A dream realized

January 16, 2020 | (10) Comments

Note: Dr. King’s words of inspiration and passion for equality were captured in the 2019 special tribute video.

A dream realized

On Monday, our nation will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose work was rooted in social justice.

Because of the racial injustices within his own community, King is best remembered as a champion for African-Americans’ equal rights. The admirable thing about Dr. King is that he was truly a champion for the equal rights of ALL people. He called himself a “drum major for justice” and reminded the world that a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

During his lifetime – and still today – many injustices littered the world.

At the height of his fight, poor people suffered some of the same disadvantages in this country as people of color. Right before King’s death in 1968, he began to organize “the poor people’s campaign” in Washington, D.C. He understood that African Americans and other minority groups deserved civil rights, but they also needed economic security before they could contribute to this country in a meaningful way.

Many people also don’t realize that early in his career Dr. King began fighting for women’s rights and rallied for women to have the same opportunities for upward mobility as their male counterparts.

As I think about the men and women who have made Texas Children’s what it is today, I am extremely humbled and incredibly grateful for Dr. King’s dream. We are a team that is culturally, ethnically and economically diverse. We are a team that is more than 80% women. And we are a team that is comprised of people at all ages and stages of life. Our one amazing team is his dream realized.

I am 100% clear on the fact that we are one amazing team because of the diversity that we bring to work with us each day. And I believe that Texas Children’s is who we are today because of Dr. King’s convictions, influence and socially transformative efforts.

I know you hear me say it all the time, but leadership really does apply to everyone. We each must do our part to lead. Dr. King wasn’t wealthy. Dr. King wasn’t popular with everyone. Dr. King didn’t have a fancy political title. But what he did have was a heart to serve his community and the entire world.

We can all do the same. Right now – in 2020 – we have the perfect opportunity to serve our community by getting informed and involved in the political process as we are charged with voting for president and other elected officials in November. Given our political climate and its implications on health care, we need to be active and involved more than ever. We need to do our part to ensure that we can continue to serve all children and women, regardless of who they are.

In addition to voting in November, here are a few ways to honor Dr. King’s legacy today:

  • Read the entire “I Have a Dream” speech. It is a beautifully written speech that offers insight into Dr. King’s passion for all people.
  • Attend a local parade and talk with others about what Dr. King means to you.
  • Watch a documentary on Dr. King’s life or the Civil Rights Movement that he led.
  • Teach your children or the children in your life about his incredible legacy, so as they grow up, they can pass it on in their own way.

Thank you all for everything you do and please enjoy your holiday.

10 Responses to “A dream realized”

  1. Anonymous :)

    My dad grew up in an area where he had to use a back door always, we’ve heard so many stories about those harsh times. He is a part of a history book that has never been written. He often refers to Dr. King as an angel in the flesh. If it weren’t for those that believe in using their voice for the voiceless I’m not sure I could sit at my desk today. For this, I am grateful.
    I could never match Dr. King but have tried to instill service before self with my own kids & this is our 3rd year helping with the marathon & food bank throughout the year. We make buddy packs for kids in the area to have meals. Its actually a lot of fun. The marathon gives us proceeds to help my son’s school provide small scholarships for the students. The students love helping out, they’ve adopted the “No one can do everything but everyone can do something” motto. It makes them feel good to serve the community.

    Dr. King served so many.Thank you so much for this message today Mr. Wallace it is a forever important one. Enjoy your holiday TCH family.

  2. Claressia M. Sharp

    Thank you for the well written article honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I agree he was a “drum major for justice”. Which opened the doors to many other to have courage to defend their rights’ and believes, to live free and authentically. Without Dr. King’s good works we would have not been able to come this far. He showed us how to stand for our rights without using violence.
    I would like to say it is a privilege and honor to be employed with a work community that shows respect and empathy for all of mankind. TCH understand its purpose and mission while serving here on this beautiful earth. The unconditional love and compassion from TCH has been shown and proven all over the world without prejudice to anyone, regardless of their adversity. I feel comfort in knowing I am serving with a community of all walks of life. I am blessed and humbled to be a part of the Texas Children’s Journey. Thank you respectfully,

