PwC’s Yolanda Seals-Coffield on Honoring the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Originally published on LinkedIn. Yolanda Seals-Coffield is PwC U.S.’ Deputy People Leader. PwC is a Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.


PwC’s Yolanda Seals-Coffield

Many of us celebrate the life and legacy of the Civil Rights Movement icon on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Few individuals have given so much to so many in our nation. Honoring Dr. King’s dream — fostering inclusion and equity for all — can make the day more tangible, memorable, and enduring.

Through PwC’s DEI strategy, we’re working to bring Dr. King’s vision to life every day by embedding DEI directly into our broader business strategy. It supports equity within the firm from recruitment to partnership — with intentional systems, programs and processes in place to support all of our people, regardless of where they are in their career so that every person has the same opportunities to grow — something that’s vital more so now than ever as we navigate hybrid ways of working.

We know that many of our people will find personal ways to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy this year. It is a day to remember what Dr. King stood for, what he dedicated his life and legacy to, and that actions big and small are catalysts for reflection on his commitment to universal human rights.

Last year, my family and I celebrated MLK Day by collecting resources for those experiencing food insecurity. This year we’re planning to do the same. Access to an adequate supply of food is one of the most basic of human needs and rights; and with every food drive, big and small, we are helping families secure the resources they need to thrive. On a personal level, it helps us to reinforce for our daughters that to whom much is given, much is required.

When I think about how our people at PwC can get involved, I reflect on my work with the PwC Charitable Foundation. While serving as President of the Foundation, we worked with several organizations to address food insecurity in our communities. At PwC, our people have the opportunity to work with organizations that help address similar issues in their own local communities or can volunteer in other areas they are passionate about, such as mentoring students and finding ways to progress educational equity, volunteering with mental health organizations, and more. I’m proud that we offer our people ways to give back to their communities and that they continue to invest their time to help others. As Dr. King once said, “everybody can be great…because anybody can serve.”

I have come to realize that being of service starts with your own experience and desire, and grows to reach and inspire many others. Whether it is finding ways to help those most in need in your community, or working on a broader scale to help shift priorities and build workplaces and communities that are more just and equitable, each of us has the power to have an impact. I hope that you find your own special way to honor Dr. King’s legacy and find a small degree of greatness as you improve the lives of those around you.