Meet Rainbow Elder Care’s newest Board Member Richard “Dickie” Wilson, a Dayton native and an army veteran. It’s particularly fitting that we introduced Dickie during the Labor Day holiday because he was instrumental as a General Motors employee and union member in helping to get domestic partner benefits and sexual orientation included as part of GM/IUE-CWA benefits and non-discrimination policies. Dickie also served on GM’s Equality Committee. Most local Dayton people know this area was once home to a huge GM/Delco manufacturing plant, along with several other major unionized industries.
After attending a National LGBT Task Force conference back in the early 1990s, Dickie got busy helping to push through these important changes to policies and procedures. Dickie is an important part of our history, particularly as it relates to workers’ rights which are so intertwined with LGBT and others’rights more broadly. It is often by creating change in the business community that we can help drive change across the broader culture.
Dickie also served in the U.S. Army as a military policeman and was pressed into service in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965 as a peacekeeping force when Dr. Martin Luther King led his group in from Selma at the Edmond Pettus Bridge, although he was NOT part of the police force that attacked the marchers. Later, he worked to help end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for current service members and he helped start an Ohio Chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights called BRAVER in Columbus Ohio.
Please join us in thanking Dickie for his important work! Sometimes, great strides come from taking single important steps forward thanks to people like Dickie Wilson.