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It has been 55 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and more than 30 years that the nation has paused each January to reflect upon his life and impact on civil rights and racial equity. In recent years, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion movement has gained significant attention and momentum within the corporate environment, but has meaningful progress been made? Martin Luther King Jr. Day presents an opportunity for businesses across the country to assess and evaluate their DEI efforts.

“In the years since MLK’s death, we’ve seen progress, but not enough,” says Kike Ojo-Thompson, founder of DEI consultancy, KOJO Institute. “So much of what MLK said, wrote, and fought against is still happening today. Globally, anti-Black racism still harms Black people every single day, disadvantaging us in every system.

“What that tells me is that the work MLK and his peers in the civil rights movement started is not finished,” she says. “Today’s DEI efforts are a continuation of the legacy that MLK left behind and an important step toward the world that he dreamed of. So, we cannot become complacent or resigned. We cannot accept or excuse racism, oppression, and injustice. There is work to be done, and now is the time to do it.”

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