:

    Dr. King opened the gates to a GM factory job for this white woman who could never have gotten a job there before. I am forever grateful for my GM pension and so much more. He was brave, loved everyone no mater the color and gave this nation something to be very proud of. He paid for it with his life.

    Quavis Clayton says:

    I am a Minority but Today I have a great job working for a one of the top fortune 500 companies to have this opportunity to work for FedEx where the possibilities for growth are endless I am grateful an honored to be a recipient of all the hard work and vision he marched and unfortunately gave his life for thank you Dr. King for the sacrifices you made I would not be in this position without your vision and message thank you….

    Simone Smith says:

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was more then a man, he was a movement. He stood for a many great beliefs, that values, equality, love, and peace even in conflict could all be a part of change an growth of people. The most important lesson that I learned of Dr. Kings life, his struggles, and his untimely death, is to do the moral thing. It may not be easy all the time but it adds value to my life and my children’s life. I wish that on his anniversary we could all add acceptance of differences, love for our neighbors, and understanding to our daily actions. Thanks FedEx for not forgetting this great man and participating in remebering his great journey!!!

    VeLa Johnson says:

    It’s great to see that we still honor the legacy and memory of Dr. King!

    Amanda says:

    Dr. King, you were the man….

    Sidney Brown says:

    Had The Chance To Meet WWII Tuskegee Airman Pilot Colonel Charles McGee In Hawaii In 2017. I Thank Him For Paving The Way For Me In Aviation. I Can Only Imagine What I Would Have Said To Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr If I Could Have Meet Him.

    Elvis Addae says:

    Dr. King defied the odds when he stood up for social justice, inclusion and civility for mankind. He made it possible for me and many others to enjoy the freedom to educate our children in the US. God Bless MLK and surely the “Dream Lives On”

    Norma Kirby says:

    Living here in Memphis, I was nine years old at the time Dr. King was shot. I remember my mother sat us all down together (13 children) and said “Ya’ll, they have shot King.” She squatted down near us, and we all cried. At that moment, all possibility for equality, fairness, and justice I thought was gone forever. However, as I now look back and look forward, things are not so bleak. There has been a lot of progressive changes throughout the world. I often feel there is a bit more that can be done to make individuals feel inclusive. Everyone wants the best for themselves and their families — good schools, good neighborhoods (safe shelter), good food, vacations, etc. WOW, to live the American Dream! We can all share in Dr. King’s dream — it’s enough to go around, and you may just find the world would be a better place to live.

    rowdy thomas says:

    I was 6 when he was assassinated and being a kid I didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. As I got older and did my thought was WOW just because he had a different view of what America needed to be..thanks MLK

    French Pope , Jr says:

    I am so proud to be an employee of FedEx and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Montgomery County MD) chapter also know as the Monument Chapter where the idea of erecting a statue for our Fraternity brother in Washington DC.

    Betty says:

    I was 9 years old when Dr. King was murdered. I can visualize the very moment. I was on kitchen duty on Mr. V’s plantation in Mississippi and my mother screamed so loud I believe all of the world stood still. Though so many lives have been sacrificed for equality, today we recognize Dr. King. Dr. King vision is empowered by our stand for justice for everyone. Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. MLK. I am committed to never hate anyone.

    Tony Smith says:

    I recall seeing Dr. King speak in Rockville Centre, NY on March 28, 1968 a little more than a week prior to his assassination. Sitting audience with my Great Grandmother and Aunt watching him interact with my Uncle Rev. Morgan M. Days. I sat there in amazement as his voice echoed throughout the auditorium. Every word clear and distinct and from the heart. When hearing of what had taken place on April 4th of that year everyone within our community wept as we all realized from our experience the week prior that greatness was removed from our lives, that his words were truly something to carry and live by for the remainder of our existence.

    Dawn Bess says:

    Very proud of FedEx for their day of service. Although the company doesn’t recognize this as a holiday giving their employees the day off, there are plenty of “work” volunteer events for employees to participate in.

    Kenneth Matthews says:

    Eventhough Dr. Kings influence and vision empowered us and spurned many changes in public policy, I feel his focus went beyond that. His focus was that people would submit themselves to God and be transformed in their hearts and minds. Without such transformation true change is a façade. God searches the heart of man. You can’t fool Him.

    Serenthia Bailey says:

    Remember that Love conquers all.

    Cynthia I. Hill says:

    What a great man, to give his life for what he believe in. We are not living up to this great man. Let honor the late great Dr. king by showing love, and respect to all people.

    BELLE says:

    My heart is so overjoy for the people who made a stand against prejudice and inequality. I salute those who came before Mr. King who gave their lives for America to be a just Country and other countries who people also gave their lives. We have still have more work to do by each person seeing wrong and to recognize it. Thanks FEDEX for acknowledging that.

    Tyrone S. says:

    FedEx is just an awesome company that promotes great things for every culture, and diversity; I’m 34 years in-thanks!!!!

    Contessa Dickson says:

    This is just one of a myriad of reasons I am ecstatic to be a part of THE FEDEX FAMILY. FEDEX shows why diversity matters, drives revenue, motivates employees, and encourages innovation.

    Tracy W says:

    Another proud team member honoring Dr. King’s life and legacy

    Cassandra Aleong says:

    Witnessing our current state of events makes it even more admirable that he was able to take a stand when the view point was not popular.

    Diane Washington says:

    I have a Dream Speech, still gives me goose bumps today. This man has inspired all races to speak up for what is right.

    Carmen Thompson says:

    I’m so happy to be apart of a company that took out the time to acknowledge such greatness! I was only 4yrs of age when his young life was cut short! But I have pasted what he stood for on to my son and were sharing,showing the dream to my grandson. Don’t look at this day as a holiday! Give back! Reach one teach one! Will keep this dream alive and not a nightmare!

    George Jones says:

    Dr. King was a dreamer and a drum major for justice. He inspired and uplifted people all over the world. His message(s) will endure the test of time. In order to honor his legacy, we must keep pushing forward.

    George Jones says:

    Dr. King was a bridge-builder, and I am glad that we are honoring his legacy.

    Tyrone S says:

    FedEx is just plain AWESOME all-around!!!!!

    Eliza D Royal says:

    Enjoying MLK Day. My great uncle Kearney was a sanitation worker during the civil rights era. Also, FedEx Employees in TN made the local news. I would like to get involved in future FedEx Service Projects, since I have not participated in a service project.

    Sandi says:

    What an inspiring human being

    Joseph Emmanuel says:

    DR MLK was a brave man he gave his life for the people to have the same priority specially in black power we’ll always remember you

    Martin Treder says:

    A kind hello from Germany, the country of MLK’s namesake Martin Luther who founded Protestantism some 500 years ago. They shared deep trust in Jesus Christ, and this made them achieve phenomenal things. Why not take these two Martins as your role models?

    Rosie Campbell says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. Very powerful and well written.

    Danielle W. says:

    This is beautiful story, and I could have read even more on this story. Thank you for sharing this moving piece!

    Jerry Page says:

    Great story and we work for a great company that is rich in history!

    Lisa Hibbert says:

    I am so thankful, this article was written. I feel blessed to have read her story. And proud, to know that she continued to follow and honor Dr. King’s legacy. You never know who your co workers are. Nor where they have been.

    Thx,
    Lisa

    Nita Mckay says:

    What a powerful read!

    Tasha Hamilton says:

    Loved reading about the relationship between Janas and Yolanda. Very well written!

    Priscilla says:

    Thank you FedEx for recognizing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

    Tracee Walls says:

    WOW! Storytelling at its VERY BEST! What a compelling, warm and powerful blog post. So proud of our team member and friend, Janas Jackson for having such a powerful influence and direct impact on a historical icon and movement.

    June Rodgers says:

    I have to brag that Janas is my cousin and for as long as I can remember she’s always been a gem — super smart, humble and always seeing the best in others. What a great story Pam. Well written and so enlightening. Congratulations to both of you fine ladies, and to FedEx for being a great company for diversity and inclusion.

    Randy Irving says:

    This is a great story. To see the reach and scope of FedEx team members and their impact is amazing. Having worked with Janas I am not surprised about the impact she was able to have on Ms. King.

    I hope everyone understands this is a message of unity and empowerment for all people. MLK50 is a commemoration of how Dr. King’s message helped improve this country for everyone.

    Pam Johnson says:

    Great story, Phyllis! It’s wonderful that Vivian is able to express her passion for history through her work at FedEx!

    Randy Irving says:

    Thanks for sharing. Ms. Montgomery does and excellent job of sharing this knowledge in an exciting way. We all benefit from this knowledge share.

    Jon Buss says:

    Throughout my life I have studied and wrote papers about the life and achievements of MLK. The level of respect I have for this true American is unmeasurable. He will always be remembered in my thoughts and prayers. His life will never be forgotten. Thank you MLK for all that you have done to shape who I am today.

    Janas Jackson says:

    June, thank you so much for your vote of confidence. I am equally as proud to brag that you are my cousin given the enormous and versatile talents you bring to FedEx and beyond. As always, you rock!!!!!

    Ramesh Singh Negi says:

    Dr. MLK always have leave behind a legacy to others how well they can do for the society by their diversity

    Mischelle Kelley says:

    Sitting at my desk crying….cause’ words cannot express my gratitude. If not for GOD!…If not for the sanitation workers, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. James Edward Orange, Alice Paul, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Walter Francis White and a many others.. I know that I wouldn’t be sitting behind a desk, BUT…the struggle is not over.
    I wish that I could see more unity on a daily basis in our communities, churches, schools, judicial system, board rooms, businesses, (etc.). We should be the example that we want to see. We should give more of ourselves to help others. Why not volunteer….I do.
    “We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident, That All Men Are Created Equal, And Are Endowed By Their Creator With Certain Unalienable Rights, That Among These Are Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of Happiness.”(United States Declaration of Independence, July, 1776).
    FedEx thank you for this story and your humanitarian efforts over the years.

    Nicholaus McNeal says:

    Amazing job! Great read!

    Ralph Chigoya says:

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character – Dr. MLK.

    The message from the top is not only inspiring, but soothing, practical and possible…not only in America….as the Visionary has said, but across over 400 000 team members across the globe…Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific & Africa!

    What a great message!

    Daron A Patterson says:

    Dr. King gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, justice, and equality for us all. His life has been an extreme inspiration to me in my life and I am so proud to work for a company that honors his legacy.

    Berdotha Brooks says:

    I LOVE THE DREAM STILL LIVE”

    Gwendolyn Morris says:

    Great story!!

    Lois Johnson says:

    This message from Mr. Smith confirms the fact I am PROUD to work for a company that recognizes, this monumental historical event.

    I am grateful for Dr. King paving the way so that I could have opportunities, employment and an education.
    Let us continue to Keep the Dream Alive!

    The struggle continues!

    Denine Mersier-Davis says:

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So Humbling Awesome, filled with so much Love. I am proud to work for FEDEX…. GOD BLESS AMERICA

    Chris Reynolds says:

    What an inspiration!! Thanks for sharing!

    Janice Douglas says:

    I was very young when Dr. King was assassinated. I remember they televised his funeral and that was the first time I saw my parents cry. They mourned a great man. I am happy to say that realized Dr. King’s greatness early in my life.

    Susan Oselio says:

    What an awesome and inspiring story…To see these gentlemen and know all they’ve been through is amazing! Dr. Martin Luther King’s courage and vision were incredible, and he’s a continual inspiration to so many!
    Good job on the story, Phyllis!

    Alberdeen De' Clayborn says:

    I attended the April 3, 1968, Southern Christian Leadership Conference event. I was born and raised around the corner from Mason Temple Church of God In Christ. During that time Mason Temple was the largest building a group of Black Americans could gather in Memphis. I was on the 4th row and clearly remembered the “Mountaintop” speech. I am very proud to say that my father was a supervisor at one the largest barns located in Memphis . I say with great honor that my family personally experienced some very economical hardships when my father made the decision to walked with his workers. I remembered when he stated “they do work under horrible conditions” and I refuse to assign or give anyone that cross the picket line their jobs. There were many days when my father would not report if a worker called in; he would work their shift to make sure their pay would not be taken from their checks. They had no sick time or other benefits to protect them as we do here at FedEx. I am very proud and applaud FedEx for recognizing these great men for courage who stood up and endured the hardship they experienced for simply seeking higher pay to take care of their families.

    Francis Benede says:

    I’m happy for the brave step of faith those men took to move the voices of others to the next level. Very informative write up.
    Thanks FedEx,
    Francis Benede

    Melissa Arnold says:

    Thank you Phyllis A. Fair for acknowledging the deaf community with this great blog. My parents are hearing impaired and these gentlemen are their close friends. We all go to the same church and to see them talk about their experience was amazing. I thank you and fedex for sharing with our colleagues. Great Job!!!!

    Dennis Williams says:

    Maya Angelou once said, ‘You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated…’ Thank you for sharing this account of courage, perseverance and bravery. May their sacrifices never be forgotten.

    Nancy Sears says:

    Very inspiring story. Dr King was a hero and his legacy lives on today.

    CONTESSA DICKSON says:

    Extremely, Proud to be a part of this FedEx family. Honoring Dr. King and these Men, shows that we all have the voice and power to make Positive change in our lives and the lives of others.

    Alicia Matthews says:

    Nancy this was such an awesome story. Your parents were truly trail blazers. Thank God for the many whites who had the courage and integrity during the civil right era. When I go back and read history, thereare so many stories, good, bad, and ugly. I often wondered how life would be if Dr. King was alive. The death of the two black men that were crushed to death, and how they were treated was what brought Dr. King to Memphis. 50 years later some things have changed, but there are a lot of things that could be better. I would love to see FedEx honor Dr. King with a national holiday for the employees.

    Lisa Kelley says:

    Wonderful story of the strength it took to for the deaf community to forge forward and live their lives as men with equal opportunity to have jobs regardless of their challenges and ultimately be heard. Ironic. Great to see today’s young leaders unite to take a stand for what they believe in also. I’m proud to work for FedEx with everything they do to create an empowered workforce with high recognition of equality and honor the past that enabled today’s atmosphere and tomorrow’s future.

    Michael Finley says:

    Thanks for sharing this remarkable story.

    Cheryl A. Mulloon says:

    Remember the man and his conviction for a better world. Honor his legacy because it’s needed more now than ever. On a day of his remembrance I also remember Maya Angelou for today is her birthday with one of my favorite quotes.
    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

    James Etheridge says:

    I am honored to work for an organization that truly appreciates the importance of Dr. King’s legacy and the cause for which he and so many others fought. In my opinion, the significance of his legacy is that it provides the blueprint, the motivation and the moral justification to continue their cause and resist the forces of division that persist to this day. Dr. King once noted that the ultimate tragedy is not the cruelty of bad people, but the silence over it of good people. Rather than remain silent, our company has chosen to take a leading role in combating those forces that would divide us. We do so by actively embracing not only diversity but INCLUSION; not only tolerance, but APPRECIATION. Furthermore, we participate in (and/or fund) dozens of charitable initiatives that help to close the opportunity gap in underserved communities here and across the globe. I would like to thank FedEx for honoring the legacy of Dr. King by taking heed to his call.

    Vanessa Miller says:

    MLK50! Dr. king’s legacy lives on.

    Pamela Shropshire says:

    I was 12 years old when Dr. King was killed and I remember my mom and dad how they sat us down and told us about this, as they were talking about it several of my aunts and uncles came by the house and there was such a sadness in there eyes I believe this is the first time I ever say my dad cry. As they gathered we kids were told to leave the room but we sneaked and listen to what they were saying and they said that we will not let his death be in vane that we will carry on the torch of freedom and civil rights and do what we have to in a non violent way. It was not easy especially when we began going to the segregated schools one of our family members always waited with us to catch the bus as well as when we came back home to ensure that we got the education that we were entitled to. I can say that our family has Doctors, Lawyers, Judges, Professors , Accountants and a lot of hard working adults that took the torch and ran with it. I am grateful to know that his legacy will live on and that I work for a company that Keeps hope alive.

    CONTESSA DICKSON says:

    GREAT PIECE!!! BRAVO

    Guy Campbell says:

    That video was very well done. It is great to have such a compassionate and diverse organization here in Memphis. The comments from those who lived through that tragic day in 1968 break my heart, but I also know it was not in vain and his legacy lives on! #MLK50

    Bruce Tucker says:

    WOW! Now how great was that to witness the impact and hear the testimony of our senior Leadership with regards to Dr. King. Moved to tears, fore Dr. Martin Luther King is one of my most inspiring idols. FedEx as a company continues to make me proud to be an employee. I really appreciate the tribute. Thank You – Bruce Tucker

    Anonymous says:

    I was in Memphis a few years ago for
    FedEx, we went to the hotel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. There was a field trip going on with about 25 grade school students in the group. Just seeing this made me think, what else could he have accomplished in his like for these kids and the world. It is sad a life gone to soon 39 years young

    Cherelyn Rodgers Jeffries says:

    What an amazing piece with such a profound message featuring our executive management. I am truly honored to be able to work at an organization such as FedEx, and afforded opportunities that weren’t available to others in 1968, which is what brought Dr. King to Memphis in the first place. I owe a great deal of my success to Dr. King and his dream and sacrifice for equality and justice for all. #MLK50

    Pamela Porter says:

    FedEx exemplifying the Purple Promise! Its humbling and yet awesome to work for a company such as FedEx that supports and recognizes the significance of honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!

    Ramona Davie says:

    I am so thankful and proud of the Life and Legacy of not only Dr. King but of my parents and grandparents who sacrificed so much and worked so hard for justice so that I am blessed to have the life and opportunities that I have today. I honor and respect them do much. I honor them by the way I treat people with dignity and respect, just as I want to be treated, also by going to the polls and to vote during every election. I honor them by having a strong work ethic and not taking what they have done for all of us for granted. I thank you FedEx for honoring Dr. King and his legacy. I thank you for being a company that I can honestly say I am very proud to work for

    Ramesh Singh Negi says:

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.. these lines always admired all over the world. SALUTE TO MLK

    Christopher Conner says:

    Proud to say I’m employed by FedEx.

    PROF.SEAN PATRICK WILLIAMS says:

    DR.Martin was not only a very brilliant man,but an unbelievable peace maker!! what a drastic lose to all.

    Brandon Lake says:

    Excellent piece Nancy.

    Dr. Kings legacy has influenced us all to do better ..loving one another as we should. I am quite sure your parents are very proud of the work you have done and the honor you bring to their name .

    Channing Cobb says:

    I appreciate FedEx and their commitment to ensuring All of America’s history is celebrated in honoring such a great man as Dr. King.

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