What are you doing to help somebody today?

June 1, 2020 | (29) Comments

In 1954, Texas Children’s was founded to serve all children – regardless of their race, religion, creed or ability to pay. Jim Abercrombie and Leopold Meyer set this clear intention as the guiding principle of Texas Children’s, and we have lived by those principles each and every day. At our core, we are an inclusive organization that prides ourselves on welcoming everyone – patients, families, providers and staff. We recognize our diversity and that our melting pot of cultures, religions, races and genders woven together is what creates our One Amazing Team.

The news of George Floyd’s death and the protests that ensued caused me to reflect on so many rights that I deeply value. The same rights and principles that we are blessed to live by at Texas Children’s. I acknowledge that as a white man, it is difficult for me to truly understand the pain and fear that our communities of color are experiencing – however, I still feel the pain and believe I, and each of you, have a role in ending this injustice.

It is not easy to admit that in 2020 racism is still prevalent, but it is the truth and we must all be courageous in confronting this reality. What we are seeing today is not a mere response to the tragic and wrongful deaths we have read about in the news, but it is a reaction to the lack of equality and justice that has been prevalent in American society for hundreds of years. I wholeheartedly believe that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

This is a turning point for our country and we must each do our part to keep us on the right track. It is our responsibility to speak up, teach our children right from wrong, lean in and have the difficult conversations, call our representatives in Congress, and LEAD. Just as Martin Luther King, Jr. did during the Civil Rights Movement, we must let our voices be heard, but we must do so without violence. The spirit of people is a sensitive part of human nature that we must nurture and not trample on.

We live in the greatest country in the world, and I choose to believe that we can rise above and create the world that we want our children to live in. I recognize that this is not an easy task but I challenge you all to take the example you are setting at Texas Children’s and spread it throughout your communities. Texas Children’s is an incredibly special place to work and it is because of the pride and respect we have in believing that our differences unite us and make us stronger. The same is true for our country. No matter your race or ethnicity, we must all work together to peacefully call out injustice and end bigotry and racism. What are you doing to help somebody today?

29 Responses to “What are you doing to help somebody today?”

  1. Bridgette Robinson

    I am writing an email to the county attorney’s office in Hennepin County Minnesota asking that higher charges be brought against the officers in George Floyd’s killing. As a black woman my heart is broken for black people and this country as a whole.

  2. Edith Talbert

    Within my home I’m continuing to ensure my children understand why it is important to learn to be kind and encouraging to all of the people they encounter in the community. Often times they could be the only light they are seeing in their dark world and they will be encouraged within their hearts if they shine light to others by serving and becoming more empathetic to needs other than their own.

    • Charla Hughes Clark

      As the grandmother of a biracial child that cried to me over the weekend she feared the same thing that happened to Mr. George might someday happen to her, I sincerely appreciate your efforts.
      Charla Clark

  3. Shahin Rahim

    I feel proud & empowered to be part of this team @ TCH, where humanity & honesty is valued. I have seen time after time, leadership is truly supportive and understanding. The credit goes to you Mr. Wallace, for speaking about issues that are otherwise avoided. several months ago, when the Oscar was out, you had shared how work still needs to be done, since there has been huge gap in how all cultures are equally represented.

    Yes, it starts with accepting that racism still exist in our society, thus we can work toward eradicating by practicing compassion, acceptance for all religions and races. I am speaking as Brown Muslim Man who has recognized inequality in our society & constant challenges for justice and equality for colored individuals.

    Such changes starts with having open conversations in your own home & family. Educating our own family members that struggle for African American community has been ongoing & being open to learn from people that belong to other communities, instead of making your own judgments.

  4. Angela B.

    Mr. Wallace reading your post sent me in a tail spin of tears. The last month I have been trying to hold it together and then the murder of George Floyd happens. I am hurt, I am mad, I am angry, I am struggling to feel my connection to God. Most of all I am afraid, I am afraid for my sons, my daughter, myself, and people who look like me. I know God don’t give me a spirit of fear I am doing my best to push through the pain.

    Reading your post and to see so many people who don’t look like me angry at the tragedies people of color are still facing today in 2020 give a sense of hope. You are an upstanding gentleman. The kind and much needed words you spoke is why I am so grateful to part of the TCH family.

