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“I Have a Dream..” Starbucks & City Year Collaboration


What do Starbucks, City Year, and Martin Luther King, Jr. have in common? Our organizations share a mission and dedication to equality, and we love to get together to talk about it! For the third year in a row City Year Detroit and Starbucks teamed up to honor Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work, starting with a bit of inspiration from his most famous speech, “I Have a Dream.” 

More than 50 people from Hawaii to Detroit (and even one from a mile in the air) joined the virtual event to watch the full speech and engage in conversation. Over the years this conversation has been a safe place for our organizations to come together, ask tough questions, share lived experiences, and learn from each other. After watching the speech, we broke out into small groups to prompt discussion such as, “Which part of the speech resonated with you the most?”, and “Which part of the speech do you think people need to hear and reflect on today?”. Most important of all, we hope that these discussions encourage change by discussing topics such as, “What commitments are you hoping to make to yourself, the people around you, and your community moving forward”.  

“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day calls have been truly inspirational. With so many social justice issues still ongoing in our country, so many years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech, it can be difficult to find space to have open, honest conversations- or know where to start. We hope that these calls can be that space and that the participants can take something away from it. I know I have.” – Ginger Green, CYD Corporate & Foundations Partnership Director 

This collaboration has allowed for hundreds of Starbucks partners and City Year team members to come together. We hope and continue to strive for opportunities to create a community for change. In addition to celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Starbucks and City Year host quarterly calls to talk about To Be Welcoming courses that focus on bias. If you or your organization is interested in joining our conversations, please contact Ginger Green. 

“At the heart of all that civilization has meant and developed is ‘community’ – the mutually cooperative and voluntary venture of man to assume a semblance of responsibility for his brother.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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