Black History Month celebrates the achievements of African Americans in U. S. history. Established in February 1926, the event recognizes those who have inspired positive change through advocacy, community building, and professional success.
In honor of Black History Month and this year’s theme of Black health and wellness, we are featuring a few of the individuals who are making a difference — both at Boston Children’s Hospital and in their communities. We hope their stories will inspire future generations of health care leaders.
This is part two of a three-part series.
When I look back, I see progress
Ron Wilkinson, Senior Technologist, Business Intelligence Group
Ron was drawn to information technology before computers became common in American households. He understood the potential of data and wanted to find positive ways to apply it, so he got involved in health care. Today, Ron is a lead technologist in the Business Intelligence Group, which uses data from the hospital’s many information systems to support Boston Children’s day-to-day operations, regulatory compliance, quality initiatives, and long-term planning. He also applies these skills to support equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives at Boston Children’s, through his church, and in the community.
We asked Ron to share what he would say to his younger self.
Dear Younger Self:
You moved to Boston soon after the busing crisis, when rioters confronted buses of Black children on their way to white schools. You were here during the manhunts in Black neighborhoods, after a white man falsely claimed his wife had been shot by a Black man. Later, that story was exposed as a cover-up for murder, but the racism was appalling.
Given all this, it may hard to believe that within your lifetime, the president and CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital will be an African American man. It may be inconceivable that a Black man will be elected president of the United States. As you might guess, there will be backlash to this country’s first Black president, but the fact is, it will happen. When I look back, I see progress.
There will be times when you’ll wonder if the efforts to achieve racial justice will die on the vine. I want to tell you, they won’t. Today, more people of color are getting good educations, entering the professional ranks, and influencing the direction of this country. We still have a long way to go, but the positive momentum is building.
This arc toward justice is long, but it’s a battle worth fighting for.
Learn more about initiatives in health equity, diversity, and inclusion at Boston Children’s.
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