ACC Office of Equity and Inclusion releases first annual report detailing community outreach efforts

ACC board members heard from Associate Vice President Stephanie Hawley about the Office of Equity and Inclusion's progress on Oct. 2.

ACC board members heard from Associate Vice President Stephanie Hawley about the Office of Equity and Inclusion's progress on Oct. 2.

Austin Community College's Office of Equity and Inclusion released its first annual report at an ACC board meeting on Oct. 2, detailing its accomplishments since it was created in November 2016.

These include hosting an equity summit, establishing a scholarship for formerly incarcerated students and being chosen as one of 10 institutions nationwide to serve as a site for an Association of American Colleges and Universities Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Center.

The office falls under ACC's Campus Operations and Public Affairs Division. Its mission is "to help the college build capacity to achieve equity in enrollment, persistence and completion," according to the report.

The office focuses on helping historically underserved student groups, including racial and ethnic minority groups, immigrant and refugee students, LGBT students and formerly incarcerated students. It aims to achieve equity among the school district's students, so that demographics no longer statistically affect achievement.

It will expand to include the African American Cultural Center, the Latino/Latin American Studies Center and a yet-to-be-created Asian Cultural Center.

"Each of these areas is about building relationships," ACC President and CEO Richard Rhodes said in the report. "Placing them under one umbrella means we can expand and coordinate our outreach deeper in our communities—particularly in underserved areas—and ensures these relationships translate into opportunities for students."

Less than a year after its creation, more than 50 ACC students have participated in office subcommittees, focus groups and training sessions.

With partners such as the Mayor's Office and the Austin Independent School District, the office has also helped train more than 700 community members, staff, faculty and students in equitable leadership, interracial dialogue and the effects of institutional racism.

This aligns with the office's stated goal to engage the community as well as the college-district-at-large in its mission.

ACC Associate Vice President Stephanie Hawley directs the Office of Equity and Inclusion.
By Emma Freer

Emma Freer began covering Central Austin for Community Impact Newspaper in 2017. Her beat includes the Travis County Commissioners Court and local business news. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School in 2017.


A $4.3 billion project to improve I-35 through Central Austin will include a $600 million piece that will be provided by deferring other projects in the area. (Courtesy Texas Department of Transportation)
Local political leaders look to free up $600 million for I-35 by potentially waiting on local projects such as Loop 360, RM 620, US 79 and Parmer Lane

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization is scheduled to vote April 13 on a list of projects to defer in order to fund an I-35 improvement project.

Minerva, captured here, is an eastern screech owl in Northwest Austin who laid five eggs that are expected to hatch sometime in April. (Courtesy Merlin the Owl)
WATCH HERE: Northwest Austin webcam streaming owlet eggs set to hatch in April

A Northwest Austin resident set up a webcam to capture two owls raise their owlets.

Yesenia and Antonio Morales welcomed their fourth child, Luka, on March 31. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pregnancies won't stop in a pandemic, but growing precautions leave expecting mothers uncertain and anxious

As the coronavirus tightens its grip on Austin and much of the world, inevitable human events such as pregnancy and childbirth are having to adapt in the new, cautious and socially distanced reality.

Coronavirus stories readers might have missed from the Austin area

Here are nine stories Austin-area readers might have missed in our previous coverage.

Gregory Fenves will step down as the president of the University of Texas on June 30, according to a letter he wrote April 7 to the UT community. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
University of Texas President Gregory Fenves to leave for Emory University in Atlanta

University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves announced in a letter to the UT community that he will leave the state’s flagship college for Emory University.

The Austin ISD board of trustees met for a virtual board meeting April 6. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD approves new grading policy for coronavirus-impacted spring semester

Austin ISD will temporarily switch to a “pass or incomplete” grading scale for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Abbott's order closes all state parks and historical sites effective 5 p.m. April 7. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Gov. Abbott closes state parks, historical sites due to coronavirus concerns

Abbott said the closure is to help prevent large gatherings and strengthen social distancing.

VIDEO: Texas Tribune interview with Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar about the coronavirus's effects on the state economy

At 8 a.m. April 7, The Texas Tribune will host a live interview with Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, conducted by Texas Tribune Executive Editor Ross Ramsey.

Austin and Travis County adopted new guidelines, recommending local residents wear face masks or fabric covering when out in public. (Christopher Neely/Community impact Newspaper)
Coronavirus update: There are now more than 500 confirmed cases in Travis County, Austin

This post will include updates from Travis County and the city of Austin for the week of April 6, including daily case counts. For local updates from March 30-April 5, please click here.

The Texas Workforce Commission's phone and online systems to accept applications for unemployment benefits have been overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of Texans who are out of work and looking for assistance. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
With Texas Workforce Commission overwhelmed by surging unemployment claims, Central Texas residents try to hang on

The Texas Workforce Commission received 1.7 million calls from individuals seeking assistance with unemployment benefits in a 24-hour period on March 26.