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Race & Culture Task Force community update

Posted Jan. 16, 2018

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The succeeding is an update from the Race & Culture Task Force:

In December 2016, Fort Worth gained national attention. Not for our world-class museums, historic stockyards or unprecedented economic growth, but because of a video involving a resident, her daughters and a Fort Worth police officer. In the days and months that followed, there were public outcries and calls for change. After the officer’s punishment was decided, the voices for equity and justice became louder.

The Fort Worth City Council heard the many voices in our community and in August 2017 they appointed a Task Force on Race and Culture. Four co-chairs were selected by the City Council. These chairs chose 19 other residents to join the Task Force. We looked for diversity and a passion to be involved. We selected some people who have served on other task forces and committees and some individuals who were new to city government. We brought together diverse representation based on race, age, gender and backgrounds.

The task force adopted their mission statement at its inaugural meeting.

The task force’s mission is to Listen, Learn, Build and Bridge in order to create an inclusive Fort Worth for all residents.

Over the past few months, the task force has focused on listening and learning from our residents. In October, we held a citywide town hall meeting where nearly 200 people came to speak and be heard. The meeting was also broadcast live and residents were encouraged to submit comments online.

The next opportunity to listen came through Community Conversations. Each conversation was hosted by one of 17 different community organizations and consisted of multiple sessions tackling some important questions:

  • What is the City of Fort Worth doing that helps or strengthens race relations, cultural awareness or racial equity?
  • Is racism a serious problem in Fort Worth?
  • What are you willing to do to improve racial equity, race/ethnic relations and/or cultural awareness in Fort Worth?

We heard from approximately 600 people and learned there are strong feelings surrounding this issue and residents want the opportunity to not only tell their stories but to find ways to improve the cultural climate in Fort Worth.

We heard that people want more opportunities to talk about race and culture. In answer to these requests, we scheduled 14 community meetings around the city. These will allow even more people to add their voices, and the task force to continue to listen and learn.

During its monthly meetings, the task force has received briefings on many topics including poverty, city workforce diversity, diversity of city boards and commissions, minority contracting, police relations, redistricting, and fair housing. To be transparent, we have recorded these meetings and made these recordings and handouts available at onefortworth.org.

Based on the comments from our public meetings and conversations, we have formed six committees to begin an in-depth look at the areas of the most concern to residents: criminal justice, transportation, housing, education, economic development and health. Each committee will bring back recommendations to the task force for inclusion in a final plan.

The City Council asked the task force to develop a plan with recommendations to improve race relations and racial equity in our community. We recognize that this is a huge task and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and yet we hope to deliver our findings to the council by August.

As we come to the end of our first six months as a task force, we will continue to listen and learn from our residents. At the same time, we will start to bring together these voices so that we can develop a plan that will build upon our unique and common experiences and bridge the gaps of differences that sometimes divide us.

Task Force Co-Chairs,
Lillie Biggins
Rabbi Andrew Bloom
Rosa Navejar
Bob Ray Sanders

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MedStar Foundation Board of Directors Meeting: noon Aug. 20, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Dr.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority DBA Medstar Mobile Healthcare Board Budget Review: 3 p.m. Aug. 20, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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Trinity Metro Commuter Rail Committee Working Session: 3:30 p.m. Aug. 20, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Trinity Metro Planning, Operations & Marketing Committee Working Session: 4 p.m. Aug. 20, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Trinity Metro Finance & Audit Committee Working Session: 4:30 p.m. Aug. 20, 2018; Intermodal Transportation Center, 2nd Floor Community Room, 1001 Jones Street.
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Task Force on Race and Culture: 5 p.m. Aug. 20, 2018; Oak Hall, Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Basswood Boulevard & Kroger Drive Infrastructure Improvements: 6 p.m. Aug. 20, 2018; Summerglen Library, 4205 Basswood Blvd.

Fort Worth Housing Finance Corporation: 3 p.m. Aug. 21, 2018; Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Central City Local Government Corporation: 3 p.m. Aug. 21, 2018; Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Fort Worth Local Development Corporation: 3 p.m. Aug. 21, 2018; Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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AllianceAirport Authority, Inc.: 3 p.m. Aug. 21, 2018; Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Canceled Lone Star Local Government Corporation: 3 p.m. Aug. 21, 2018; Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.

City Council Work Session: 5 p.m. Aug. 21, 2018; Council Conference Room 290, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. Aug. 21, 2018; Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority DBA MedStar Mobile Healthcare Board of Directors: 10 a.m. Aug. 22, 2018; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive.
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Shaping Your Policy and Culture with Employee Handbooks: 11:30 a.m. Aug. 22, 2018; James E Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 S. Freeway.

City Plan Commission Work Session: noon Aug. 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. Aug. 22, 2018; City Hall, Second Floor, Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Park and Recreation Advisory Board Work Session: 3 p.m. Aug. 22, 2018; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard.
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Park and Recreation Board Meeting: 4 p.m. Aug. 22, 2018; Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Bouelvard.
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Walking Town Hall: 6 p.m. Aug. 22, 2018; Northwest Community Park, 8575 Blue Mound Rd.

Quickbooks for Beginners - Desktop and Online Editions: 9 a.m. Aug. 23, 2018; James E Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, 1150 S. Freeway.

Urban Design Commission Work Session: 9:30 a.m. Aug. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Brunch at the BAC with Mayor Betsy Price: 10 a.m. Aug. 23, 2018; James E. Guinn Entrepreneurial Campus, Business Assistance Center, 1150 S. Freeway.

Urban Design Commission Public Hearing: 10 a.m. Aug. 23, 2018; City Council Conference Room 290, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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FW Sports Authority, Inc. Board Meeting: noon Aug. 23, 2018; Fort Worth Convention Center, Executive Board Room, 1201 Houston Street.
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Responsible Pet Ownership Class: 6 p.m. Aug. 23, 2018; Chuck Silcox Animal Care & Adoption Center, 4900 Martin Street.

College Fair at Sycamore: 6 p.m. Aug. 23, 2018; Sycamore Community Center, 2525 E. Rosedale.

Sylvania Avenue Restriping Project Meeting: 6 p.m. Aug. 23, 2018; Riverside Baptist Church, 3101 Race St.

Minority and Women Business Enterprise Advisory Committee Meeting: 11:30 a.m. Aug. 24, 2018; James E. Guinn Building, First Floor, PharmaFab Conference Room #116, 1150 South Freeway.
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