On Saturday, the Austin chapter of the NAACP hosted its 53rd annual DeWitty/Overton Freedom Fund Banquet. At the banquet, President Nelson Linder reminded attendees that "people care, but caring and mobilizing mean two different things," and it is time for everyone to mobilize for equality. Read more here.
“Declining enrollment is a serious issue for the district,” Trustee Ted Gordon said. “Some of the aspects are beyond our ability to influence, including the lack of affordability in the city of Austin. But some are aspects we can influence. And the district must do a better job of combating the loss of students to charter schools, which are a threat to public education. ... And the district must make the schools on the east and north central side of town more attractive to families and students. We’ve been saying this for a while.” Read more here.
Ninety years after Austin’s first comprehensive plan designated a “negro district”—and fifty years after the first attempt to pass a local fair housing ordinance was overturned by popular referendum -- there are still sharp differences in the quality of life across neighborhoods. Read the commentary here.
The term gentrification has become a buzzword to describe the changes in urban neighborhoods across the country, but we don't realize just how threatening it is. It means more than the arrival of trendy shops, much-maligned hipsters, and expensive lattes. The very future of American cities as vibrant, equitable spaces hangs in the balance. Listen to this audiobook, How to Kill a City, to learn more.
African American survivors of sex trafficking are rarely acknowledged even though statistics show they are disproportionately becoming victimized. One sex trafficking survivor, Sophia Strother, wrote this piece to shed light on this important topic. She wrote, "I consider myself to be a champion of 'life after abuse' — a victor in realizing real love doesn’t hurt. After surviving child sexual abuse at the age of 9, child neglect by parents addicted to crack, familial trafficking to support my parents’ drug addiction, and domestic violence, I refuse to be silent." Read more here.
MEETING ON OCTOBER 27 TO DISCUSS
At 11:00am on Saturday, October 27, the NAACP will be hosting a meeting to discuss Child Protective Services' disproportionate removals of African American children from their homes. In Travis County, they are 8 times more likely to be removed than a Caucasian child.
I've seen the discrepancy in treatment amongst different races myself. Two mothers, one white and one black, lost their children. Both mothers were in domestic violence situations with their significant others. They were the same age, and they had the same circumstances. One of them had their child returned to them by CPS. The other will never have contact with her child again.
Come learn more about how we can change this on October 27 at 1709 E. 12th Street, here in Austin, Texas.
-Katie Watson, NAACP Communications Committee Member
In cities like Jacksonville and St. Louis, maps of mortgage approvals and home values in black neighborhoods look the same as they did decades ago, before the passage of the landmark fair housing law. Read more here.
The Center for Justice Research at Texas Southern University has discovered disappointing racial distinctions in the delivery of punishments to students throughout the Madisonville Consolidated Independent School District (MCISD). Read about their findings here.
Austin activists are seeking book donations for children and teens in a juvenile detention center in Travis County.
Those interested can drop off their donations any day this month — except Sundays — to the Carver Branch of the Austin Public Library at 1161 Angelina St. in East Austin.
The book drive is a joint project with Huston-Tillotson University’s NAACP student chapter and the Austin Justice Coalition.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
This month, we need to be aware that "[b]lack women are almost three times as likely to experience death as a result of domestic violence/interpersonal violence than white women."
This month, we need to remember that "while Black women only make up 8% of the population, 22% of homicides that result from DV/IPV happen to Black Women and 29% of all victimized women."
This month, we need to continue learning (read more here) to understand the marginalization of black women and take a stand against domestic violence in our communities.
For frequent updates, visit the Facebook page of Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder!