“We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the morning of January 21st, Salesforce celebrated MLK Day in Chicago with City Year. Partnering with Deneen Elementary School alongside several community officials, organizations, and volunteers to do more than just service work. They came to make a difference by both revitalizing the hallways of this area Chicago school, and engaging a bigger conversation. From topics ranging from Chicago community, to education, and civil rights, the goal was to move the City of Chicago forward.

Salesforce helps kick off City Year's MLK Day event in Chicago's Deneen Elementary School.
Salesforce was proud to announce the start of the day alongside Chicago community officials, and leaders in education.
Community leaders in Chicago, including former Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

Volunteers were greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, newly elected governor JB Pritzker, and Janice K. Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago education leaders team up with Salesforce and Chicago city leaders before service activities on MLK Day in Chicago.

Salesforce team members worked together to beautify the hallways at the school. They added fresh paint and detailed murals.

A Salesforce team member helps beautify the hallways of Deneen Elementary School on MLK Day in Chicago.
A Salesforce team member details paint above lockers at Deneen Elementary School on MLK Day in Chicago.

Gold Grid Studios, Chicago commercial photography studio, was thrilled to join the Salesforce team on this mission. Alongside their team, we documented the creation of a new look for this anchor in the Chicago community.

First, we met up with the Salesforce team to enjoy some delicious donuts and coffee for that perfect energy kick. And then, we got to work!

Salesforce team members on MLK Day pose with a T-shirt that reads, "Equality, Justice, For All".
Salesforce Team members support each other with Chicago community members on MLK Day on a break from painting Deneen Elementary School.
A Salesforce team member smiles during her community service work at Deneen Elementary School in Chicago.
A Salesforce team member laughs amongst her colleagues as they encourage each other's service work on MLK Day in Chicago.

After the City Year event, Salesforce hosted an afternoon of professional development.

Salesforce invited area Chicago students for a series of presentations by Salesforce team members. Then, they offered an interactive Q&A session at their downtown Chicago corporate office.

Afterwards, Salesforce team members responded to questions about job interviews, client-interfacing, and networking.

Plus, there was plenty of inspiration and guidance in finding the right work that fuels one’s motivation, and then staying motivated.

Salesforce hosts an information session, motivating youth members of the Chicago community to learn about their work at Salesforce.

Next, Participants in the Salesforce presentation engaged simulated client-to-professional interactions. After that, they spent time with Salesforce team members one-on-one to ask questions. In their simulations, they learned about the history and mission of Salesforce.

Gold Grid Studios, a corporate photography studio in the Chicago area, loves working with the individuals, companies, and organizations who aim to make change happen.

A presentation from an elevator pitch activity at the Salesforce Chicago office.
A woman listens to the information session at Salesforce's Chicago office.
A Salesforce team member gives a presentation to Chicago youth at their Chicago office.
A Salesforce team member smiles as Chicago youth attending their session deliver their presentations.

Gold Grid Studios has partnered several times with Salesforce to create beautiful, engaging photography that depicts the quality of work they do.

Not only that, but we think it is important to capture the quality of people who form the team at Salesforce, and the pride they take in every aspect of their goals. We’ve had the opportunity to spend time with the company at corporate events, conferences, summer picnics, and events that directly reach out to the Chicago community. So, we understand the impact our commercial photography has made on their company.

From email communications, to outward-reaching editorials, to community partnerships, we’ve experienced the impact of our work with Salesforce and their team has influenced us.

Salesforce is the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Their cloud-based, CRM applications for sales, service, marketing, make it easy to connect with customers. Their team strengthens customer relationships through managing customer interactions and information.

Chicago youth engage motivating discussions at the Salesforce Chicago office on MLK Day.

Commercial photography should show the stories behind the relationships. It should show conversations that lend new ideas, ask different questions, and push boundaries.

That said, when working alongside Salesforce, we knew we had to share their story on MLK Day. We look forward to sharing yours!

Finally, we have to ask you: how does your company reach out in the community? If you’d like to partner with Gold Grid Studios to share your story, let’s connect!

A group photo with Salesforce team members and Chicago youth visitors on MLK Day.