On January 15, 2008, Harland Clarke teamed with Georgia Perimeter College as presenting sponsor of the 12th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration at Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga.
Former Georgia Perimeter College President Jacqueline M. Belcher, Ph.D., initiated the celebration in 1996 as a way to commemorate Dr. King’s birthday and to make a difference in the community. The mission of the celebration is to honor the legacy of Dr. King through an inspirational program that promotes diversity and inclusion.
“At Harland Clarke, we believe that having a diverse and inclusive workforce is more than just the right thing to do,” said Chuck Dawson, President and CEO of Harland Clarke. “It’s an important component of our business strategy that will enable us to meet our key business objectives.”
For seven years now, Harland Clarke has been a sponsor of this event. Mr. Dawson represented Harland Clarke at the celebration and had the distinct honor of introducing the event’s keynote speaker, Susan L. Taylor, Editorial Director of Essence magazine and founder of Essence Cares: A National Mentoring Movement. “We were very honored to be the presenting sponsor of this great event,” said Mr. Dawson. “In his short life, Dr. King inspired us with his vision of a world with greater possibilities for everyone. I’m proud that Harland Clarke is able to continue its tradition of sponsoring Georgia Perimeter College’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration and recognizing individuals who reflect the spirit of Dr. King’s vision.”
The evening concluded on a high note as Ms. Taylor described her new vision as founder of Essence Cares: A National Mentoring Movement. Ms. Taylor’s campaign is a call-to-action for every adult— from elected officials to business, civic and religious leaders—to become involved in directing and guiding the lives of young children in need through mentoring. The goal is to create the largest mentoring campaign in the nation’s history and to increase high school graduation rates, especially among African-American students, by 10 percent annually. To learn more about Essence Cares: A National Mentoring Movement, and to sign up as a mentor, go to www.essencecares.com.
On January 21, Harland Clarke continued its celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy with a “day on” of community service. More than 800 employees across the country volunteered their time to support charities in their local communities, including Ronald McDonald House, Utah Food Bank, Boys & Girls Club, Goodwill Industries, Iowa Homeless Youth Centers, The Salvation Army, Boy Scouts of America, and many more.