On April 4, 2017, a task force created in November 2016 by Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler delivered its recommendations for reducing institutional racism and ensuring equity in that city. The 70-page report from the Mayor’s Task Force on Institutional Racism and System Equities, co-chaired by Austin Independent School District Superintendent Paul Cruz and Huston-Tillotson University President Colette Pierce Burnette, includes recommendations in five areas: education, health, criminal justice, housing and finance.
Sample recommendations include:
- Acknowledgement of racial inequities in city policies
- The use of racial equity impact assessments on all new codes and ordinances
- Training for public leaders, city and school district employees, and law enforcement
- Greater transparency in law enforcement
- Developing a local fund to address institutional racism in housing, and offer planned upgrades to deteriorating market-rate housing to families of color
- Addressing gentrification in East Austin, a neighborhood populated mostly by communities of color
- Regular reporting of health disparities
- An anti-predatory lending campaign
Advocacy & Communication Solutions, LLC (ACS) understands the importance of addressing institution discrimination in all systems, especially the education system. ACS authored Better Than Zero, a paper on how alternative discipline is breaking the school-to-prison pipeline, particularly for young people of color. The paper takes a high-level look at national conversations and policy changes surrounding the school-to-prison pipeline and how zero-tolerance policies are changing national and in several states. Download Better Than Zero here.