    Mr. Wallace you never fail to amaze me with the love and compassion you show toward us. I don’t know what to do except what have been doing. That is to lift my eyes to the Lord for whence my strength my strength come from. To continue to be the light that shine in darkness. To do what have been in my heart to invite the police into our communities, where we each can greet and meet one another and the police can become connected with the families that make up the community they are policing. The families can get to know the police who are policing our communities with the hope this will be the start of closing the gap between police officers and the communities they police. I will do this through the Youth Program I organized in 2007 because I say a need in the community for our preteens and teenagers.

    Thank you again Mr. Wallace for being an AMAZING LEADER.

    • Agnes

      Angela B. I could not agree with you more. You said is well and clearly. Mr Wallace is one of the few leaders in my community of work and even church that has clearly addressed his stand for this injustice and others in the past.
      Mr. Wallace, may God give you even more wisdom and blessing to lead this #OneAmazingTeam.

  5. Seema Patel

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this and taking a stand. It is often easier to look the other way, but that has been happening in this country for far too long.

    I am committed to doing my part by engaging in tough conversations with family, friends, neighbors, and community members. I am listening to different perspectives and learning how to be a better ally to those who are in pain. I signed up to assist with voter registration and community outreach. And I am constantly looking for ways to be better myself so that I can be a positive role model for those around me.

  6. Kenya Roberson

    As an African American Woman, as the wife of an African American man, and as the mother to young African American men, I feel overwhelmed with hurt, pain, anger, disappointment, frustration and sheer disbelief to see such an act to play out before my eyes. My heart is so heavy and I feel a sense of despair that I have never felt before. But I know that God Almighty is always in control and I put all of my hope, faith and trust in Him!

    So, I am doing the best thing that I know to do for someone else…and that is to pray!

    I’m praying for all of the families that have lost loved ones due to injustice!

    I’m praying for all of those that are disproportionately affected and suffering from disease due to disparities in healthcare!

    I am also praying that those who are complacent, contentious and/or complicit in turning a blind eye to the continued social inequalities faced by African Americans will have their eyes opened and their hearts and minds changed to love one another!

    There is power in prayer!

    Thank you Mr. Wallace, for having the courage to broach such a sensitive and difficult topic!

  7. Katrina

    Mr. Mark Wallace! I was just telling my co-worker yesterday that I bet you will speak on this topic. And I open my email this morning an see that you did.

    As a black woman and wife of a black man. Seeing how the world we living in today. Has not changed much being black. It’s sad that we have people in this world who simply do not like black or brown people. I believe it is awful to know people in this world can literally hate the color of your skin. We are God’s creation. As I am very proud to be a black woman. I am saddened, angry amongst other things to know we have racist people around us that has hate in thee hearts. In this present time. Some of us can’t get jobs, fair treatment because of our skin color. Get stopped for no reason and a load of other things.

    When I am at work and speak to a another race and they look away and do not speak back. Then I see them speaking to there colleague of the same race as them. I always wonder if they like black people. It’s sad.

    It’s very powerful to see our white friends taking a stand with us. And it is sad to see the ones who remain silent.

    Thanks you for addressing.

  8. Sherrell T

    I am hurt, angered, and afraid. That is my truth. I appreciate that the leader of this organization has created a safe space for us to have honest dialogues. We shouldn’t have to pretend like everything is okay, and your acknowledgement means a lot.

  9. Adrian McKinney

    I am so proud to work for an organization that values all people and where the leadership from the highest levels down reflect respect and integrity. I am thankful to have spent my entire career at Texas Children’s

  10. LaWanna Meade

    Thank you for this forum! As horrible as “seeing” a murder unfold before our very eyes was and still is, seeing that it took them 4 days to arrest ONLY ONE of the perpetrators, on a low level charge of “3rd degree murder” is even MORE upsetting because it has given way to even more tragedies to occur (riots and more people getting hurt, losing their freedom, trying to riot, etc). Had justice just prevailed at the onset: that is, an IMMEDIATE arrest of all four officers on “obvious charges” then, much of what is happening would not have occurred. 1st degree murder charges against the main perpetrator should have been immediate (he would have his chance to defend against it in court) and the same or similar charges for those who stood idly by. People are arrested across this country every minute, for merely looking suspicious and ultimately refusing to give in to the harassment by providing their license,, etc., Yet, although millions of people all witnessed a cold-blooded (pre-meditated) murder unfold (over 8 minutes and 46 seconds), no charges were brought for 4, LONG, grueling days and then, they were low-level charges that with a good lawyer eventually likely will be reduced and even charges eventually beaten (and this after probably 5-6 years of legal footsie, while these perpetrators enjoy a nice, low bond, on this low level charge, their families, and freedom). There has been and continues to be absolutely no accountability and time after time after time, they get away. Some are never even charged! This after years and years of no action (they go on to enjoy their lives, freedom and families). Nothing happens. Just another soul gone.

