Navigating Change: The Impact of Texas SB-17 on Diversity in Philanthropic, Community and Nonprofit Leadership

As leaders in the nonprofit sector, we have to navigate through a number of issues important to the communities we serve, including legislation that directly impacts people’s lives. We have to speak up, especially during difficult times, because we know whether it’s action or in action, that has a ripple effect!

We’ve seen this throughout history, from Jim Crow laws to SB-17 (Texas’ anti-DEI ban), and this is why we convened a discussion on the impacts of the recent legislation and how it is affecting our communities.

In a room of 50+ community leaders, LLC members, and our panel, we dove deep into how SB-17 has already impacted people’s lives and the implications as we move forward. More importantly, we discussed a need to take pause and reflect to fully understand what we can do about it as non-profit, foundation and community leaders. Some of the key insights and learnings that were shared include the following:

  1. This is repeated history and it’s important to look back at some of the history to take lessons from it. 
  2. No one group can go it alone to address this issue.
  3. We need to be reflective and respond with intention about  the direction we want to go.
  4. We need to bring people and organizations outside of Austin to talk to legislators so they know that this issue is important not only to Austinites but also to people across Texas.
  5. When you use negative language to do what you think is right, you’ve already lost the race.
  6. Take time to analyze the resources within you and what you can access, and share them.
  7. Increase your awareness and knowledge, don’t shoot from the hip, but you must take action!

Thank you to Communities in Schools for sponsoring this event and conversation. We also wanted to share resources in case people wanted to find out what they can do to take action:

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