CIA Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King
March 20, 2014
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John O. Brennan joined CIA employees and guest speaker Geoffrey Canada today at a ceremony at Agency Headquarters to honor the life and enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This important annual event underscores CIA’s commitment to the message of inclusion that Dr. King so eloquently championed during his lifetime. The theme of this year’s event is “Let Us Use Today to Work Toward a Better Tomorrow.”
The Director opened his remarks by extolling Dr. King’s efforts to transform the United States into a freer, more tolerant society. “Today, we see Dr. King’s legacy all around us, in virtually every field, in both government and private industry,” Director Brennan said. “As Dr. King knew, the full promise of America will only be met when we draw on the skills and talents of all our people.”
Underscoring the practical relevance of Dr. King’s vision to CIA, Director Brennan said: “We all know that meeting our Agency’s global mission depends on recruiting and training a workforce that represents an array of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. And thanks to the effort of dedicated officers throughout our Agency, we are building the diversity our mission demands.”
Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone and one of our nation’s most celebrated educators, spoke passionately about the vital importance of education in giving children the tools they need to succeed. Canada, whose organization is committed to boosting academic performance for underprivileged youth, spoke about the enormous importance of providing a good education to every child. He emphasized that the cost to society of not doing so is huge. “We need to give people the chance to reach their full potential,” Canada said.
During his inspiring remarks Canada told CIA employees that “people will never know what you have done to keep the nation safe and great—your service is a calling.”
CIA’s Center for Mission Diversity and Inclusion (CMDI)—with strong support from Agency leadership—is dedicated to promoting diversity and a work environment where every Agency officer can reach their full potential. CMDI also forges relationships with communities nationwide in an effort to encourage people with diverse backgrounds to apply to CIA. CIA is proud of these efforts and recognizes that more steps must be taken to ensure that its workforce reflects America’s diverse cultural fabric.
CIA’s Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration is typically held during the month of January but this year was postponed due to inclement weather and rescheduled for today.