Central Texas News Now ended our series on Black History Month with our eighth local leader. He's the director of media relations for Baylor, Scott and White hospital.
You might be surprised by who he thinks Black History Month is really for.
We met up with Deke Jones at Baylor, Scott and White Hillcrest in Waco, but he is based out of the Temple campus.
He often travels between the two to help promote the hospital system and work with the media.
"What I discovered when I got into PR, and particularly healthcare, is that there is a human side that I think a lot of people overlook," Jones said.
Before he got into media relations, he said he worked in news where he helped tell the human side of stories in Texas.
"I did everything from photography, some editing, reported every blue moon, ended up doing one anchor piece for breaking news and stuff like that, so you know, I pretty much did every facet," Jones said.
He said he spent 15 years covering big news stories like Hurricane Katrina. He was at a station in Austin when it hit. It was his job to stay behind while some of his reporters headed to the disaster zone.
"I wasn't there with my staff but I could hear it in their voice when we were making calls about what we're doing next and it broke my heart because you want to be there for them just like you want to be there for all those struggling that day," Jones said.
Because he knows the struggle in news, Jones said he supports it even though he is now in media relations.
"I forget that sometimes people think or forget that journalists are real people, too and they have feelings and emotions and sometimes just hug a journalist! Hashtag 'hug a journalist'," Jones said.
Now that he brings the public information from the hospital through the media, he said he has seen how much his current and former jobs affect and change people and the world.
He said he had just started working for the hospital the day the fertilizer plant exploded in West.
Jones said he remembered seeing all the nurses behind the hospital standing and waiting for the ambulances to bring in the victims.
"It was the journalists who captured that moment, who bring relevance to some of these tragic events and moments," Jones said.
They are moments of togetherness that Jones said he honors during Black History Month.
"I say Black history is about everybody and just because it's a segment of a culture or race. It's really all of us," Jones said.
He said that all of us can help each other advance.
"When you think of the advancements of Black people, it took a village. When Dr. King was marching, it wasn't just black people, it's was people of all races," Jones said.
Central Texas News Now would like to extend a big thank you to the eight people who told us their stories during Black History Month.
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