CAN has worked with local leaders to facilitate dialogue on cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion. In 2013, CAN developed the Cultural Competency, Diversity, and Inclusion Toolkit to connect local organizations with free resources to improve cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion. CAN has also worked to host dialogues and trainings for local leaders on these issues. In 2015, CAN hosted four training sessions, specifically designed for senior staff from CAN’s 28 partner agencies. CAN also released results of a Language Access Survey and continues to convene meetings of local stakeholders to consider how they can collaborate and share resources to better meet the language needs of our community’s diversifying population.
Building Bridges: Brick by Brick is a steering committee created by former Sheriff Greg Hamilton and Rev. Mike Manor. The committee’s goal is to create meaningful and sustainable conversations between neighborhoods, churches, communities and law enforcement.
The Texas Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities, under the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, was created in 2011 as a result of Senate Bill 501. The Center is using a comprehensive approach that cuts across systems to reduce disparate outcomes for vulnerable populations. The Center also provides free trainings in racial bias to communities and organizations.
Undoing Racism Austin brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to address issues of disproportionality and provide resources and training.
Changes to state law have limited the extent to which students may receive tickets for Class C misdemeanor offenses while on school grounds. Locally, school districts and law enforcement agencies have worked to implement this law and reduce the number of students ticketed while maintaining safe campuses. The Texas Criminal Justice Coalition summarizes the changes that began for the 2013-2014 school year here. According to data reported by the Texas Office of Court Administration, in the first school year after implementation, courts across the state experienced an 83% drop in court filings for Class C misdemeanor violations that fall under the Education Code.
Austin Independent School District’s Cultural Proficiency and Inclusiveness department, part of the Department of Social and Emotional Learning, works to promote these principles within the district. The department provides professional learning opportunities for staff to enhance their ability to serve a diverse school community.
Local law enforcement entities have implemented multiple outreach strategies to work with minority youth in the community including utilizing school resource officers, Police Activity Leagues, Police Explorer programs, and prevention activities associated with the Joint Juvenile Gang Unit (Austin Police Department, Travis County Sheriff’s Office and AISD).