VyStar employees were proud to participate in the 40th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, which was held on Jan. 18 in downtown Jacksonville and commemorated the life and legacy of Dr. King as well as his ever-important message of justice, equality and service to others.
We firmly believe in the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and our communities, and taking part in this event offered a great opportunity to put our belief in those ideals on full display. Shades of Success, our African Heritage VyStar Resource Group (VRG), led the charge for our organization’s participation, embracing the idea that “the time is always right to do what is right.”
“It was an honor to celebrate someone who made a great impact in our society,” said Keith McDuffie, a Collections and Recovery Manager who serves as the Finance Director for Shades of Success.
Added Jessica Cain, a Loan Closing Specialist: “The kids and I really enjoyed being able to participate. I am so thankful to work with an organization that gets out in the community and allows me to let the kids get involved as well!”
Shades of Success works to create an inclusive environment for all African Heritage employees at VyStar through their offerings of educational opportunities, mentoring, networking, cultural events and social gatherings. Participating in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade was an example of that, and the group plans to continue being involved in similar events.
Likewise, VyStar is supporting additional events in celebration of Black History Month. That includes giving four local nonprofits the opportunity to be featured on a segment of the “First Coast Living” TV show to promote their organization’s involvement within the African American community. As part of that campaign, VyStar is also sponsoring “Making History Today” mini-segments on First Coast News, which feature quotes from important African Americans throughout our country’s history.
Bertha Matthews, an Asset and Loss Mitigation Specialist, serves as the Shades of Success Chair. She saw the event as a tremendous success and shared the inspiration she took from it.
“It was overwhelmingly rewarding and humbling to see how much the community loves VyStar,” Matthews said. “I felt so connected to the spectators through our shared love for VyStar and our appreciation for what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has done within our community and for our society as a whole. I’m thankful for this experience.”
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