On what seemed like a typical summer day, August 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand. Using a unique blend of historical archival footage, interviews and rotoscope animation, TOWER reveals the action-packed, untold stories of the witnesses, heroes, and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others. TOWER steps out of the shadow of history to reveal the subjects as they are in the present day, exploring the legacy of the shooting through the eyes of the survivors of a story they’ll never forget, but in some cases had not talked about for decades. Watch this episode of Independent Lens Tuesday, February 14 at 9:00 pm, and again on Friday, February 17 at 8:00 pm.
The Talk – Race in America is a two-hour documentary about the increasingly common conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police. The Talk airs Monday, February 20 at 8:00 pm.
In many homes, “the talk,” as it is called, usually contains phrases like this … If you are stopped by the police: Always answer “yes sir, no sir”; never talk back; don’t make any sudden movements; don’t put your hands in your pockets; obey all commands; if you think you are falsely accused, save it for the police station. I would rather pick you up at the station than the morgue …
The film will present six personal stories to illustrate the issue from multiple points of view: parent, child, the police and the community. Filmed across the country, in communities including Long Beach, California; Oakland, California; St. Louis, Missouri; Richland County, South Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Cleveland, Ohio, the stories will include interviews with academics, police force members, community activists and family members.
100 Black Men of Austin
The mission of the 100 Black Men of Austin is to improve community life, strengthen educational and economic opportunities for all African Americans.
Allgo praises vibrant queer individuals of color communities here in Texas and beyond through our cultural arts, wellness, and social justice programming. The organization is a supporter of art and artistic expression and the wellness of others. Their mission is to build a just and equitable society.
Austin Alpha Foundation
AAF is a leadership development institute for African American males 8th-12th grade on July 30th 9-5 on UT campus. Their mission is to develop initiatives that benefit the Austin residents.
Austin Area Urban League Young Professionals
Committed to making Austin a place where young professionals of color can empower their community, change lives, and thrive both socially and professionally.
Austin Black Health and Wellness Coalition
Addressing health and wellness inequities in Austin.
Austin Black Newcomers Association
Promotes engagement and community service among African-American newcomers to Austin.
Austin Black Wall Street
Austin Black Wall Street is a community of black-owned businesses in the Austin and Central Texas area. ABWS also serves as a resource for advocacy and education within the Black community.
Austin Justice Coalition
Grassroots, activist-led organization addressing criminal justice reform at the local level, teaching students true black history on Saturdays.
Austin While Black
Austin While Black is a webseries sharing the stories of Black Austinites.
Be the Bridge to Racial Unity
Develops a curriculum to start racial conversations within the church.
Black Leadership Academy
Provides students a broader and more inclusive understanding of American history.
Black Pflugerville brings stability to the people displaced out of East Austin, redoing the black cemetery.
Blacks in Tech
Supporting black people in the technology field.
Cartoons and Cereal
Introduces children to black and brown superheroes.
Claim Your Destiny Foundation
Brings in executives and mentors to teach children to become successful leaders.
Brings Austinites together in civic dialogue focused on public issues.
Excellence and Advancement Foundation
Coordinating prevention and intervention programs to support children that may be at risk of becoming involved in the criminal justice system.
Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper
Provides every newborn male of color a set of library books age 0-5.
Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce
Promotes development of African-American businesses.
No Place For Hate
Promotes coming together and working together in all AISD schools.
One Human Race
Creates a safe, open, and productive environment for everyone to participate in discussions about race.
Conversations between people of different backgrounds on the last Tuesday of each month.
Texas Gun Sense
Works to reduce gun violence by promoting effective gun laws through research and public awareness.
Undoing Racism Austin
Undoing Racism Austin is an organization raising awareness of racism in Austin and what to do about it.
Mobile application that identifies black owned businesses in your area.
Young Urban Art Meisters
Youth art program hosted every Tuesday at the Carver.
For generations, Latinos have shaped Austin’s culture, and in recent years the number of people who identify as Latino has surged. Join moderator Josefina Casati, Editor of ¡Ahora Sí!, as we examine the challenges Austin’s Latino population faces, and discuss how this community contributes to the tapestry of our city.
Have a question or topic you’d like to pose to our panelists on this subject? Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Civic Summit: Austin’s Latino Identity will air on KLRU on May 12, 2016 at 9pm.
Want to learn more about Austin’s Chicano heritage? KLRU’s Austin Revealed: Chicano Civil Rights tells the story of Austin’s Chicano history through first-person accounts of civil rights leaders.
The Texas Railroad Commission has nothing to do with the railroad. It’s actually a state agency in charge of regulating oil and gas production, natural gas utilities, pipeline safety, and surface coal and uranium mining. Since this agency has a lot of power but is often misunderstood, we hit the streets of Austin to see what people knew about the commission – and asked The Texas Tribune’s Ross Ramsey to clear up the confusion.
