The CUAD Year in Review

The CUAD Year in Review

By Sharon Owens

 

 

 

The Citizens United Against Disproportionality of Abilene and Taylor County have been very busy throughout the 2011 year. Equipped with the “Anti-Racist Strategy Chart” developed during the CUAD’s January 2011 meeting, the teams of citizens, leaders and stakeholders have worked diligently toward the elimination of disproportionate representation and disparities of services to and for the community of Abilene as well as its surrounding cities and counties. The group is made up of everyday people in the community like you and me. We include school district staff, law enforcement, mental health professionals, child welfare, entrepreneurs, lawyers, activists, publishers, housewives, of all ages, ethnicities and races, and anyone who is concerned with helping make our communities healthier, happier, safer and more equitable for all of us. {{more}}In 2011, the CUAD was able to organize a town hall meeting wherein 110 people were made aware of the unequal and disparate services based on race and ethnicity that have been offered to our people in our community. Discussion and training focuses on having courageous conversations about race. Also because of the efforts of the CUAD, the gap is being closed on African American students who were failing the TAKS Test, now that percentage is drastically improved. It’s about a system recognizing what’s missing and finding a way to fix it. On the statewide level, SB 501 mandates increased focus in these efforts. Agencies to now be included are juvenile justice, education, child welfare, healthcare and mental health systems, among others. To further facilitate the work, SB 501 established the Interagency Council for Addressing Disproportionality, and expanded its impact by transitioning all the 13 Regional Disproportionality Specialists across the State to the Health & Human Services Commission . The State of Texas held its 1st Health & Human Services Commission Annual Meeting on Disproportionality & Disparities on November 16th – 17th in Austin. To join the effort and/or contribute to the cause, please contact: CUAD Chairman Odis Dolton at odis_dolton@yahoo.com, 370-3433; or HHSC Disproportionality & Disparities Specialist Sharon Owens at sharon.owens@hhsc.state.tx.us; 201-5047. All donations should be made out to: New Horizons for the CUAD. Visit us on FaceBook at