Last year, James Means was inducted to the University of Texas' Hall of Honor. Means walked on to Texas’ track and field team in 1963 and made history by becoming not just the first African American student-athlete at Texas, but the first in the entirety of the Southwest Conference. As Black History Month commences, it is important that we continue to give recognition and honor to those who've changed the game - for more than their athletic accoldades. Read more about Means here.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrates Black History Month with several programs using art as a platform for social justice. Black History Month also features the museum’s “NMAAHC Kids Learning Together” program, providing an opportunity for kids to virtually meet Black beekeepers, a Black scuba diver, and a Black rock climber. Read more here.
Researchers warn that generative AI could add $43 billion annually to America's already stark racial wealth gap over the next two decades, with Black employees also facing a higher risk of job loss thanks to automation. Read more here.
Senators Roger Marshall and Bernie Sanders have recently proposed the Bipartisan Primary Care and Health Workforce Act to address the shortage of primary care physicians. The bill allocates funding to medical schools for increasing the number of primary care physicians and requires 20 percent of its funding to go to Minority Serving Institutions, including historically Black medical schools. This provision aims to increase the number of Black primary care physicians, as the lack of Black physicians has led to shorter lives for Black Americans. Read more here.
Election Day is Nov. 7. Here's what you need to know to vote in Travis County.
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.
For frequent updates, visit the Facebook page of Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder!