Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his I Have a Dream Speech at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. 08/28/1963 ARC Identifier 542069 / Local Identifier 306-SSM-4D(107)16 -National Archives.

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

St. Louis Business and Civic Leaders,

Today we pause to honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He envisioned and dedicated his life to an America where equality and opportunity would not be limited by the color of one’s skin, nor by the boundaries of one’s neighborhood. Nearly 53 years after his death, that work remains unfinished.

Today, the team at Greater St. Louis, Inc. is profoundly grateful for all of you and your participation in creating inclusive economic growth throughout the region. That is our mission as an organization because we have seen what inclusive economic growth can do. It means more jobs, more opportunity and, in the end, stronger communities. Every day of this challenging year, our team will be focused on advancing inclusive growth in ways that will make real differences in the lives of the region we serve.

That work will not be easy. That work will not be quick. That work will likely not ever be fully done. But, that work will be worth it when we see more barriers to opportunity and equality begin to fall.

Again, on behalf of our staff, please accept our thanks for your partnership in this effort.

Respectfully yours,

Jason R. Hall, Chief Executive Officer

Valerie E. Patton, MA, MSW Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer President, Greater St. Louis Foundation