Austin’s Mayor Should Lead Response to State’s Anti-DEI Crackdown at UT

Austin, TX – Austin Mayor Kirk Watson should immediately convene community leaders, UT students, local nonprofits, local legislators and public entities to determine how our community can replace some of the student resources and programs UT has cut in response to Texas’ new anti-DEI law. After closing down the Multicultural Engagement Center, Gender and Sexuality Center, and Monarch Center earlier this year, UT just announced it has laid off over 60 staff members related to DEI programs and the disbanding of the Division of Campus and Community Engagement.  

In late February, I said the City should lead this type of convening in response to the closing of the Gender and Sexuality Center and other programs. It is clear that State Senator Brandon Creighton’s recent threats have prompted further cuts. We can’t be afraid to act when students’ lives and futures are at stake. Where the state has failed them, Austin and its Mayor need to stand up and lead.

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