Inspired by MLK: Fighting Darkness with Light Through Social Impact

Inspired by MLK

As we reflect as a company about our mission, we are inspired by MLK to listen, to understand, and take action. Learn one way Medallia is doing this through social impact efforts.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” As we find ourselves digesting, comprehending, and analyzing the events that took place on January 6, 2021, MLK’s words have never rang out more true. While we sit processing this event, moments in US history may arise such as the 1921 Tulsa Oklahoma Massacre, the Wilmington insurrection of 1898, and Selma’s Bloody Sunday, to name a few. History seemingly continues to repeat itself. Why? Because we cannot get to a place of light until we name and reconcile with the past and current darkness that is so deeply rooted in the foundation of the United States of America. 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
in moments of comfort and convenience, but where
he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

So where do we go from here? We hold ourselves accountable to continuous growth and education, having tough conversations and being actionable in our intent. 

MLK fought for equality, human rights, and to end the disenfranchisement of the Black community in the United States — giving voice and power to those whose voices were stifled, silenced and punished. As we reflect as a company about WHY we exist and our mission, we are inspired by MLK, to listen, to understand and take action. In honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, we support nonprofits on the frontline of supporting Black communities — through our product, thought leadership, and capital.

What we’ve done so far through social impact

We’ve empowered our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in multiple ways, one being gift-matching. Our Black at Medallia (BAM) ERG selected Foundation for a College Education (FCE) as their nonprofit partner for ERG Gift Matching in 2019 and 2020. By engaging both students and parents in their work, FCE aims to create a community of learners who are armed with the right tools and information. BAM selected the foundation because they wanted to “support the great work FCE does in helping minority families attain higher education,” stated a BAM member.

Immediately following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, through partnering with BAM, we donated $200,000 equally divided among four nonprofits: Black Girls Code, Black Girl Ventures, Code2040, and Equal Justice Initiative. 

In addition to the grant, we provided Crowdicity, a tool that helps organizations crowdsource ideas quickly, drive a culture of innovation, and increase employee engagement, to Black Girl Ventures. “We are excited to join forces with Medallia to continue to create access to social and financial capital for Black and Brown woman-identifying entrepreneurs. We look forward to taking idea collaboration to the next level through their Crowdicity platform, as well as partnering to create new programs and opportunities to ensure the success of our founders,” said Shelly Bell, Founder and CEO.

Performative allyship isn’t allyship at all

We will continue to do the work; here’s a look at our some of our future plans:

This past year and current climate, including the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustices, recent global economic turmoil, and natural disasters all are having an impact on mental health. As a company that is dedicated to listening, understanding and taking action, we cannot think of a more important issue to tackle with this philosophy. This is why, for our first grant round of our new Fund grant, we will be providing technology, thought partnership, and funding to scale technology-first, innovative, and human-centered solutions to prevent suicides and promote healthy well-being for BIPOC, veterans, and caretakers. More information is coming soon as we partner with Tides Foundation to select these nonprofit partners. 

We are also one of the inaugural members of the Full Circle Fund’s “Social Justice in a Post-COVID World” Accelerator to provide funding and skill-based volunteering to tech-forward nonprofits working on solutions to systemic issues behind the disproportionately detrimental health impacts of COVID-19 on communities of color. More information is coming soon as we partner with FCF to select these nonprofit partners. 

We will continue to work toward embodying the words of MLK. The work is never done, but we hope that our actions drive change in this sometimes dark world.

January 17, 2023 update: Since we posted this article, we’ve also contributed the following:

“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

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