Undoing Racism Austin is a growing collective and network of individuals and groups who are organizing toward a VISION of Austin as a strong and vibrant community united in our commitment to racial equity. Our first project was an Undoing Racism training for 40 Austin community leaders, across health, justice, and environmental issues, Nov 8-10, 2013. In 2014 our goal is to organize 6 more trainings and we will need your help!
The training are offered by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (www.pisab.org). The Institute was founded by long-time community organizers Ronald Chisom of New Orleans and Dr. Jim Dunn of Yellow Springs, Ohio. They have trained more than 500,000 people, globally, including 10,000 people associated with Texas Health and Human Services in the last 10 years.
The trainings will focus initially on community leaders and organizers more than elected or appointed politicians and governmental staff. It will establish a foundation for holding our political and governmental leaders accountable for racial equity. Whether it is a robust education for children in Del Valle schools, the safety of black and Latino men in their encounters with police, healthy pregnancies for African-American mothers, or protecting Barton Springs, we can be more effective for all of the issues that we care about when we understand how to move together toward racial justice and equity.
November’s training was just the first step. Undoing Racism Austin envisions organizing toward a community gathering called the Racial Equity Change Ex-Change, similar to the EcoChange ExChange in June 2009. Like the 2009 event, the racial equity community meeting will be successful if we build it together.
Our last identified milestone is insure that there are City funded Undoing Racism trainings at every level from the the Council, Mayor and Manager’s office, to department heads and boards and commission members to the candidate for the fall 2014 elections. We believe that with the trainings and an organized community we can make our city, county and state institution accountable to a racial equity agenda.
Austin’s reputation as a progressive community has blinded us to very real and painful inequities in the outcomes for different races. We want to look at that together, listen to each other, and then craft a plan to move this community beyond our past. Will you join us?