As Texas public colleges take steps to dismantle their diversity, equity and inclusion offices due to recent legislation, three university chancellors at The Texas Tribune Festival explored the law's impact on hiring efforts. While attending the festival, several notable comments and interactions resonated with me.
During one session, an attendee conveyed to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Nickole Hannah-jones: "The Union may have won the physical war, but the Confederacy has won the narrative war." Hannah-Jones responded: "If the Confederacy won the narrative war, they wouldn't be pushing for these bans. They realize we are speaking the truth; reality is on our side. But we don't have the luxury of sitting back and not fighting for that reality."
In another session, Ruth Simmons, the President's Distinguished Fellow at Rice University and adviser to the president of Harvard University on HBCU initiatives, emphasized that "DEI initiatives aren't important for only one specific group of people; they benefit all of us." Programs aimed at supporting women, various racial and ethnic backgrounds, individuals with disabilities, and more are facing the risk of complete elimination from the university system.
If you'd like to read more about how this all came to be, check out the following articles from The Texas Tribune:
The Austin Police Department is investigating after the Austin NAACP office was targeted by vandals early Sunday morning. Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder told news outlets that equipment and other supplies were stolen in the break-in, including three computers and personal items. Read more here.
On June 29th, the Supreme Court ruled that colleges and universities can no longer use affirmative action when it comes to admitting students. Read more about the decision and how Central Texans reacted here.
Yesterday, Austinites celebrated Juneteenth with the 40th annual Juneteenth parade. Read about it here, and learn more about Juneteenth events in Austin on our "Upcoming Events" page.
Discover and support dozens of Black-owned businesses at the Black Makers Market, a community event with art, food, fashion, and more! This outdoor, family-friendly event promises an unforgettable experience highlighting our community’s talent and creativity. Learn more about the event here.
The Austin Justice Coalition, ALCU Texas, and other advocate groups gathered to call on city leaders to end their request for extra DPS patrols. The groups are accusing DPS troopers of targeting minority groups and are criticizing leaders for not including their voice in the decision to bring DPS troopers to Austin. Read more here.
Neighborhood-level data could help cities across the United States strategically craft interventions to affect real change for Black and Hispanic residents. Read more here.
The COVID-19 pandemic widened the gap in terms of racial equality and digital infrastructure. Read more here about how to bring broadband and digital equity to every Black household in the United States, while simultaneously bolstering efforts to create a more inclusive economy.
Black Americans have a clear vision for how to achieve change when it comes to racial inequality, including support for significant reforms focused on the criminal justice system; support for Black businesses to advance Black communities; and reparations in the forms of educational, business, and homeownership assistance. However, despite the inequality and visions for progress, there still exists a pessimism about the possibility for change. Read more here.
When asked about how much police presence is wanted moving forward, 61 percent of Black Americans report wanting the police presence to remain the same. Read more here.
For frequent updates, visit the Facebook page of Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder!