These 3 Trailblazers Are Upholding MLK’s Legacy Inside The Workplace

These 3 Trailblazers Are Upholding MLK’s Legacy Inside The Workplace

These 3 Trailblazers Are Upholding MLK’s Legacy Inside The Workplace



We all remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famous last sermon before his tragic assassination. We remember that Dr. King was fighting for civil rights but what most of us forget is that he was also fighting for Black worker’s rights.  Lucky for us, we still have Black and Brown people fighting for equality, justice and safety in the American workplace.

In light of the Government Shutdown, we have been reminded again just how crucial a man’s work is to his mental health and happiness. Dr. King famously said:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.

But we often mute the rest of King’s declaration:

If a man doesn’t have a job or an income, he has neither life nor liberty nor the possibility for the pursuit of happiness. - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Click To Tweet


King understood that a safe workplace directly impacted ones livelihood. And that the maintenance of that livelihood meant happiness.

Now, folks like Tariq Meyers are working to ensure marginalized groups feel included and equal at work.


Tariq Meyers, Global Head of Belonging, Inclusion & Employee Experience at Coinbase. Source: Linkedin

Tariq Meyers

In 2016, Tariq was Lyft’s first Head of Inclusion and Diversity.

Tariq has since moved on and currently works at Coinbase as their Global Head of Belonging, Inclusion & Employee Experience.

But during his time at the ride-share company, Tariq implemented the Rooney Rule, which requires at least one minority and one woman to take part in the final interview process for positions that are director level or above.

Caroline Wanga, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and VP of Human Resources. Source: Human Capital Institute

Caroline Wanga

And over at Target, Caroline Wanga, was named Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and VP of Human Resources.  Now the company has a Black woman leading teams and making decisions about the business processes.

Wanga created Target’s first-ever performance-based diversity and inclusion goals to generate insights on the best ways to reach employees from underrepresented backgrounds.

Wanga’s success is tangible. Target has shown that they get it and are now promoting and positioning Latinos at higher positions than some of the most diverse businesses in the nation.

DiversityInc quoted Wangawho said this about inclusivity:

In order to champion an inclusive society, we need to reflect diversity in our stores, distribution centers and at headquarters. To get there, we must continue to hire, retain, develop and engage team members across all dimensions of differences. At Target, we believe this isn’t about one team or department, everyone needs to play a role.


Marquis Miller, Chief Diversity Officer at City of Chicago

Marquis Miller

Finally, our friend over at The City Of Chicago, Marquis Miller. In 2018 he was the first ever Chief Diversity Officer.

Marquis says that one of his main goals is to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the city.

Right now, Marquis says the city of Chicago is quite diverse. Among Latinos, Blacks, and Whites, the numbers are split evenly at 30 percent. The other 30 percent are classified as ‘Other’.

Within the City of Chicago, Blacks and Latinos make up 51 percent of the workforce. However, a very small percentage of those employees are in high-ranking positions (aka: they don’t manage anything or make any decisions).

Marquis is excited about his new role because it is “the first effort and an important attempt for the city to acknowledge its’ unique diversity — both form a racial and ethnic standpoint — but also from a gender standpoint has been both a resource and underutilized.”

Which is how things like  Groupthink and biases spill into the culture of a company.

Marquis is going to change that by doing these three things:

  • Defining diversity & inclusion and looking at the culture and climate of Chicago
  • Talent acquisition that reflects the diversity of the city
  • Being a curious professional who creates opportunities for himself and others


We need folks Like Tariq, Caroline, and Marquis – to be present during the hiring process. To make decisions about new hires. To build a business based on their lived experiences – which are varied and widespread.

When Black and Brown people lead teams, they ensure that other Black and Brown people can live the fullest life and pursue the happiness King dreamed of. Click To Tweet


Who are some trailblazers you know that are paving the way for us?  Share with us below!