CIVIL SOCIETY

Thought-provoking discussions around local issues affecting the nonprofit sector.

Carre Adams

Carre Adams

Curator/Culture & Arts Manager, The George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center

The George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center

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Past Episodes

Schedule

July 2, 2020

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10am – 11am

Black Heritage in Austin

with Pam Owens, Interim Director Six Square, Austin’s Black Cultural District

In our opening conversation of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk with Pam Owens, Six Square’s interim Executive Director, about life and happenings within the district and how “Despite segregation, black stores, clubs, restaurants flourished in the area. Multi-generational families grew, and prominent leaders made local and national history in the areas of music, education, architecture, government, business, and sports.”
Six Square’s website notes that it “celebrates and preserves the great arts, culture and history of Central East Austin. Named for the six square miles of the former “negro” district, Six Square is a visionary leader and powerful partner for major projects that preserve, promote, and sustain black arts, history, and culture. We are the only state designated black cultural district in Texas.”

It was “created in 2013 as an outgrowth of the City Council’s African American Quality of Life Initiative, which detailed widespread disparities, racial biases, and a decreasing Black population.”

We will explore why Pam Owens is so passionate about her work, the numerous community leadership roles she has played, and her lessons learned that can be of benefit to all of us.

Following approximately 30 minutes, the audience will be invited to join in the conversation.

July 9, 2020

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10am – 11am

The Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center at Austin Community College

with Khayree Williams, Center Director

In this episode of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk with Khayree Williams, Director of Austin Community College’s Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center (THRT) about why it exists, what impact it is seeking to achieve, how it will achieve those desired outcomes, and how to get involved with its work. We will also explore how Khayree Williams came to this important work as Director of the THRT and his lessons learned that can be of benefit to all of us.
ACC is one of 10 institutions nationwide selected to serve as an inaugural site for a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Campus Center: the only one in Texas and the only community college. The Center’s goal is to work with internal and external partners of Austin Community College to create a community where race, ethnicity, and other human differences are no longer predictors of success and well-being in any sector of the community. This includes the elimination of barriers (policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages) that reinforce differential outcomes by race.

Following approximately 30 minutes, the audience will be invited to join in the conversation.

July 16, 2020

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10am – 11am

The Role of Historically Black Colleges in Austin

with Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, President & CEO, Huston-Tillotson University

In this episode of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk with Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, Huston-Tillotson University’s sixth President and CEO about The Impact of Huston-Tillotson University on Austin – its historic role, current offerings, future plans and its pivotal role in the struggle for quality education and racial equity. We will explore Dr. Burnette’s journey to her current role and her lessons learned that can be of benefit to all of us.
Huston–Tillotson University is a private historically black university in Austin established in 1875 when one of its two predecessors, Tillotson Collegiate and Normal Institute opened as the very first institution of higher learning in Austin.  The next year Samuel Huston College opened.  They merged in 1952 to form Huston-Tillotson College, which expanded to be Huston-Tillotson University (TTU) in 2005.  Per its website, TTU remains primarily a black college, although there are no restrictions on race.

TTU is a historically black college and university (HBCU); i.e., an institution of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African American community.

The University’s vision is “A connected world where diversity of thought matters.”  Its mission is to nurture “a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values.

Following approximately 30 minutes, the audience will be invited to join in the conversation.

July 23, 2020

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10am – 11am

Black Business in Austin

with Tam Hawkins, President & CEO, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce

In this episode of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk with Tam Hawkins, President & CEO, Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce about Black Business in Austin – how the Chamber works to achieve its mission to inspire, develop, and promote Black economic success in the Greater Austin area. We will explore Tam Hawkins’s journey to her current role and her lessons learned that can be of benefit to all of us.
The Chamber’s vision is to serve “as a bridge for African-American businesses and the Greater Austin business community to obtain greater prosperity and influence within Central Texas.”  Its three principle value areas include: (1) Political Capital: Advocacy and Civic Engagement; (2) Business Capital: Business Education and Training; and (3) Social Capital: Networking and Business Connections.

As per its website, “The Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce, then the Capital City African American Chamber of Commerce (CCAACC), was incorporate in 1982. Founded by eleven community, political and business leaders within Austin, the organization was established to bring awareness to the enormous amount of dollars generated from black consumers in the form of travel and tourism within the goal of providing economic prosperity for African-American businesses and the general Greater Austin region.”

Following approximately 30 minutes, the audience will be invited to join in the conversation.

July 30, 2020

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10am – 11am

Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap in Central Texas

with Sean Thomas Brietfeld, co-Director of Race to Lead, Building Movement Project & Ofronama Biu, Senior Research Associate and the writer of the Central Texas report

In this episode of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk with Sean Thomas Brietfeld, co-Director of the Building Movement Project, and co-author of Race to Lead Revisited: Obstacles and Opportunities in Addressing the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap and the recently released The Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap in Central Texas: A Race to Lead Brief and Ofronama Biu, Senior Research Associate and the writer of the Central Texas report.
The Race to Lead Revisited Report focuses on “three key findings that challenge individual organizations and the sector at large to move toward greater equity and inclusion: (1) The findings of the original Race to Lead report are still relevant three years later; (2) There is a white advantage in the nonprofit sector; and (3) Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts are widespread and their effectiveness is uncertain.”