  3. Latasha Cooper

    I loved everything I read in this article, but what really touched my heart was not only did Dr. King fight for equal justice for African Americans, but for all minority groups. I pray one day we can be like him and not be so divided. I thank God I work for Texas Children’s, a place where they welcome all people and treat them equally

  4. Mr. Wallace, what a great post! In addition to civil rights, most people are unaware that behind the scenes, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. suffered from severe depression.
    I find it inspiring that he used the despair from years of serving as a pastor as the fuel to ignite one of the most notorious civil rights movement of all time.
    As healers in a society plagued with a disturbing suicide rate among our youth, we have the responsibility to initiate crucial conversations with kids about the taboo subject of mental illness. It’s easier to discuss these matters if we wholeheartedly understand that just like many great leaders, it is possible to transform suffering into empathy and strength.
    By reframing how we talk introduce the subject of mental illness with patients and their caregivers, we remove the negative stigma, make it relatable, and inspire future generations to persevere through the pain of living in a world still plagued with plenty of social injustice and civil rights issues.
    Dr. King’s story highlights how one man used the pain of his experiences and mental illness as the catalyst to change a broken system. His unprecedented strength to conquer adversity evolved into courageous leadership that we still feel today.
    Could you imagine the country today if Martin Luther King Jr. committed suicide instead of taking an active role in his illness by using depression as his greatest asset for change? Thankfully, someone probably helped him find a purpose in life as a change agent, and his legacy serves as a great example for anyone battling a mental illness such as severe depression.
    On a personal note, I can’t help but treat all my patients like they are something special, but especially when there’s a suicidal CPS patient in one of my rooms. I can’t help but wonder what if this wise kid ends up one if the next big civil right figures? It very well could be that the heartbreaking experiences some of these kids have lived to tell about actually serve a larger purpose in the world.
    As a nurse, I try to instill hope that their suffering doesn’t necessarily have to be in vain as evidenced by the life of Dr. King and many others.

  5. Eden McCleskey

    I think these quotes could not be more important than they are right now in this country, and I hope that everyone who hears them is moved to reflect on their values, their actions and their power to effect change. Everyone has this power, in one way or another.

  6. Joan Andrada

    In high school, my class was entered into an intra-school speech contest and we chose the “I Have A Dream” speech of Dr. King. We placed second in that contest in the Philippines but that event was victorious in keeping the message of Dr. King’s speech with me since that time. Fast forward 30 years later and I am in the USA, working with a great organization where my freedom to be myself is embraced, nurtured and respected. And, it is a good feeling for a first generation immigrant like me to have.

    After I read “A Dream Realized” today, my heart lightened. I was able to get some clarity and I was able to put into words what I have been feeling.

    When I first joined the TCH family in September 2019, I was amazed by the inspiring, diverse and cool people around me, working with me. I was more amazed by the diverse population of children, women and families that comprised our patient population and in effect our extended families. The freedom of workers and patient families to be themselves no matter where they come from, the freedom of each employee to lead, the freedom of knowing and feeling that there is respect and compassion for everyone in this organization and most especially, the unified whole that we are in our diverse culture, is a source of pride for me working in this organization.

    I have walked around the past few months proud of who I am and what I do. I have also walked around humbled by the freedom I have been afforded, in a world where many are still striving to realize the goals of Dr. King.

    Thank you ‘On the Mark’ for making this another great day for me.

  7. Emily Ybarra Curry

    Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge this special day (as you do every year at this time). I agree that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is so important to remember, so that we can better model his teachings in all we do at Texas Children’s.

    Every day, we have an opportunity to make a difference and advocate for the lives of the families we serve–we can treat them with kindness, we can make their experience better and go the extra mile, and we can try to make the community we live in a more peaceful and equitable place. This also includes speaking up when we see injustice–even when it may feel uncomfortable. “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” Thank you for your post.

  8. Yvette McNeil-Murray

    Mr. Wallace thank you for your insightful post. I would like to share another of Dr. King’s quotes from March 1966 at a Convention of the Medical Committee of Human Rights in Chicago which remains very relevant in today’s society.
    “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane”.
    In 2020 socioeconomic status, racial, gender and ethnic disparities continue to impact access to healthcare in our state and country. I am proud to work for an institution that leads the charge in breaking down barriers to accessible healthcare.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *