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:
For frequent updates, visit the Facebook page of Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder!