MLK Jr. Day Celebration

Cornelius BookerEquality is the Key
Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most profound figures in world history and is most often known for his commitment to equality. In fact, his “I Have a Dream” speech not only highlighted the racial inequality within the United States in the 1960s, but also spoke of social and economic inequality as well. So where are we now? Is inequality still an issue today? If so, why?

When you look at the U.S. labor market, you may see that some demographics of the population are not receiving the same pay and opportunities as others. It may not be that they are lacking the necessary qualifications, but instead employers or hiring managers are seeking qualities and cultural similarities that mirror their own. That in itself is unethical and not a wise hiring criteria because it could quickly create a work environment that does not foster diversity. So how can we address inequality in the workforce?

Portrait of Martin Luther King JuniorMartin Luther King Jr. stated in another speech titled “I have been to the Mountaintop” that change is not going to come because of demand, but because of survival. Companies should recognize that the labor market is changing just as quickly as the country itself. If a company lacks diversity in its practices and workforce, it could devalue itself to the point of irrelevance.

It is well documented that a diverse team brings about diverse ideas and methods; which leads to a higher quality workforce. Let us not forget that Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream” delivered in August 1963, was highly focused on equality, which is still an issue in 2018. Although not widely considered as controversial today as it was during the civil rights movement of the sixties, equality is still an important issue to all people. Let us in every effort continue to make this dream of equality a reality. Employers should continue to make sure their workforce is diverse including all protected classes such as race, gender, national origin, age and disability. This ensures their products and/or services remain relevant to the culture that it’s intended to serve.

Cornelius Booker is a senior member of the Regional Navigator team and a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he received his Bachelors in Marketing and later received his M.B.A with a focus on Business Marketing and Management. With his personal experience and passion for the disabled community, Cornelius’ insights are an invaluable asset to the Workforce Solutions organization.



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