    We have come a long way, but we still have a LONG way to go. Acknowledgement is the first step, admitting that indeed there remains to be a systemic problem with racism and inequality in many settings, not just as it relates to policing. This is true in other areas of life as well, i.e., government, work, credit, etc., where we always have to fight for the same treatment or same level of respect. Whether consciously or subconsciously, people of color are judged and treated differently (by some), still, and many times, these are people in authority, making policy and decisions and therein lies the problem. Additionally, supporting or not standing against those who are dishonorable men and women is another problem. If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. This further indirectly promotes and furthers inequality and racism. As long as they can keep their stock portfolios growing, or it helps their bottom line, they keep quiet and remain complicit. There is no place in America for complicity. Either you are for or against. Right must stand against wrong. That’s it and that’s all. There is no place for in between anymore. You cannot stand silent, because silence gives consent. You cannot stay in your house and pull the blinds anymore. It will take us ALL working together to combat the beast of racism and inequality. So much to say, but suffice to say, JUSTICE IS NOT FOR ALL, but I am optimistic and am encouraged by the awesome outpouring of support from all corners of society. That’s how God intended it, and with the right leaders in place, we will see it manifest. VOTE in November!!!!

    Again, thank you Mr. Wallce, for your awesome leadership, always. TCH has a great leader because this is what a great leader does. He understands. He hears. HE sees. And he says something! Something that bridges the gap, that is meaningful and honest and felt by all as true, heartfelt love and appreciation for everyone. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

  11. Constance Cephus

    Good Morning Mr. Wallace,
    I feel a pain so deep that I can not stop crying. I’m so angry and hurt and disappointed in the world that we live in. What happened to the first rule of life: “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you”?
    For most of my life, I have strived to make the world a better place. One child, one person, one family at a time, I continue to work to make a difference. I have seen laws eventually allow more opportunity, but not really make a difference where it counts: in the hearts and minds of people. I believe that learning to see celebrate differences begins in the home. However health care encounters can be opportunities for learning. Many of my patients will tell you that I have said: I’m working to build good citizens because you are the future”.

    There are many ways to make a difference. As we move forward, and we will, I want others to be aware of a certain hopelessness that may exist in our patients and ourselves. Please take that extra moment to care. It may make a huge difference.

  12. Paola Alvarez-Malo

    Mr. Wallace,
    Thank you for your unifying voice. In particular, your call to action for all of us to engage and help someone is crucial for change to happen. Your message has been a spark for tough, necessary and enlightening conversations.
    Best,
    Paola

  13. Erinn Miller

    Its long been said that “the fist step is admitting there is a problem”. That statement has never rang more true than in the climate of our society today. We have a MAJOR problem, and admitting there is a one is a responsibility of EVERYONE- no matter ones race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, or gender. Admitting doesn’t necessarily equate fault, but exposes the problem in order to find solutions.
    Everyone should and needs to have conversations with family, children, friends, and co-workers about the inequality and injustice across this country . Everyone needs to introspectively search for how they can be apart of the solution and not the problem. For some people (brown/black in particular) the conversations may be a little harder as there is long standing anger, fear, mistrust, and first hand experience of the mistreatment of minorities that has existed in this country for HUNDREDS of years. For others, that may not be able to as easily relate based on skin color, can speak and relate on the basis of one simple principle… civil rights for every human being. Every person no matter race or ethnicity deserves to be treated with respect and has a right to equity and justice. Its heartbreaking to know that even 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement, this is an issue still taking lives, inciting protests, and causing divide.
    Much work remains to be done. The death of George Floyd has just exposed the wound that much more of the state of the this country. Many hearts are broken and hurting and will be for a long time, until change is made. The demand for change isn’t only to end senseless killings, but racial profiling, false accusations on brown/black men, and to restore justice for ALL.

