February 1 is the start of Black History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of African Americans in U.S. history and a time to recognize their struggle through adversity to receive full citizenship.

Stevie Wonder tunes from Familiar Spirit Band welcomes employees into the AHN Saint Vincent Hospital lobby for the celebration. 

Staff checked out a display featuring the bio's of people of color on the hospital staff.

Cardiac charge nurse Miranda Moore, who puts in 12 hour days was among them. "I work on 3 north telemetry, cardiology step down unit to open heart patients," Moore said.

The nurse with more than two decades of service at the hospital said just having a Black History Month event at her work place demonstrates how much things have changed since her career began.

"I've been here for 21 years and when I started, I was the only black nurse on my unit," Nurse Moore said. "And in the years that have gone by, I've seen more African Americans not only in nursing but as telemetry techs, nurses' aids, just generally in the building altogether and it just shows that there's change happening in the building, from when I first started here to where we are now."

Then students from Erie Rise Leadership Academy shared stories about significant people in black history who made big contributions to science and medicine.  Each student shared how their historic figure inspires possibilities for their own future in a world where Nurse Miranda Moore hopes there's a better understanding that diversity and opportunity for everyone matters. 

"A lot of companies are now understanding and a lot of businesses are understanding that simply saying, we are diverse place of employment makes people understand that there's someone there like me," Moore said.