Undoing Racism Austin
For the past year I have been involved in a local organizing effort to address racial disparity and disproportionality in Austin. Some people say Austin is the most anti-Black city they know and I have no reason to doubt it. Across the board African Americans are at the bottom of every system in our community. There is plenty of data to back that up.
Our primary strategy has been to organize Undoing Racism trainings to build a stronger base of organizers and leaders who speak the same language and who have a common analysis and then organizing a network and projects that will build community power.
We are working with the Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond. I was first trained by PISAB bac in the late 80’s when I was a Coordinator at the Washington Peace Center during a seven year process to transform the Peace Center from an all white group in a city that was majority people of color. I worked together again after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans when I was organizing with Common Ground Collective and Common Ground Relief. They trained thousands of young people who came to volunteer. It was pretty life changing work in pretty rugged conditions. Now this exciting work in Austin is taking root.
What I am excited about is the work of Undoing Racism Austin has traction and it is exciting to think about the potential of organizing toward the vision of Austin being a leader in racial equity. Several years back we organized a participatory democracy process called the that generated a community plan for the City of Austin to be a leader in sustainability. The materials and report can be found here Eco-Change Exchange.
Many of the items in this report have been achieved and now we are organizing again. This time we are taking on the root of pretty much all of our problems and issues…racism. We are already seeing positive signs of change and increasing energy.