Chaps for Black Lives Matter grows in Westlake area

Chaps for Black Lives Matter recently began in the Wesltake area. (Courtesy Chris Backus)
Chaps for Black Lives Matter recently began in the Wesltake area. (Courtesy Chris Backus)

Chaps for Black Lives Matter recently began in the Wesltake area. (Courtesy Chris Backus)

Eanes ISD alumni, students, faculty and parents have mobilized to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

A newly formed initiative, Chaps for Black Lives Matter, spearheaded by sisters and EISD alumna Danielle and Michelle Suh, has launched in the Westlake area.

Early last week the group sent a letter to district officials signed by 400 individuals calling for the implementation of anti-racism education. In part, the letter outlined five requests that the authors believe would help EISD become a district in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect.

Among the recommendations is the hiring of a third-party consultant focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, also referred to as DEI, and the board creating a DEI-focused subcommittee.

As of June 11, that letter is now approaching 800 signatures, according to Danielle Suh.



“We’re really blown away by the enthusiastic response from a lot of current students, parents and faculty,” Danielle Suh said.

Shortly after the group’s creation, EISD held a previously scheduled board study session June 9 in which over 60 community members submitted statements during open forum. Several alumni shared personal experiences with racism as they called upon the district to continue to improve.

During the meeting, officials expressed the desire to evoke change, including board President Jennifer Champagne, who made a statement on behalf of trustees.

“We’re very committed to being a part of the change our nation needs to see,” Champagne said.

The conversation surrounding anti-racist education is far from finished, and Danielle and Michelle Suh are excited to begin potentially collaborating with the district.

The pair have arranged a conversation with EISD Superintendent Tom Leonard, Deputy Superintendent Jeff Arnet and Chief Learning Officer Susan Fambrough. Supporters of the movement can anticipate future updates and sign up using the Chaps for BLM contact form.

“Westlake does so well in so many things,” Danielle Suh said. “Anti-racist education is just another thing where they can be better.”

By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


MOST RECENT

A child gets a COVID-19 shot in November, shortly after the Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11. (Courtesy Dell Children’s Medical Center)
Travis County, Austin Public Health report uptick in COVID-19 vaccine demand

Officials said that booster and pediatric shots are driving the surge.

The Hill Country Galleria is holding several holiday events this season. (Courtesy Giant Noise)
Selfies with Santa, ugly sweater contest and more: 3 holiday events in Lake Travis-Westlake

Residents of Lake Travis-Westlake can look forward to holiday markets and ugly sweater contests this season.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

City and Austin EMS Association representatives discussed a pay increase on the third day of negotiations (Darcy Sprague, Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin EMS Association lays out argument for $27 per hour starting pay

The increase would represent almost a 42% increase in starting salary for EMS medics.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

El Dorado Gallery will hold its grand opening in January. (Courtesy El Dorado Gallery)
Art gallery headed to Hill Country Galleria in Bee Cave

The El Dorado Gallery will feature paintings, sculptures and decor by international artists.

Body20 is now open in the Hill Country Galleria. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
New tech-focused fitness studio opens in the Hill Country Galleria

The studio offer tech-enhanced workouts using electro-muscle stimulation suits.

Santa meets with children at the city of Lakeway's previous Lights On! event. (Courtesy city of Lakeway)
Holiday events happening this weekend in Lake Travis-Westlake

The city of Lakeway and Bee Cave Chamber of Commerce are putting on two holiday events in Lake Travis-Westlake on Dec. 4.

Consuelo Mendez Middle School has consistently received poor ratings from the Texas Education Agency. (Community Impact Newspaper)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: State could take over AISD school board if poorly-rated campus does not improve; new furniture store to open in McKinney and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 3.

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida. (Courtsey Central Texas Food Bank)
Central Texas Food Bank CEO Derrick Chubbs steps down

Derrick Chubbs is leaving Austin for a food bank in Florida.