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MLK Day of Reflection and Service

MLK Day of Reflection and Service

January 30, 2019: Nearly 400 RTI employees in the Research Triangle Park and U.S. regional offices participated in the Jan. 21 RTI-sponsored MLK Day of Reflection and Service.

The theme for RTI's second annual day of service was "The time is always right to do what is right," a quote from Dr. King's last sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., in 1968 before his assassination four days later. The event was hosted by RTI's Black Employee Resource Group in collaboration with the Diversity and Inclusion initiative and RTI Pride, TeleWork Network, RTI Veterans and Allies (VALoR), Women's Advancement, Leadership and Success (WALS), Working Parent Group (WPG), and Young Professionals (YP) ERGs.

RTP staff members packaged nearly 1,800 meal kits for the Interfaith Food Shuttle; while Atlanta staff assembled fresh fruit and vegetable kits for local seniors. The Chicago office assembled nearly 100 literacy kits; 150 healthy snack packs were boxed by the D.C. regional office; and in Fort Collins, staff members created more than 300 snack kits for volunteers of Respite Care, Inc.

In Portland, nearly 20 fleece blankets were created and donated to Virginia Garcia Medical Center; Research Operation Center (ROC) staff assembled 250 snack packs; while the Rockville regional office staff assembled more than 110 snack packs for for the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless. In Seattle, volunteers worked with United Way staff on a community garden clean-up; and Waltham staff assembled gloves, scarves and other warm weather gear for 70 kits to be donated to the Community Day Center of Waltham. Due to inclement weather, the Berkley regional office will hold its MLK Day of Reflection and Service on Feb. 8.

Following the morning's service activities, Aaron Williams, RTI senior advisor emeritus, delivered the keynote address. BERG co-chair Cara Valentino-Antoine kicked off the event with a call to action: "What if we all spent just a few minutes of each day reflecting on how we could provide the highest level of service to our teams and to the Institute? What might that look like?" RTI President Wayne Holden gave opening remarks and thanked the BERG and RTI's Diversity and Inclusion initiative for its work on the day of service.