Insights and Perspective


Insights and Perspective


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Observing MLK Day: Five Inspirational Quotes from MLK on Labor, Workforce, and Economic Development

On the third Monday of January each year, the United States observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday. While his birthday is technically January 15th, this calendar observance falls under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, which initially moved three federal holidays -- Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, and Labor Day -- permanently to a Monday.

Dr. King worked tirelessly for freedom, justice, and equality for all people. His efforts were instrumental in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act paved the way to the formation of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

He envisioned social good in the labor market for those who could not find meaningful employment, and believed in the fundamental right to work so that everyone could reach their potential.

We leave you with five quotes from this iconic leader on the topic of labor and workforce development:

  • "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
  • "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way."
  • "Whatever your life's work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better."
  •  "If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. But, whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."
  • "We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind."
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