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A letter in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day from Farren, Qualtrics Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead

On Monday, Jan. 17th we celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Although Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a U.S. holiday, it is unquestionable that Dr. King’s impact extended far beyond the U.S.’ borders. 

Dr. King was a beacon for human rights on a global level. His vision of equality changed the lives of Black and African Americans in his time, but his impact on oppressed communities was much larger. His struggle for freedom crossed borders and oceans. 

I will always be personally grateful to Dr. King for his contribution to the civil rights and anti-apartheid movement in my home country of South Africa. He continues to inspire the world with his message of equality and common humanity. It is fitting that throughout the world he has parks, roads and even United Nations conventions named after him to honor his legacy and remind us of the work that still needs to be done.

Dr. King once said “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.". This week I have been reflecting on how to use our time to elevate the conversation of racial justice and do acts of service. 

Keeping the conversation going 

Dr. King played an important role in the quest for racial and economic justice. At Qualtrics, we are creating the space for our employees to come together to discuss some of his lesser known speeches, like one of my new favorites, “The Other America.” Many of the inequities that Dr. King fought against still persist in society today, and keeping the conversation going is critical to making progress.

As leaders, we need to ask ourselves what we are doing to give teams the space to learn. These are some critical questions to consider:

  • How are we enabling teams to discuss and learn more about Dr King’s legacy? 
  • What are we doing to mitigate systemic racism and unconscious bias within our organization?
  • How do we empower employees to serve in their community?

The journey to being anti-racist is very much a personal journey, but at Qualtrics we do believe that we have a responsibility to facilitate. This is why we have made unconscious bias as well as anti-racism training available to our global organization.

Taking time to serve

Beyond learning, one of the best ways we can honor Dr. King's legacy is to take time to do acts of service that improve our communities. MLK day is designated as a day of service and there are many ways of doing so, from donating, tutoring, mentoring, delivering meals and so much more.

These are a few ways in which we can encourage our teams to serve:

  • Virtually volunteer at organizations furthering racial justice
  • Find a local nonprofit and a way to get involved
  • Support

In addition to serving on MLK Day in the US, later this month, we are giving our global employees the day off to volunteer time, donate and fix a broken experience in the world. We call this XM Day. As part of our recommendations on ways to get involved, we are actively encouraging our employees to support organizations that support (amongst other causes) racial justice, including the King Center. 

Ongoing commitment to equality

Qualtrics is committed to following his example with our vision for representation that matches the world around us and inclusion that far exceeds it. We believe in equality and are an actively anti-racist company that is striving to make progress.This work is ongoing and we are closer to the beginning than the end.

We honor Dr. King’s legacy and recognize that while he did change the world, he did not do so alone. In that spirit, we will continue to highlight the work of others throughout Black History month.

Farren Roper

Qualtrics DEI Lead

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Farren Roper // Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead

Farren is an alumnus of the University of Johannesburg and the University of South Africa/Universiteit van Suid-Africa and started his career at Clover SA.

Starting his career with Qualtrics in July of 2019, he was a Senior Product Marketing Leader until taking on the role of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead.

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