For Matthew Wilder, who leads the Amgen Black Employee Network (ABEN) at Amgen’s headquarters in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Martin Luther King Jr. Day represents an opportunity to reflect on the historic civil rights pioneer’s message of equality by meeting, engaging and learning from others who continue to advance his inspiring vision. On Jan. 20, Wilder shared that experience with his family, colleagues and members of the community by attending Ventura County's 34th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day program, which was co-sponsored by Amgen.
“Martin Luther King Jr. was such an important individual, not just for black and African American people in this country, but for people of all races, cultures and walks of life,” Wilder said. “I am proud to be here on a day that’s significant for me and my culture, to hear different individuals speak about equality, and to represent Amgen as a sponsor.”
The Ventura County gathering has been a well-attended local tradition for more than three decades. The 2020 event, “Dream, Believe, Act! We can do more together than apart,” kicked off at 8 a.m. in the city of Oxnard, Calif., about 30 miles from Amgen. Attendees came together at Oxnard’s Plaza Park for a Freedom March to the Oxnard Police Activities League (PAL), where the crowd gathered in the auditorium to hear speakers from the local community.
The keynote speaker of the event was Troy Brown, city manager of Moorpark, Calif. Amgen staff member Jude Ngang, study management senior manager in Global Early Clinical Development, also took the stage to help the Academic Honorees Committee distribute certificates to more than 50 high school and college students for their academic achievements.
“I think it’s great that Amgen is not only recognizing this holiday, but also taking the opportunity to sponsor a great event in our own backyard that draws people from all around Ventura County,” Wilder said. “We’re giving back to our community while aligning to a cause that’s important to Amgen. I think it speaks to the commitment and focus that Amgen has for black and African staff all over the world.”