TASB Announces Next Steps to Effect Change

See previous Statement from TASB on Unacceptable Death of George Floyd.

June 17, 2020

Last week Executive Director James B. Crow announced the organization’s next steps as it seeks to condemn racism and to address current and historical inequities and injustices that so negatively impact fellow citizens of color, and especially black citizens.

“I cannot imagine the feelings of fear, mistrust, sorrow, and pain that our Black colleagues, members, and children must be experiencing,” said Crow. “TASB is against racism, disproportionate treatment, injustice, inequity, and racial violence. It is our desire to take sustained action to help effect the change that is needed internally and externally.”

He outlined four first steps that will begin immediately at TASB:

  1. Staff advisory council: An eight- to ten-member diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion advisory council of TASB staff members will be established immediately. The council will determine its name and the charter.  TASB staff members who want to volunteer were asked to submit their names for consideration by Friday, June 19. They were also asked to indicate whether they would like to be considered to co-lead the council.
  2. New staff position: A new division director position for diversity, equity, belonging, and inclusion is being created. The new director, whose title will be developed collaboratively by HR and the advisory council, will be tasked to work both internally with TASB staff and externally with program areas that serve TASB members.
  3. Scholarships: TASB will contribute $25,000 annually to scholarship programs conducted by the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members (TCBSBM) and the Mexican American School Boards Association (MASBA). As a state school boards association dedicated to educating all children, we recognize that past inequities and injustices have a direct negative impact today on our students of color. Scholarships offer hope for change by ensuring financial access to higher education for all children.   
  4. New engagement opportunities: TASB will provide an array of engagement opportunities for TASB staff and TASB members to include extending the TASB Tough Talks for staff, bringing in specialized speakers on related topics, creating forums for growth and learning, bringing back the understanding poverty session that was a part of this year’s Governance Camp for trustees, and identifying policy changes to support the principle that each person is entitled to justice from and fairness by public institutions, including public schools.

“The four steps are a starting place for the work we will do, with more new initiatives to follow in the weeks and months ahead,” said Crow.