Businesses Honor King Legacy, Give Back - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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Bernice King

“President-elect Barack Obama said it best. This election was not about him. It is about us. It is a call to the people of consciousness to rise up and move us forward in the areas where we have gotten stuck,” said the Rev. Bernice King, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. “We have a lot of work cut out for us.”

Before her death, Coretta Scott King directed the country to honor the life of her husband by participating in a day of volunteer service, a response to his selfless life work as a community organizer.

In keeping with the King legacy, Obama is calling on all Americans to join him in ongoing active citizenship. He and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be joining thousands of volunteers on Jan. 19, the national day of service, which observes the life of the slain civil rights leader. The Presidential Inaugural Committee says this will be the beginning of a broader push for Americans to give back throughout the year.

In response to Obama’s request, there are now more than 8,500 service events registered on where the PIC encouraged citizens to sign up to organize or attend an event in their local community.

Individuals aren’t the only ones who are answering the call to service. The idea of corporate responsibility has exploded in corporate America. Companies, both large and small, have joined the national tribute by organizing specific King Day volunteer opportunities and organizing their employees and/or customers to volunteer or donate services and products to needy causes.

“Without service I think we would self destruct as a nation and individuals could self destruct also,” Bernice King says. “To some degree, from the smallest contribution to the greatest sacrifice, service is what helps us to remember our humanity, our connectedness, and our responsibility to improving and advancing our society and our culture.”

Bernice King will be speaking at the King Center in Atlanta at an event sponsored by Allstate Insurance for Give Back Day, a component of Beyond February, a year-round program designed to expand Black History Month beyond February.

With Allstate, the celebration does not conclude with King’s speech. From there, more than 1,000 volunteers have signed up to head out into the streets of Atlanta, Martin Luther King Jr.’s hometown, and volunteer their time with several participating organizations. It doesn’t stop there either. Allstate collaborated with to direct visitors from the Give Back Day Website to organizations anywhere in the U.S. that have planned outreach projects for MLK Day.

“They enter in their zip code and a ton of activities come up for Jan. 19 throughout the country,” says Kim Turner, the integrated marketing communications manager for Allstate. “If you live in Chicago, Atlanta, New York, or Podunk, Miss., there is a place for you to participate.”

Employees at Allstate and Allstate’s privately-owned agencies are also encouraged to get involved. “In Philadelphia, Allstate employees

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.