We are the change that we seek

June 8, 2020 | (47) Comments

Black Lives Matter and Texas Children’s will continue to lead and support initiatives for racial equality throughout our organization. Given where our country stands, and what I know many of you are thinking and feeling, I want you to know where I stand as your President and CEO and how deeply this issue resonates with Shannon and me.

Racial, religious, and gender equality have been an important focus of mine throughout my 42 year career. Over the past three decades that I have had the privilege to lead Texas Children’s, I have worked tirelessly with our Board, our leaders, and each of you to make equality, diversity, and inclusiveness a part of our foundation. I can’t say that we have always gotten it right—and I can’t guarantee that we always will moving forward—but what I can promise is that you have my word that we will continue to try harder and to be better at every opportunity.

As I watch our community and our nation in a state of grief and unrest, it is clear that today, we are not where we need to be, and there is still so much work to do. I speak and act for all of us at Texas Children’s, and we will not stop fighting for change. Barack Obama said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” But none of us can do this alone, so I ask you today to please join me.

We all have a role to play, and each of us can do something—on your team, in your family, or in your community. Whether you choose to march in a peaceful demonstration, commit your time, energy, and resources to an organization that fights for equality, or lobby to elect officials that are willing to fight against systemic racism and oppression – your contribution matters. But change will be a process and is not something that can be achieved overnight, but we will keep working, talking, listening, and doing. There is no silver bullet, but we will continue to do what is right, not what is easy to achieve the change that our African-American communities so rightfully deserve.

In the coming weeks and months, Texas Children’s will build upon the current diversity initiatives we have in place and will launch additional programs to support you. Our Human Resources team and Department of Psychology will share resources and information to help comfort you during these trying times. I have had so many important conversations with you over this past week, and the one thing that I have heard time and again, through your pain, confusion, and heartache, is that you need to be heard. I know speaking up can be hard, especially when we are all trying to grasp for the right words and the right sentiments to convey how we feel – but we will find a meaningful way to ensure your voice and opinions are heard. Speaking up and speaking out will help us get through this—and it will make us stronger when we reach the other side.

This week, Houston will be in the spotlight as family members, our community and national leaders come together to pay our respects to George Floyd. In his memory, I invite our Texas Children’s family to join in a moment of silence on Tuesday, June 9th, at 11:00 am. Not only to remember Mr. Floyd, his unjust death, and the countless other lives lost but to reflect on how we can move forward and how we can heal.

Shannon and I will be participating in a peaceful protest tomorrow, June 9, at 2:30 pm on the lawn of the Commons (6550 Bertner Avenue) for Scientists and Health Professionals for Black Lives. We will be wearing our masks and staying safe, but if your schedule and time permits, we welcome you to join us and urge you to wear your masks too.

Tonight we will light up our Miracle Bridge in black and yellow and will keep it lit until Juneteenth (June 19) at midnight. This is another small way for us to show our support for the Black Lives Matter movement, but we are just beginning. I am working with administrative and medical staff leaders throughout the organization on upcoming programs and plans that will help spark conversation and meaningful change. The dialogue and our work is just beginning, and you will continue to hear from me with regular updates on our progress.

I am prayerful about all that is taking place, not just for my family, but for all of the people that are being impacted, for each of you, and for our beloved organization.

Please stay safe and be good to each other.

47 Responses to “We are the change that we seek”

  1. Sara Dean

    Thank you so much for being unapologetically bold in your effort to maintain an environment that is diverse and inclusive of all staff, patients and family members. I am honored to work for TCH with a leadership team that places this mission at the top of their priorities and among their highest values. TCH is leading the effort to promote fair and equitable care to all of our patients in order to decrease racial disparities in health care and I devote myself to this charge. Thank you for leading by example.

  2. Rhonda L. Andrews

    I am honored to work at a job that recognize that Black Lives Matter and that a change in our country is necessary. With all that is happening around the world it’s comforting knowing that the place that I work cares for all people. Out of all my years of working in the healthcare industry I never felt this level of compassion about people. Texas Children’s Hospital doesn’t just cares for it’s patient but also cares about their employees. And that’s why Texas Children’s Hospital is the best place to work.

  3. Brittany Hainesworth

    Thank you Mr. Wallace! This was powerful, sincere, and much needed. Change can only happen when we do it together! We need to be the change we seek.

  4. Norma Chatman

    This is just one example of why I am so proud and honored to work underneath this type of leadership here at Texas Children’s Hospital. Thank you so much for speaking out and up in times such as these.

