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One Houston Together

While the issues of racial inequity and systemic racism are not unique to Houston, we have an opportunity as Houstonians to lead the way in reforming broken systems, building up communities, offering support and removing barriers. We often speak with pride of Houston being "America’s most diverse city." Now we must work to make Houston "America’s most inclusive and open city", one that does truly offer "opportunity for all." The Partnership and the 1,100 member companies and institutions we represent are committed to this endeavor.

Guiding Principles for Change

As the Partnership addresses issues of racial inequity in Houston, we will be guided by these following principles:

  • Be persistent and intentional 
    • Develop an unwavering commitment to solving issues of racial inequity
  • Be bold yet nimble
    • Resist incremental steps and favor transformational shifts
    • Do not be paralyzed by the pursuit of the perfect
    • Acknowledge that missteps are inevitable; course correct when needed
  • Possess self-awareness and humility
    • Understand how others perceive the Partnership, especially the Black community
    • Recognize when it is best to listen, learn and champion others to lead
  • Require accountability
    • Establish objectives and develop related metrics to assess impact
    • Consistently hold each other accountable in our actions and decisions

One Houston Together Webinar Series

As part of the effort to build a shared understanding around these issues, the Partnership hosted a webinar series in September 2020 to educate our members and the broader community on racism and systemic inequities. These sessions did not focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, but rather on racism at its most fundamental core — how it exists in us as individuals, in our relationships, our organizations and our systems. Topics included Health and Racial Inequities, Understanding Racism, Developing Equitable Communities and more.

The goal of the series was to foster a desire within participants to embark on their own personal learning journeys and apply that knowledge to their lives and work. We encourage you to watch the recordings of these sessions. 

Previous Webinars

Understanding Racism

Defining and understanding systemic and individual racism.

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Education and Racial Inequities

How does race affect the educational opportunities afforded to ...

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Health and Racial Inequities

A look at why race-based disparities remain in outcomes, access...

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Developing Equitable Communities

Today, a person’s zip code remains one of the best indicators...

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The Business Community's Role in Addressing Racial Inequitie...

What can individual companies and the broader corporate communi...

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CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is a national effort that aims to rally the business community to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. The CEO pledge outlines a specific set of actions the signatory CEOs will take to cultivate a trusting environment where all ideas are welcomed, and employees feel comfortable and empowered to have discussions about diversity and inclusion.

Houston Demographics

Greater Houston Basic Demographics

A look at the Houston population by race, ethnicity, age, educa...

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Urban Disparity

The Kinder Institute examines gaps in income, educational attai...

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Understanding Houston

Understanding Houston aggregates data across multiple sources t...

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Racial Equity Committee

The Partnership has created a new board committee that will guide the organization's actions to address racial equity and racial justice issues in Houston. The mission of the Racial Equity Committee is to harness the collective commitment and resources of Houston’s businesses and institutions to advance bold solutions to strengthen Houston as the most diverse, inclusive and equitable city in the United States.

This committee will operate at the level of our two other “board-member only” direction-setting committees, the Public Policy Steering and Economic Development Steering committees. The new committee will be co-chaired by Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University, and Gretchen Watkins, President of Shell Oil Co. Click the link below for the full roster of committee members.

Greater Houston Population Growth and Change

The October 2019 edition of the Partnership's Houston Economy at a Glance looks at the most recent demographic data for the Houston region, including race and ethnicity, foreign-born residents, age and more. 

Talent Resources Group

Launched in 2019, the Partnership's Talent Resources Group (TRG) provides HR professionals, ERG leaders and recruiters with access to information to grow their companies most important resource: talent. Topics address talent attraction and retention, diversity and inclusion, enhancing corporate culture and more. The group's largest annual event is the Houston NEXT ERG Summit. 

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Upcoming Event

Houston NEXT: An ERG Summit

Bringing together D&I, HR leaders and Talent Attraction professionals, this event explores how Houston must take a leadership role in addressing diversity, equality, inclusion and justice for our region and workplaces.

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Guiding Internal Conversations About Racial Inequity, Injustice with Employees

In the weeks following George Floyd's death and protests in response, businesses across the country have made public statements against racism, injustice and racial inequity. Some pledged money toward social justice efforts. Other organizations are honoring Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end of slavery, as an annual holiday. Many business leaders are also bringing the national conversation to their staff to address these issues within their organization.  

Suggested Reading and Listening

The Partnership staff have compiled this short list of suggested books, podcasts and other resources that provide insight on these complex issues.

Additional Resources

Read studies and recommendations on addressing these important issues and learn what other organizations are doing to combat systemic racism and bias. 

Related News

Economy

Report: Up to 23 Million American Households Plotting a Move for Affordability. Could Houston Benefit? 

10/30/20
Seismic changes in the way we work brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic are prompting a large swath of Americans to plan moves to more affordable places, according to a new survey. That could prove advantageous to more affordable U.S. cities like Houston where home prices and everyday living expenses are below the national average.  The report from freelance marketplace firm Upwork reveals that 14 to 23 million U.S. households intend to move to less expensive housing markets. The emerging migration pattern is the result of growing acceptance of remote work amid the pandemic. Many experts believe that trend will continue in some form across multiple industries even after the threat of the virus has waned.  The survey found that the shift to remote work will increase near-term migration within the U.S. by three to four times the standard rate. Anywhere from 6.9% to 11.5% of households are planning to move. The survey of over 20,000 Americans was conducted October 1-15.  The Upwork report indicates major cities will see the biggest out-migration, which over 20% of those planning to move currently based in a major city. But it’s the highest priced housing markets in the U.S. that are likely to take the biggest hit, such as New York, San Francisco and Boston. More than half of those surveyed said they are planning to move to a house that is significantly more affordable than their current home.  “As our survey shows, many people see remote work as an opportunity to relocate to where they want and where they can afford to live,” says Adam Ozimek, Upwork’s chief economist. “This is an early indicator of the much larger impacts that remote work could have in increasing economic efficiency and spreading opportunity.” The latest cost of living data comparing the nation’s 20 most populous metros shows Houston is currently the second most affordable market in the U.S., just behind St. Louis. Houston’s housing costs are 51.2% below the average of the 20 metros and 11.5% below the average of all U.S. cities, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research Cost of Living Index.  Houston routinely scores high on lists ranking U.S. cities based on value for the money, or those metros offering the most amenities for the lowest cost of living. A report late last year from The Ascent ranked Houston at No. 6 on its list of 10 best cities for salaries and low cost of living. The Bayou City was the only city with over 1 million residents on the list.  Learn more about living in Houston. 
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Education

