In an email announcement Monday morning, Texas Children’s President and CEO Mark Wallace shared exciting news: beginning in 2018, Texas Children’s will observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an organizational holiday.
This holiday is a new holiday and will be added to all of the holidays employees currently enjoy as a benefit of working at Texas Children’s – employees will not lose My Day or any other holiday. Here is Mr. Wallace’s announcement in its entirety:
Dear Texas Children’s Family,
I am very pleased to share something with you that I have been considering for quite some time now. Beginning in 2018, Texas Children’s will observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an organizational holiday.
I often think about the beliefs and work of Dr. King and how closely aligned they are with the mission of Texas Children’s. Our organization is one that, since its inception nearly 63 years ago, has prided itself in the rich diversity of our culture and the families we serve. We, like Dr. King, embrace inclusiveness and greatly appreciate working in an organization that values all ideas and aspirations, working together for the greater good. Simply put, this is right for our organization. In addition, this makes sense for us operationally, as our partners at Baylor College of Medicine observe the MLK Day holiday.
While you likely understand the sentiment, you might naturally wonder, “Why now?” I want you to understand that while the announcement is occurring today, this has long been on my heart and mind. In fact, we were considering adding MLK Day as an organizational holiday many years ago. However, we also had to consider whether we would subsequently add other observations. Ultimately, we determined that providing employees with the My Day PTO day would allow all to observe MLK Day or, alternately, another special day that may be personally important to them. I sincerely believe that was a good thing for our employees, but I admit to you that I think so many years have passed that the impetus for My Day has been lost.
I also admit to you that the nation’s racial climate in recent years stirs me. America has always been considered a melting pot, but we are now growing increasingly more diverse at a much more rapid pace than most people have ever experienced. We, as a nation, are learning how to redefine our country, but not without growing pains. Yet, in the midst of this, I see how we at Texas Children’s use our differences to make us better. The brilliant tapestry of our cultures, religions, races and genders is woven perfectly with our collective talents, gifts and aspirations. This is beautiful, and it is worth celebrating on the day that salutes the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I hope you will join me in my excitement and look forward to enjoying this special day of reflection for years to come.