Jan 20, 2011
40 Years Later Dr. Martin Luther King’s Landmark Speech Continues to Inspire the INROADS Vision of Diversifying Corporate America
In 1963, a perchance trip to Dr. Martin Luther King’s landmark, “I Have a Dream Speech”, led a successful regional manager with Holt, Rinehart and Winston educational book publishers, to embark on his own dream of diversity that has transformed lives and changed corporate America forever. Frank Carr returned from the March on Washington with a mission to develop and place talented underserved students in business and industry and prepare them for corporate and community leadership.
“INROADS was the long-forming product of my father’s deeply held beliefs – that those to whom much is given, much is expected, that all of us can and should make the world a better place because we have lived in it, and that there is equal talent and potential across all our young people – regardless of color,” says his son, Greg Carr.
Forty years later with INROADS Interns placed in over 127,000 internships, Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” continues to be the hallmark behind the INROADS vision - to provide access to corporate America for talented underserved students.
“The mission of INROADS is more relevant than ever,” shares Forest Harper, President and CEO of INROADS. “I strongly believe that with the support and partnership of the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been touched by INROADS, we can accomplish our vision that corporate America, especially at its most senior levels, will one day mirror the diversity of this country.”
In recognition of his commitment to “The Dream”, the Martin Luther King Center bestowed upon Frank Carr one of its highest honors, the “Salute to Greatness” award. Frank Carr passed away in 1996, but just like Martin Luther King’s dream, Frank Carr’s dream lives on. Because of Carr’s vision, selfless generosity, and sheer determination, INROADS now has nearly 24,000 graduates, working in executive and management roles with some of the nation’s largest and most prestigious corporations.
Most INROADS alumni experience excellent careers; however, Steven Davis, who is Board Chair and CEO of Bob Evans Farms, is one of the organization’s most successful. “INROADS helped me move from working in a grocery store to an internship that was aligned with my college major. INROADS is a pathway to corporate America,” Davis says.
“The rich legacy of INROADS, our mission, our Interns, alumni and clients, have all helped transform the American workplace; establishing a solid foundation over our first 40 years—a foundation that we must continue to build upon to take INROADS and the dream it was founded upon into the new era,” says Harper. “Our vision is to expand INROADS lifecycle and to work with our partners to provide a more valuable service to grow the pipeline of student interns and to aid our Alumni in moving up the ranks within their respective companies,” he adds.