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The Moment we Honored MLK as a Company of Allies

The Moment we Honored MLK as a Company of Allies

As Salesforce celebrates our 20th birthday we reflect on the incredible milestone and impact of our MLK march. Learn how we went from 100 to 1200 people attending the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. march in two years and saw the power of allyship, equality, inclusion, and belonging.

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.

Photo of Abernathy children in Selma to Montgomery march for the right to vote

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 to kick off the day.

photo of young girl at the MLK Day parade in San Francisco

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.

Photo of MLK Day March in 2017

Over the next two years, the 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 ).


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.

Photo of MLK Day March in 2019

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.

Photo of MLK Day March in 2019
Photo of MLK Day March in 2019

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.

Photo of Salesforce lobby for MLK Day in 2019

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 —

Alexandra Siegel Director, Equality Content and Enablement

Ally leads the Equality Narrative, Content, and Enablement team at Salesforce, reporting into the Chief Equality Officer. She was named to Business Insiders 30 and Under Rising Stars in Tech list and nominated for AdColor's Change Agent award for creating her current role and the first-ever Equality Content and Narrative program — including her approach to diversity and inclusion. In her role she works to build a movement around Equality in business through research, creative content, enablement, and inclusive storytelling.

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