MLK observances encourage servant leadership
Servant leadership was the focus of the Martin Luther King Holiday Observance programs Jan. 14, held at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency campuses in Springfield, Virginia and St. Louis, Missouri.
The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity Employment hosted the concurrent events. The programs featured panelists comprised of NGA employees who addressed different aspects of the servant leadership concept.
“Each year we think about civil rights and the legacy Dr. King left for the generations that followed,” said NGA Equality Executive and ODE Director Cardell Richardson. “We remember the contributions he made that transformed our nation and the world. We also remember how he achieved these accomplishments espousing the practices of nonviolent social change and the tenets of servant leadership.”
Richardson said the observances were a means to reflect on how King’s concept, while being historically significant, continues to be useful in the workforce today.
Deputy Director Sue Gordon delivered opening remarks at NGA’s Springfield headquarters. She said the practice of servant leadership should not be relegated to a few but practiced by all.
“Let’s be serious today about Dr. King’s example. His hope, his ambition, his relentless insistence on respect and dignity for all,” said Gordon. “Use today to inspire you to be that better person that he knew we could all be.”
Sandra Wilson, GEOINT operations career services head, served on the Springfield panel and noted that Dr. King epitomized the idea of servant leadership in putting others before self.
She evoked King’s words and asked attendees “What are you doing for others?”
“Servant leadership compels us to recognize -- we are a team that must support one another, help one another, reach out to one another – because no one does their job alone,” said Wilson.
Following the panel’s remarks participants were encouraged to continue the conversation and to be servant leaders in their roles at NGA.
Panelists representing NGA East included: Sandra Wilson, Stacey Dixon, Shauntai Dudley, Christopher Greene and Patricia Baker-Simon as moderator. Panelists representing NGA West included: Jean Donohue, Philip Melcher, Terrence Mickens, James Samuel, and LaTrita Westfall.