Re-Imagining Education and Career-Connected Learning — How Junior Achievement is Driving Opportunity for All

10/27/20
Career exploration and the skills to succeed have become a part of K-12 education across Texas over the last several years, but a new educational model within Houston Independent School District’s Stephen F. Austin High School is re-engineering high school education to make it more career relevant for students and increase their economic opportunity and prosperity. This school year, 3DE by Junior Achievement, an instructional model that utilizes competency-based case method to drive student engagement and academic performance, was launched within the school, expanding for students access and exposure to local employers and equipping them with knowledge and foundational skills for success in the business world. The 3DE model embeds career exploration and skills into educational curricula. Junior Achievement’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global economy, and the 3DE model engages the business community in a very deep way, said Joseph Burke, president of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas and member of the UpSkill Houston executive committee. “Kids are more poised to be able to transition into the workforce when they’ve been engaged [with the business world],” Burke said. The model builds student-centric education around project-based learning in which students work throughout the school year on a series of real-world questions presented by sponsor companies, like whether to host an event at a certain venue or how to effectively communicate in a digital environment. Students work on the cases in teams, are coached by company employees (who volunteer as mentors) and present their answers to their teachers. The top four teams pitch their cases to a panel of company representatives who judge them and select a winning team. In the 3DE model, students also typically complete rotations with the sponsor company to learn about different careers and the industry. During their senior year of high school, students will complete an internship or consultancies. Students not only learn about the wealth of local employment options, but they also learn about business culture. This model can help address a disturbing finding in the recent WorkingNation American Workers Survey conducted by Frank Luntz and his company FIL on behalf of WorkingNation: Nearly one in three adult workers (31 percent) polled said they had never spoken about their future careers with a teacher or a parent. The 3DE model draws out the authenticity of learning, putting it in context of higher order thinking skills, Burke said. Case study work is not just tacked on to regular school curricula, but rather, it is woven into language arts, social studies, science and math lessons for an interdisciplinary approach to learning.  In this way, the 3DE lead teacher and case study work are supported by other high school teachers, according to Andrea Aguilera, 3DE partnership director at Stephen F. Austin High School. “Students don’t have exposure to business title terminology like what is a CEO, a CFO, or COO. Our biology teacher made this case vocabulary relevant by aligning it to her TEKS and created a lesson on cells. The vocabulary is then aligned with cells, tissue, organs, and how they work as a team. For example, the nucleus acts like a CEO,” she said, adding that a social studies teacher is instructing students on how to create PowerPoint presentations, which the students will need to use for their presentations in the next 3DE judging. “By having other teachers create lessons that touch on aspects of the case challenge, students are seeing commonalities of our strategies, themes, and tools being used in every single one of their courses, and its being constantly reinforced,” Aguilera said. 3DE launched in Fulton County Schools’ Benjamin Banneker High School, just outside of Atlanta, in 2015. In the years since, the school has seen significant gains in student performance and future opportunity including a 47 percent increase in its four-year graduation rate (to 92 percent), according to Junior Achievement. Students in 3DE cohorts across multiple schools have improved attendance. They are chronically absent about 38 percent less of the time than their host school peers, according to the organization. The 3DE model is now operating within 23 schools across the country. It was the success seen at Banneker High School in terms of student achievement, reduced absenteeism and greater teacher retention that made Jeff Miers support bringing the model to Houston. Miers was a Junior Achievement board member and an Accenture managing director at the time and recognized how the model fit with the consulting company’s “Skills to Succeed” commitment to empower people to change their lives. He also saw it as an exciting opportunity to transform the way Houston students learn. Accenture, Deloitte and Quanta Services are among the local employers that are sponsoring 3DE case studies. About 170 ninth graders at Austin High School (or, roughly 36 percent of the entire ninth grade class) make up the first 3DE cohort. The cohort purposefully mirrors the wider school demographics in terms of ethnic or racial makeup, background and academic achievement to about 5 percent, according to Burke. This helps gauge model effectiveness but also opens the door for students who lack the social networks or connections that can open doors to employment and opportunity. “The opportunity to interact and understand what companies are doing and working on real business problems opens the window into professions that underprivileged students might not otherwise see,” Miers said. The business coaches and judges represent a diverse population, come from different backgrounds and followed different pathways into their careers, Aguilera said. In short: they look like the students. “Sometimes for students the business world appears so far away and can seem unattainable and so what these business professionals are doing is showing students, ‘we were once where you were and you can also get here,’” Aguilera said.  Partnering to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace is more critical than ever, Burke said. “If we want to make diversity and inclusion gains then we have to begin with our education, and it needs to begin with the public schools,” he said. Learn more about 3DE by Junior Achievement.
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Related Events

Economic Development

State of the City: A Conversation with Mayor Sylvester Turner

Join the Partnership for a special continuation of the annual State of the City event. The Honorable City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will sit down with Partnership Chair, Bobby Tudor, for a fireside…

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Executive Partners