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Race and Culture Task Force presents interim report, receives more time to complete work

Posted May 2, 2018

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task force members speak
Race and Culture Task Force co-chairs welcome residents to one of more than a dozen community meetings held so far.

The City Council on May 1 approved an interim report from the Task Force on Race and Culture and agreed to extend the deadline for the group to complete its work until the end of this year.

After the 23-member task force began to hear from local residents about the extensive impacts of race and culture upon their lives, members determined that the scope of work originally assigned by the City Council was not broad enough to tackle the complex issues related to race and culture in Fort Worth. The Council agreed that a broadened scope of work and more time to investigate the issues will result in a better end product that effectively addresses disparities and community concerns.

So far, more than 1,200 residents have participated in the town hall-style meetings and smaller gatherings called Community Conversations. Some of the feedback received so far:

  • There is common perception that little or nothing is being done by the City of Fort Worth to improve race relations, racial equity or cultural awareness. The city is perceived to be reactive rather than proactive.
  • The problem is systemic, structural and institutional racism, not simply personal or individual acts of racism.
  • Many residents believe that city leaders have failed to acknowledge this problem.
  • There is a need to continue, expand and deepen community conversations about race and culture.

Six subcommittees are meeting to study racial equity and bias in several areas: criminal justice, economic development, education, health, housing and transportation. Each of the six subcommittees includes members of the larger Race and Culture Task Force, as well as subject matter experts and support staff from the City of Fort Worth. Over the next few months, subcommittees will submit recommendations to the task force.

Once the draft recommendations are compiled, the task force will ask for community input through a series of meetings and online engagement tools. The task force will present its final plan to the City Council in December.

About the task force

In 2017, the City Council appointed a 23-member task force to advise on issues related to race and culture in Fort Worth.

Co-chairs are Rosa Navejar (presiding co-chair), Lillie Biggins, Rabbi Andrew Bloom and Bob Ray Sanders. Task force members: Charles Boswell, Walter Dansby, Robert Fernandez, Miriam Frias, Robert Goldberg, Yolanda Harper, Bishop Mark Kirkland, Nima Malek, Rattana Mao, Arturo Martinez, Roxanne Martinez, Judy McDonald, Terry Mossige, Cory Session, Katie Sherrod, Ty Stimpson, Jennifer Trevino, Monica Vasquez and the Rev. Tim Woody.

The task force was asked to engage Fort Worth residents in a series of healthy conversations about race and culture, draw conclusions from these conversations and make recommendations to the City Council. The task force will also review findings of a study on disparities in how municipal services are provided, then advise councilmembers on a strategy to promote racial and cultural equity.

The task force will also advise City Manager David Cooke on an appropriate leadership training dealing with race and cultural issues.

For regular updates on the task force’s work, follow them on social media:

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Calendar

City Council Meeting: 7 p.m. March 26, 2019; City Council Chambers, Second Floor, City Hall, 200 Texas Street.
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Metropolitan Area EMS Authority: 10 a.m. March 27, 2019; MedStar Mobile Healthcare, 2900 Alta Mere Drive, Fort Worth, Texas 76116.
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City Plan Commission Work Session: noon March 27, 2019; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Conference Room 290, 200 Texas Street.
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City Plan Commission Public Hearing: 1:30 p.m. March 27, 2019; City Hall, Second Floor, City Council Chambers, 200 Texas Street.
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Park & Recreation Advisory Board: 4 p.m. March 27, 2019; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Deborah Beggs Moncrief Garden Center, 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
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Bonnie Brae Improvements Project Meeting: 6 p.m. March 27, 2019; Bonnie Brae Elementary, 3504 Kimbo Road.

Tarrant County Adult Education & Literacy Consortium Meeting: 9:30 a.m. March 28, 2019; Workforce Development Board Office, Large Conference Room, 1320 South University Drive, Suite 600.
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Water and Wastewater Capital Improvements Plan Citizens Advisory Committee: noon March 28, 2019; Fort Worth City Credit Union, 2309 Montgomery Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
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Emergency Physicians Advisory Board: 12:30 p.m. March 28, 2019; TCMS Building, 3rd Floor, 555 Hemphill.
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WORKSHOP: Code Compliance 101: 6:30 p.m. March 28, 2019; Northside Community Center, 1100 NW 18th St.

Aviation Advisory Board: 3 p.m. March 29, 2019; Fort Worth Alliance Airport, 2221 Alliance Boulevard, Suite 100.
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Spring Fling at Greenbriar Community Center: 6 p.m. March 29, 2019; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.

Community Rummage Sale at Andrew Doc Session Community Center: 8 a.m. March 30, 2019; Andrew Doc Session Community Center, 201 S. Sylvania Ave.

View the full city calendar and current meetings.