    Thank you Mr. Wallace for admitting there is a problem and speaking about it. Thank you for making TCH a place of acceptance and inclusion for all. I pray that everyone will follow suit and admit there is problem and begin speaking up about it. SILENCE = VIOLENCE

  14. Doris Blocker

    Mr. Wallace, it is with humility that I write to share my thanks for your words of truth and conviction. I applauded you for your candor and I pray for your continued strength and wisdom. I pray that you will ever stand for rightness and truths no matter the cost.
    As a country, we the people who actually comprise America, have made and or contributed to its existing state: some have actualized the wrong doings and others of us have watched from the sidelines, choosing to not affect the status quo. We are all responsible either by omission or commission. And if we want to have a better outcome we must work together toward it. Having equality will not bring an end to racism, but acknowledging that it exist and working to bring truth forward with a stance to not look away when wrongness is occurring but rather to speak up and act in every constructive manner to demoralize it is a start!
    We can’t just say “no” to racism we all must choose to say “yes” to rightness.
    Rightness not because of our skin color.
    Rightness not because of our gender.
    Rightness not because of our affiliations.
    Rightness not because of our prosperity.
    Rather, rightness because it’s RIGHT!
    The tragedy that occurred in the violent act against George Floyd was in a larger action an abomination against every positive belief that we, people of many races, creed, and color live in hope for. We must seek after wisdom and commit to change. John chapter 7 verse 24 relates that, “we should not judge by appearance, rather judge with right judgement.”
    If I could modify a classic tune of this country:
    GOD bless America, land that I love.
    Stand beside her and guide her with the Truth and the Wisdom from above!

  15. Vemca Thibodeaux-Collins

    Mr. Wallace I don’t know how to express my feeling about this situation. I was a single mother for majority of my children’s young life. I had to explain to my children especially my 2 African American sons on how to act when they are being pulled over by a police officer. How many other races HAVE to sit down and explain to their children especially their sons on how to act when they get pulled over by law enforcement? When my children were young they were afraid of law enforcement for this same reason of what may happen to them. Yes, this is 2020 and RACISM still is alive in which it should not! Every day (morning, noon or night) when my husband, sons, brothers, nephews & grandsons leave the house I sit on pins and needles and pray for their safety to return home. What happened to Mr. George Floyd could have easily happened to me, my husband, sons, daughters or anyone in my family. I will be contacting people in Congress & even the President to start changes, because there has to be admission to racial profiling. EVERYONE NO MATTER WHAT RACE YOU ARE PLEASE SPEAK UP ABOUT IT, RECORD IT AND TALK ABOUT IT!!! SILENCE DOES=VIOLENCE. I want to say thank you Mr. Mark Wallace to allow everyone to discuss the REAL issue that is out here. I am glad to be working a company that is understanding & aware what is REALLY going on in society.

    • Trella Toomer

      I feel your pain. I have two tall, athletic built sons with deep voices. I have repeatedly gone over with them what to do if they are pulled over. I fear their natural build/tone, skin color renders them a threat. I am constantly asking them to make sure their car tags are not expired, their break lights are working – to avoid any reason to be pulled over. It’s trauma and PTSD.
      I vow to have the uncomfortable conversations with anyone who wants a better understanding because no one in this country has been taught the true history that involves us – a part of American History. It’s just not in the books and now the complexities are so deeply rooted and tangled its hard to find the origins.
      Thank God we are blessed with a president to demonstrates a willingness to learn, acknowledge and confront topics that can be painful and difficult to have – Truly Special

  16. Myra Davis

    Mark,

    Thank you for your words on the state of racism in our country. I believe if more leaders in this country would step forward to acknowledge where we actually are with regards to race relations, we could begin the uncomfortable conversations, that lead to the hard work it will take to get us to a better place.

    As a mother of two African American young men (27 and 19) I live in fear every day – what would happen to them if they are stopped jogging in the park or simply taking a walk. Like you, I acknowledge the greatness of this country and while I understand and support the protest, I strongly condemn the people taking advantage of this situation.

    My prayer is that this is a moment in time that is not wasted and that real change can begin. In this organization and in my private life I continue and am willing to do what it takes to bring real change now.

    Myra

  17. Binta Baudy

    Mr. Wallace,

    Thank you for your acknowledgement of the pain and stress that many are feeling, but not openly sharing. As a mother, wife, sister and daughter my family has concerns, but yet we are hopeful and our faith remains steadfast. As a leader at home and here at work I have and will continue to do the work to bring forth change.

    “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

    Binta

  18. Denise Tanner Brown

    Thank you Mr. Wallace for your empathic leadership and courageous stance. This is not an easy time for many people of color in the country but we know our country can answer the call of duty and great leaders such as yourself will help lead the way.

    I am so grateful to be a member of the Texas Children’s family during this time as the leadership has shown bravery and compassion in a palpable and real way.

    Thanks!
    Denise

  19. Leslie Charles

    Thank You for acknowledging that racism exist, I thank you for being a awesome Leader something The World is missing right now on this side of Heaven but as a Black mother that PRAYS every night for her male son watching that video “I COULD NOT BREATHE” but to speak on riots and looting and not speak out on POLICE BRUTALITY I will never understand.
    #BLACKLIVESMATTERS

  20. Lindsay Gregory

    Mr. Wallace, thank you for writing this poignant article. For so long, I thought I was doing the right thing by ensuring I was raising my children to understand what racism is and what to do when they see it. Now I see that is not nearly enough. I thought that since I was white, I shouldn’t speak on a subject I couldn’t possibly know about. Now I see that I MUST speak up, that in order to make a real change, people like me MUST do more. So I contacted my children’s schools and asked how they could add more in their curriculum about current racism in America. I contacted my professional organization and asked how we can address racial biases in education. I’m reading, I’m learning. I’m listening. I’m hoping others like me will do the same.

  21. Ken Javier

    Thank you Mr. Wallace for continually showing empathy and the strength to open this discussion about the sad truth of racism happening in 2020. I appreciate your call to action by asking “What are you doing to help somebody today?” By no means is this topic comfortable or easy to talk about, and unfortunately because of this fact many people have an inclination to stay out of it. But it’s not ok to stay out of it and just point the finger to say “well that’s a problem for them”. Instead of pointing the finger at others we need to point the thumb back at us and help to create change.

    Thank you again, and I am so proud to work here at TCH.

    Ken

  22. S. Yvette McNeil-Murray

    Good Morning Mr. Wallace,
    Thank you for having the courage to acknowledge that racism still exists in our country today. As the wife and mother of African American men, I am always fearful of the possibility that they may not make it home just because they are simply enjoying life – shopping, eating, or driving- while being black.

    The hurt, confusion, and anger that we are feeling individually and collectively must be the stepping stones that lead to true change and equality in our country. While I encourage and support the peaceful protests, I condemn the violence. I have to remain hopeful that the our country will be a better place for ALL people regardless of race,creed or color.
    Yvette McNeil-Murray

  23. Dianne Woodard

    Thanks MR. Wallace for expressing such a sensitive and difficult topic, I really appreciate the kind words and gesture you’re showing to the families and employees Now I know the leadership that you’re showing throughout the years of our extemporary CEO and we love you again Thanks

  24. Mr. Wallace, Thank you for the kind words and acknowledgment of the pain and plight of people of color in America.

    Now with that said, what is Texas Children’s Hospital going to do to show they support change during this watershed moment? Where do I start?

    Start with supporting politicians who’s platform shows a real commitment to social change and the end of government sanctioned subjugation of people of color. Cease all public and financial support for those politicians who have demonstrated by their voting record that they do not support equality and advocacy for real change.

    Don’t support a president who is incapable of having empathy for people of color or people living in poverty. People of color are not the only people who have been marginalized in this society. Our children and elderly have been significantly impacted by the diversion of vital healthcare and supplemental financial support funds.

    Stop supporting Mayors, Senators, Congressman and other government representative that do not speak out against the systemic injustice and inequality imposed on people of color and low income.

    Send letters, make calls, publicly show your support for this community which is extremely diverse and is extremely tired of living a second class life no matter how much we contribute to our Country’s economy.

    Make it known to your employees of color that you are willing to stand for them just as they have stood for TCH during this Covid -19 crisis by working at our own risk.

    If Corporate America remains silent, then Corporate America is complicit in the subjugation and inequity of people of color.

    You (TCH) have voiced your commitment to our patients to provide the best healthcare and to diligently work towards cures to some of the most destructive diseases suffered by humanity. Now publicly give your support to the destruction of race inequality; which kills so many everyday across this nation.

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