We’re posting a series of vignettes to celebrate Salesforce’s 20th birthday. Follow our digital scrapbook to get a behind the scenes glimpse of our history.

On January 21st, 2019, over 1,200 Salesforce employees — led by our Black Employee Resource Group BOLDforce — marched in the annual NorCalMLK walk in San Francisco to honor Dr. King's legacy and pay tribute to the historic Civil Rights march from Selma to Montgomery.

It was a beautiful, sunny and brisk San Francisco day after a week of clouds and rain. People gathered with their families and friends at the pier to register and get ready for the march. Children colored in pictures of Dr. King at art stations while a singer sang the Black National Anthem to kick off the day. 

Two years ago in 2017, it was the first time our Black Employee Resource Group, BOLDforce, organized for us to walk as a company in the annual march. 

That year 100 people showed up — mostly Black employees.

Over the next two years, the Office of Equality worked to educate our employees on what it means to be an Ally. We distilled it into four steps — ask, listen, show up, and speak up. We emphasized the idea that being an Ally doesn't always mean you agree — but it does mean that you support and be there for your colleagues. (Learn more about ally practices on Trailhead). 

This year we saw a staggering 1,200 people gather to stand with BOLDForce and our black tech community. Most of those who attended didn't identify as Black — but were allies who stood with BOLDforce and our Black tech community to help carry forward Dr.King's legacy and drive Racial equality.

It's hard to describe the power of seeing so many of your coworkers show up for you as allies. In the tech industry, Black people are severely underrepresented and often cite feeling alone or like “the only” in their workplaces. But, arriving for the march on the morning of Jan. 21st, and seeing so many faces of coworkers who showed up as allies is incredibly empowering and creates that true sense of belonging. 

It was even more inspiring and powerful to see our lobby screens honor MLK Day — signaling to our black employee community that we stand with them and honor this important history, along with encouraging allies to learn about and carry forward Dr. King's vision. 

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

Learn more about Salesforce's Employee Resource Groups and our commitment to Equality — Salesforce.com/Equality