  5. Michelle Lawson

    I’m so proud to work alongside all Texas Children’s employees and leaders who stand for equality for everyone. Our diversity is what makes us strong and our compassion for others, especially those who struggle, make our organization and all who work here special. I’m humbled by the opportunity to listen and have real discussion at work about change that is needed throughout our work, community and country. Thank you, Mr. Wallace, for continuing to lend your voice to this very important opportunity we have as an organization and challenging us to continue in our dedication in demonstrating by word and action that we all matter.

  6. Latasha Jones

    Thank you MARK WALLACE!!!!! YOU ROCK!!! Very comforting for me to hear!..This movement speaks lots of volume for everyone! Over the 20yrs I have worked in healthcare, TCH is by far the best place to work for! “Blessed Beyond Measures!!!”

  7. I’m grateful for your willingness to take on topics that are difficult to discuss. I’m grateful for your humility and willingness to learn and grow with all of us.

  8. Katrina

    This is Amazing!!! Mr. Wallace the way you lead in Spectacular!!!! I am very proud to be apart of a company who is not afraid to speak on real issues in the world today. Change can happen when we all work together. Your dedication is beyond appreciated. I have never worked for a company that speak on issues in the society and show any concern. But TCH does and that’s why it will always be the best place to work. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

  9. Regina Menard

    Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Mark Wallace! Great leaders demonstrate change by serving others! You are truly call by God for this challenging position during these difficult times. I will continue to pray that your leadership will continue to inspire others! God Bless You!

    -God is not unjust ; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you helped his people and continue to help them. Hebrews 6:10.

  10. La Shaun D. Jackson

    Thank you Mr. Wallace for speaking out and leading by example. Leading the way in social justice helps move our culture in the right direction, it empowers us and it gives us the motivation we need to continue to speak our truth.

  11. Cassidy Penn

    I am so proud to work for an organization that takes such a powerful stance on love and equality. Thank you Mr. Wallace for your leadership and support of social justice.

  12. Jayson S

    I appreciate your leadership and admire the way you take the initiative on addressing key issues that affect us everyday. These topics aren’t easy to talk about and your honesty and willingness to listen and support us with an open heart and open mind is why I continue to work at TCH.

  13. I saw the “Black and Yellow” preparations yesterday and beginning to feel and understand how TCH is serious and in support of this cause. Another thing to be proud of.

  14. Roslyn Ferguson

    Dear Mr. Wallace –

    As an African American Woman, I want you to know that I appreciate your diverse Leadership in every single way. I more than appreciate how you have come to the aide of the African American Community by sharing your heart felt message and have provided a platform for the TCH Community to be heard on not only this Nation Wide but World Wide issue .

    In doing so within TCH Community, I would like to boldly ask if in some way that I can partner with your Leadership Team to create a “Diversity Committee” throughout TCH/TCHP/TCP and other TCH outlets.

    ” I believe the only way that one voice can be heard is if it’s combined with other voices to improve the volume of change ” and that has been proven by the protesters. We all have a common goal and that is “Immediate and Fair Change” in our society. We (TCH) can be the catalyst and the change agent in the Health Care / Corporate aspect of society.

    Sincerely Roz Ferguson

  15. Denise Tanner-Brown

    Mr. Wallace,
    Thank you for always standing out and doing what’s right, not what’s comfortable. You inspire me to be bold and courageous during this time and open the door for important conversations that I otherwise would’ve never had. My colleagues and I have had some very healing and comforting conversations over the past two weeks and now more than ever I believe we are going to make the progress we need in our country.

    Again, thank you doesn’t express my gratitude and I’m so honored that you are recognizing a special day in African American culture, June 19th!

    Denise Tanner-Brown

  16. Tyler Giess

    I am proud to work for an organization that values, diversity, love, and social justice. Thank you for your leadership as we all look to do better!

  17. Fernando Garcia

    Mr. Wallace: Thank you for your strong & powerful message here as well as view point. This speaks volume not only as the President & CEO of a respected medical facility, but also as to the type of unique individual you are.

  18. Angela Banks

    Once again Mr. Wallace you have brought me to tears. To have a Leader such as yourself to not only recognize the pain, fear, years of hurt, and the systematic injustice of people of color but to unapologetic speak on it. Reading your blog I can feel your love and empathy. I am so ever grateful to have you as my leader. I ask you to tell you wife Shannon thank you for her compassion and love toward people of color.

