Racial Equity FAQs
Every Texan’s commitment to equity, with a focus on race and class, is part of the values handed down from our founders, The Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, Texas. We envision a state where race and ethnicity no longer predict Texans’ well-being, opportunities, and outcomes. Every Texan focuses on our shared humanity, calls out intentional division, and works to dismantle systemic inequity. We reject attempts to divide and conquer; we choose abundance over scarcity. We put people first.
At Every Texan, we envision a Texas where people of all backgrounds can contribute to and share in the prosperity of our state. Unfortunately, not all Texans can access the conditions they need to thrive. We believe one of the most effective ways to advance social justice is to strengthen public policy. We are deeply committed to policy solutions that advance racial, ethnic, and gender equity, expanding opportunity for every Texan.
We are committed to focused and sustained action to dismantle racist systems, policies, practices, and ideologies. This ongoing commitment represents our desire to nurture an organizational culture that espouses anti-racism, equity, and belonging for all. We listen to the voices of Black, Brown, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities to catalyze equitable outcomes for all, and we recognize, value, and uplift the dignity and humanity of all our staff, fellows, and interns. We believe that living out our values as an anti-racist organization is critical to our mission. We stand against all forms of oppression, including transphobia, classism, sexism, ableism, and xenophobia.
Racial equity is achieved when race does not determine or predict a person’s life outcomes. In Texas, where the population is majority people of color, racial disparities remain deep and pervasive across all indicators of health and well-being.
Every Texan’s race-conscious, targeted approach to advancing equity offers the specificity necessary for making the greatest impact, while also creating processes to address inequities in all forms, including class and gender. This focus reflects an understanding that race is a driving force of systemic inequities. Our approach is explicit about race, not exclusive to race.
Every Texan’s approach is consistent with national models and best practices in embedding racial equity into organizations and institutions. We utilize a four-pronged approach to our racial equity efforts: learning, organizing, implementing, and evaluating.
Every Texan’s Racial Equity Working Group (REWG) is an internal, cross-departmental team that leads strategic efforts to deepen the organization’s commitment to equity. The REWG collaborates with the Director of Equity & Learning to champion equity efforts throughout the organization.
Racial equity is a cornerstone in our research, communications, community engagement, policy analysis, and policy development work to promote policy solutions that ensure all Texans are healthy, well-educated, and financially secure. Our advocacy centers on the perspectives of people who are most impacted, and we prioritize the leadership of Black- and Brown-led organizations. We identify policy priorities through direct collaboration with the community, coalitions, and partners with member bases.
Internally, we strive to model the values and policies we advocate for externally. We celebrate being a Black- and Brown-led organization pursuing a just, multiracial democracy for our state. We are committed to ongoing learning and strengthening our collective knowledge, skills, and understanding to address racial inequities. We explicitly promote racial equity in our organization’s human resources, management, governance, and internal practices.
The Every Texan Board of Directors has an active Racial Equity Board Committee, a leadership team comprised of appointed board members and their nominees that support racial equity efforts consistent with our strategic plan. This committee plays an important role in operationalizing Every Texan’s commitment to equity, specifically among fellow board members and organization leadership.
At Every Texan, equity means that policies, procedures, programs, and the distribution of resources account for the varied histories, challenges, and needs of the people we serve. Equity differs from equality, which treats everyone the same despite disparate life outcomes. Equity ensures fair and just inclusion into our society in which all people, regardless of race and ethnicity, can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.
These three concepts are interrelated but not interchangeable, as they have different meanings and require a different set of questions.
Diversity speaks to all how people differ and encompasses all the characteristics that make one individual or group different from one another. We can often measure diversity by the number of people with distinct identities represented in a team, group, or organization.
Inclusion is the state or action of including or being included within a group or structure. More than just diversity or numerical representation, inclusion involves authentic and empowered participation and a true sense of belonging. Inclusion is related to the quality of access to opportunities and decision-making within a team, group, or organization.
Equity includes the outcomes that stem from institutional and systemic policies, practices, and procedures. By transforming systems and institutions, equity helps us achieve justice, which exists when all people can achieve their full potential, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, disability status, sexual orientation, etc.