The Salt Lake Chamber joins with all America on the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to commemorate the life and sacrifice of Dr. King and to affirm its commitment to the ideals and reality for which he lived. Almost 60 years ago, from a jail in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. King wrote that the time for patience and disengagement from a moral cause was over.  “We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights,” he wrote. “Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.”

America has yet to reach these ideals, though they are compellingly set forth in our Nation’s founding documents, and recent events have made it clear that there is significant work to be done. “Prosperity, equality, and inclusion for one or even a few is meaningless to the welfare of a community unless they are available to all,” said Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “The Salt Lake Chamber is committed to championing these principles and promoting prosperity that is available for everyone.”  

Along with the formal creation of a Diversity Council at the end of 2020 to advise its board, the Salt Lake Chamber has established as part of its 2021 priorities to:

  1. Ensure the Chamber Board is more inclusive and represents and listens to more diverse voices;
  2. Ensure that Chamber activities, policies, and events are more inclusive and provide equal opportunities for participation;
  3. Provide resources and training to Chamber members to help each of them accomplish their goals within their businesses;
  4. Amplify and recognize the good work of its members; and,
  5. Help improve and move these same goals within the community.

“We call on businesses and government leaders in 2021 to lift their voices and join with us to support and build opportunity for all Utahns,” Miller said. “This effort requires our best to examine cultural structures, business practices, and personal actions related to fairness, justice, democratic principles, and inclusion. In the diversity, love, and brotherhood sought by Dr. King there is strength. This his legacy the noble agenda of his life and this year we can do more than celebrate it; we can make it our own.”