In The Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap in Central Texas: A Race to Lead Brief, the inequality in Central Texas is made clear: “The findings in this report are of particular interest given the stark inequalities that characterize the Central Texas area. Austin and its surrounding areas—like many parts of the South—have a long history of racial segregation and discrimination against Black and Latinx residents. While Austin has experienced a technology boom in recent decades, this economic growth has not extended to the region’s communities of color. Austin is the only “high growth” city whose Black population is on the decline, and its Black and Latinx residents are being pushed to the city’s outskirts where they contend with precarious access to jobs and quality schools.”

Following approximately 30 minutes, the audience will be invited to join in the conversation.

August 06, 2020

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10am – 11am

White Privilege

with Froswa Booker-Drew, Vice President, Community Affairs, Strategic Alliances at State Fair of Texas

In this episode of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk with Froswa Booker Drew, Vice President, Community Affairs, Strategic Alliances at State Fair of Texas about White Privilege – what it is, its history, how it is maintained, why it is detrimental to Blacks and Whites, and some strategies to heighten our personal and community’s consciousness of institutional racism and systemic impediments to racial equity.
We will also explore Froswa Booker Drew’s personal and her lessons learned that can be of benefit to all of us.

Per Wikipedia. “Although the definition of “white privilege” has been somewhat fluid, it is generally agreed to refer to the implicit or systemic advantages that white people have relative to people who are the objects of racism; it is the absence of suspicion and other negative reactions that people who are objects of racism experience.”  It provides obvious and less obvious that white people may not recognize they have.

Following approximately 30 minutes, the audience will be invited to join in the conversation.

August 13, 2020

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10am – 11am

The George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center

with Carre Adams, its Curator/Culture & Arts Manager

In this episode of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk about The George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center with Carre Adams, its Curator/Culture & Arts Manager – its history, services, and importance to the Black community in Austin.
The George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center’s motto is “Our People, Our History, Our Culture.  As per its website: “Through the preservation and exhibition of African American material culture, history, and aesthetic expression, the Carver Museum works to create a space where the global contributions of all Black people are celebrated.  We accomplish this by telling stories about our local community and connecting those histories to larger narratives about Blackness.”

Beginning as a 1,896 square foot building that housed Austin’s first library, the current Museum, Cultural and Genealogy Center is housed in a 36,000 square-foot facility that includes four galleries, a conference room, classroom, darkroom, dance studio, 134-seat theatre, and archival space.  It is owned and operated by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Division of Museums and Cultural Programs.

Following approximately 30 minutes, the audience will be invited to join in the conversation.

August 20, 2020

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10am – 11am

Exploring Black History in Austin

with kYmberly Keeton, African American Community Archivist and Librarian, Austin History Center. Austin Public Library

In this episode of The Black Experience in Austin, we will talk with kYmberly Keeton, African American Community Archivist and Librarian, Austin History Center. Austin Public Library about Exploring Black History in Austin – particularly events and developments not commonly known.
Per the Austin History website, the “African American Community Archivist actively seeks out archival materials from the African American community in Austin and Travis County through outreach efforts and programming.  The Community Archivist also gives presentations, conducts oral history interviews, coordinates programs and events, provides reference service to the public and acts as a subject specialist in the history of Austin’s African American community.”

We will talk about the importance of this Archive for Black identity as well as for learning about realities of Black history in Austin.  The Center’s African American Resource Guide is 127 pages long and concludes with topics on which the Austin History Center seeks more information and materials.

We will also explore how kYmberly Keeton came to this important work and her lessons learned that can be of benefit to all of us.

Following approximately 30 minutes, the audience will be invited to join in the conversation.

August 27, 2020

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10am – 11am

Using Data and Education to Mobilize Communities to Eliminate Social Disparities

with Meme Styles, President and Founder of MEASURE

Data is not used effectively or collaboratively in the social justice ecosystem. When used strategically, data provides a common language upon which community members can meet and increase their knowledge about the causes and work together to create equitable change and increased awareness.

Our guest this episode will be Meme (mee-mee) Styles,President and Founder of the award winning nonprofit MEASURE, a public education & advocacy organization that empowers people to use data to tell their own story. Mrs. Styles created MEASURE in 2015 to build trust and measurable progress between people and institutions that serve them. MEASURE is building an ecosystem whereby Black and Brown-led nonprofits can receive data & evaluation support through MEASURE’s equity-focused tools for free. The organization is also responsible for mobilizing communities to address systemic disparities in health, economics, criminalization & education.