The Austin ISD Equity Advisory Committee laid out its priorities for 2022 during its Dec. 7 meeting and called on community members, including students, to join the group.

Next year, the committee of community members will be focusing on hiring and retaining Black and other minority staff, increasing access to dual-language programs, and changing offensive school names and mascots, among other priorities.

"Students really need to be part of this conversation," committee member Lisa Flores said.

Some committee members said Dec. 7 that the group has not had enough focus on policy changes in the past.

The committee will be breaking into four subcommittees that will generate recommendations to send to Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde, according to a presentation from the Dec. 7 meeting.

The smaller groups will look at student well-being, staff well-being, financial stewardship and a culture of respect. Each priority will get its own subcommittee, which will send recommendations to the entire committee, which will then distill recommendations down for the superintendent, according to the presentation.

Committee member Nadia Khan pointed out each subcommittee should have a policy focus.

The committee is accepting applications for new members. Students, parents and other community members can apply to join on the district’s website.