    As you and the leaders of TCH organize a platform to assure our voices are heard, I will like to ask you to please allow to be apart of planning and organizing of the very conversations that needs to be had. I know my voice a person of color who works at TCH can be part of the difference and ongoing diversity and social justice that we at TCH value now and in the future.
    As an employee of TCH I have been met with social injustice and when I voice my concerns I am met with injustice that my voice don’t matter. I have been praying and asking God to please allow to meet with you. Why, because every time I read your blog on leadership, compassion, values, diversity, equality I ask myself, why is this not being trickle down. When I am broken down it is your blog, your vision for TCH, your honesty, your compassion, that gives me strength to press on.
    Mr. Wallace you remind me I am on assignment and that is the be the light of change that I want to see. The when others go low I chose to go high, that no matter how many times I a made to feel not apart of, your words remind me I am.

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to speak my truth. Black Lives Matter

  19. Angela Gooden

    Mr. Wallace, I have felt the emotional burden of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent unrest deeply. I can’t thank you enough for the bold stance you’ve taken on racism and the importance of diversity. It is my sincere hope that this horrific event will bring meaningful and sustained change.

  20. Andrea Anderson

    Thank you, just opening this blog in a time that is so stressful and reading your sincere words brings a smile to my face and to my heart. Thank you

  21. Mr Wallace, than you again for your very powerful and sincere words. They bring so much comfort and a sense of assurance to me and make it acceptable to talk honestly about my feelings even at work.

  22. Susan

    Mr Wallace your leadership, and words of encouragement during these uncertain, difficult times mean a lot to me. You are truly an inspirational leader that proves by all who work together we can truly make a difference.

  23. Curley Green

    Years ago employees were asked for quotes describing Mr. Wallace, I submitted that the words: honesty, integrity and value best described him. His stand on the current issues reaffirm those words that I submitted about ten years ago, now I will add “champion” to that description!

    Curley Green (retired)
    Biomedical Engineering

  24. Annita Spivey Stevenson

    I would also like to partner with the Leadership Team to assist with a “Diversity Committee”. I have been a member of TCH for 41 years.

  25. Annita Stevenson

    Thank you Mr. Wallace for such profound words with meaning! I have enjoyed being part of the TCH team and I am proud to have such an amazing leader!

    I would also like to partner with the Leadership Team to assist with a “Diversity Committee”. I have been a member of TCH for 41 years.

  26. Kalisha Carthen

    Thank you for your leadership Mr. Wallace! Thank you for taking the time to address this issue of racial inequalities that exist in our country. Thank you for recognizing that Black Lives Matter! Thank you for recognizing that it is important, and that is not just one races fight, but all of us should be willing to fight for equality together! I am proud to work for an organization where leadership is willing and able to speak on important issue and seek ways to illicit change. Thank you!

  27. Thank you Mark Wallace for being part of something we all wish would change. The racial, religious and gender equality is something that should mean something to everyone. Somewhere out there we have all been a part of this. It makes me feel so good to know that their is still people that have a heart and want everyone to be treated equal. I just wish more people would feel like this and try and change their view on racial ,religious and gender equality as you have. You are awesome keep up the great work We love You!

  28. Christie Mericle

    Thank you, Mr. Wallace for your continued strength in leadership. We all need to be the change we want to see and you are a wonderful example of that. I am honored to be a part of the #OneAmazingTeam at TCH!

  29. Paola Alvarez-Malo

    I have always been proud to work at Texas Children’s. We have the best mission and the best leadership. Your clear commitment seeking change and empowering words only make me prouder to be a part of this amazing place. Thank you!

  30. Jaleesiah Womack

    First Off,

    Thank you Mark for allowing this time to address this issue of racial inequalities that exist in our country. Thank you for recognizing that Black Lives Matter! On another note, I wanted to ask is June 19th being considered as a holiday for TCH to further recognize that Black Lives Matter?

    • Mark Wallace

      Thank you for your note, Jaleesiah – it is my responsibility to address these issues as the organization’s leader and I am proud to do it! We will acknowledge and pay tribute to Juneteenth internally, however, it is not a holiday for the organization. As you know, I added Martin Luther King, Jr. day as a holiday for Texas Children’s a couple of years ago to honor the civil rights movement and the current need to continue working on these issues in our society. Thank you for your support and I hope you are doing well.

  31. N. Jolivet

    I’d saved this blog because it touched me so. I just went back and re-read it and it again moved me to tears. I have no words other that to say that you are a remarkable human being and I so appreciate having a Leader such as yourself.

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