McIntyre, a former offensive lineman with the San Francisco 49ers, was on hand to address the community and Dow employees about King – and he did … through his experience as a pro athlete.
Though sports stories were only part of his 20-minute address (citing the difficulties faced by Jackie Robinson and others), growing as human beings took center stage. He spoke of fear, courage, love and faith, saying, “The only way to master fear is with love … perfect love,” and ending with an old English proverb: “When fear knocked on the door, love answered and there was no one there.”
But just as inspiring was the essay read by Pittsburg High School sophomore Bianka Machado, who took first place in Dow’s annual essay contest. The contest this year focused on civility, a value the County Office of Education is working to restore in our schools.
The question asked of students was “How has modern technology (cell phones, social media and the Internet) impacted civility?” Machado weaved King – and his era of no cell phones, no reality TV and no Facebook – into an exposé of how we have lost our civility.
“Modern technology has changed civility,” wrote Machado, “because we’ve inherited a shyness and timidity to meet people, so we add them on Facebook. King would go out and meet people to understand how they felt and reach a level of formality and kindness towards each other. We demolished that with modern-day technology.”
Also part of the packed program was noted jazz saxophonist Kevin Moore, who played two selections from his new CD, “The Prayer Closet.”
Dow honored Silvester Henderson, UC Berkeley professor and chair of the music department at Los Medanos College, with Dow’s MLK Community Award for his decades of work using gospel to unite the community. Dow also presented the Dow MLK Employee Award to employee Jamie Polan, an engineer and champion of diversity in the workplace. Polan has promoted unity not only among her colleagues but across the entire site. According to her supervisor, Paul Caizzi, “She inpires me to not only be a better employee but a better person.”
All attendees left with a journal, on the cover of which appeared the winning artwork from Deer Valley High School senior Karla Rosales. Her work was chosen over more than 50 submissions in Dow’s first Poster Contest, which asked students to illustrate one aspect of civility.
The 12th annual Celebration of King is indicative of Dow’s commitment to all he espoused: respect for others, tolerance, love, acceptance, diversity and equality.