MLK Day 2022
I often say the year doesn’t officially start until we celebrate and honor the memory of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK). I find myself during this time of year looking back at accomplishments from the past year. Many accomplishments for myself are only possible because of the work of MLK and so many others that fought for equality and justice on our behalf.
Connecting the Dots
Leading a business can be a challenge all in itself, as so many of us know. Honored to be a business leader in addition to being a minority, I know getting here was because others such as MLK fought to put us here. Last year, Congenius successfully joined the Minority Business Enterprise, MBE. To join the MBE, minority business owners need to meet a long list of qualifications & go through an interview and a nomination process. One qualification on the list stood out to me – prove your ethnicity – not just show it, prove it. A picture of a driver’s license or a passport doesn’t suffice, a birth certificate without listing your ethnicity or that of your parents doesn’t suffice either. To prove my ethnicity, it required some work getting with my family members and looking at their birth certificates. Ultimately my Aunt Pam’s birth certificate listed my Grandfather, Egbert A. Gordon and Grandmother Mamie P. Gordon as “Colored.”
This process and seeing my aunt’s birth certificate made me immediately think back to the times when my grandparents might have felt such a burden as being “Colored.” I knew my grandfather was a Jamaican immigrant that settled in Jamaica, Queens, New York and also was a business leader, owning a meat market. The intersection of my grandparents and parents would cross the fight of equality during the same time MLK was fighting for equal rights on their/our behalf. We are still fighting, that won’t change, however, taking a trip down memory lane and connecting the dots of progress provides a feel of humility for the fight of equality and the struggles that were endured on my behalf.
In 2021, Congenius continued to provide technology, branding and consulting for the everyday business/company. Serving companies in Finance, E-Commerce, Restaurant, Trucking & Logistics, Flower Girl Dress Apparel, Mental Skills Training, Lifestyle Management, Physical Therapy, Healthcare, Insurance, Real Estate, Waste Management, Travel, Healthcare Technology & Fleet Management – diversity rewards growth. Our list of minority and women led company partners has grown year-over-year; 2021 was no exception. Not only have our partner companies/clients grown, our consultants, we call them Geniuses, also consist of many minorities and women. Our Geniuses span from Arizona, Washington, Ohio, Florida, Connecticut, Vermont, Texas and Kerala, India. I feel so fortunate to work with people and companies that represent the values and the commitment to what MLK stood for. I see the glass as half full, the opportunities to grow and learn from diversity, equality and inclusion are exactly what MLK wanted and it’s exactly what we are privileged to need and work within. In 2022, I will continue to be an intentional minority business leader that builds software & brands for the everyday company – this is a right that was fought for and we’re lucky to be in this space and flourishing thanks to in part the vision of MLK.
“Who We Can Be is Entirely Up to Us”
-Sean Miller, Managing Partner, Congenius
Who We Can Be
Who we can be is entirely up to us. I was so proud to not only grow personally and professionally in 2021; I was proud to give back. The pandemic has turned our lives upside down, norms are no longer and struggles have become heightened for so many, especially people of color and the poor. Congenius continues to support Los Ojos De La Familia Arizona, a non-profit in which I serve on the board of directors. We donated $2700 to Los Ojos in 2021, our biggest cash donation to date. More importantly, we helped to feed 400 families with 70 pounds of food and household goods along with Christmas gifts for all children under the age of 18. By no means are we a Fortune 500 company, but we are grounded in doing the work to help advance the lives of children & families in our community. In 2022, as the year officially begins on this MLK day for me — I look to grow, I look to be intentional, I look to inspire and to be inspired in the spirit of MLK.