One of three seats on the commission is open, and 7 Republicans are running in the primary. The Texas Tribune produced a forum between the Republican candidates, which will air on KLRU tonight at 7pm. On the Democratic side three candidates are running, Lon Burnam, Cody Garrett, and Grady Yarbrough. Libertarian Mark Miller is also running and isn’t facing a primary challenger.
You can watch The 2016 GOP Race for Railroad Commissioner Forum in the video clip below.
Photo copyright Jerod Foster.
Join us in studio to hear from six of the Republicans running for an open seat on the Texas Railroad Commission. The Texas Railroad Commission is the primary regulator of oil and gas production and drilling in the state. These candidates are seeking their party’s nomination in the March primary for the open seat on the three-member commission.
During this hourlong forum, the candidates and moderator Evan Smith of the The Texas Tribune will discuss their ideas about the industry, regulation, the state economy, and other issues that will confront the commission in the years ahead. This forum will air on KLRU Feb. 15th at 7 pm.
Lance Christian has worked as a geoscientist for the Texas Railroad Commission since 2013. Previously, he served as a geoscientist for the Texas Water Development Board.
Wayne Christian served in the Texas House, representing District 9, from 1997 to 2013. During his time in the Legislature, he served as vice chairman of the Regulated Industries Committee and president of the Texas Conservative Coalition. Christian is also a member of the SunAmerica President’s Club and owns his own financial consulting business, Wayne Christian Financial.
Gary Gates serves as CEO and owner of Gatesco, Inc., a real estate investment company in the Texas Gulf Coast region. He has also served as a delegate for the State Party Convention since 2002 and is a lifetime member of the Fort Bend County Fair Association. Previously, Gates served as board member for the Fort Bend Pregnancy Resource Center.
John Greytok is an attorney based in Austin and has worked as a briefing attorney to the chief justice of the Austin Court of Appeals. Previously, Greytok served as a special assistant attorney general for the State of Texas, and he has worked as a precinct chair, election judge, campaign treasurer, convention delegate and member of the county resolutions committee.
Ron Hale serves as CEO for Duboise Industries LLC and as director of operations for the private security company NZ Control Specialists, which specializes in anti-terrorism consulting for the oil and gas industry. Hale previously ran for the District 15 seat in the Texas Senate.
Doug Jeffrey manages his family’s cattle farm and ranch business in Vernon, Texas. He is also an investor in the oil and gas industry. Jeffrey was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Weston Martinez is an oil and gas business development and government affairs strategist and works as a political commentator. He was appointed in 2011 by then-Gov. Rick Perry to serve as a public member of the Texas Real Estate Commission. Previously, Martinez worked in the regulated telecommunications industry.
This production is a partnership with The Texas Tribune and will be livestreamed on TexasTribune.org. Support for the livestream is provided in part by the Texas Oil & Gas Association, CenterPoint Energy, and Texas Pipeline Association. Photo copyright Jerod Foster.
Austin ISD Looks for Housing Solutions to Stop Teacher Flight
Austin ISD is losing about 800 teachers each year. Many of those teachers are pushed out of Austin by rising housing costs, and opt to teach in the districts in which they live. The district is working collaborating with the City of Austin and Travis County to find ways to use the large amount of public land each taxing entity owns to create affordable housing options for those teachers and for AISD students and families.
“There’s a lot of land there, but I think that’s part of the task,” Vice President of the Austin School Board Paul Saldaña says. “We’ve all shared a list of inventory that we own and it’s just a matter of prioritizing. The longer we sit around and don’t have a plan of action we’re going to continue to be ranked as the most economically segregated city, and we’re going to continue to lose students and teachers as a result.”
Melissa Adams has been teaching in Austin ISD for 6 years. A few years ago she was tempted to leave the district because of rising rent. She decided to stay out of loyalty, but worries she’ll continue getting priced out.
“It’s kind of sad when you go to apartment hunters and tell them your price range and they laugh,” Adams says.
She calls the Austin ISD Board “very pro-teacher” and appreciates their efforts on this issue. But, she thinks the district-owned land could be better utilized by selling it, making a profit, and using that money to pay Austin teachers more.
“Let’s let teachers choose where they want to live,” she says. “I think all of us have the right to safe affordable places to live when we’re providing a service to our city.”
According to Saldaña, some Austin teachers are now able to qualify for subsidized housing. Adams says she finds that fact insulting.
“I’m college educated, I got my Masters so I could be a better teacher, I love what I do,” she says. “I don’t want to say ‘Oh , I’m totally opposed,’ or ‘It’s totally nice,’ it’s just, isn’t there a better solution than this? That professionalizes and humanizes teachers more?”
Texas Tribune Political Roundup: Harris County grand jury indicts the people behind undercover videos of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
In this week’s Texas Political Roundup from Alana Rocha of The Texas Tribune, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, David Daleidan, who secretly recorded video of the Houston clinic last summer, is accused of “unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly” offering to buy fetal tissue via email. Daleidan faces a class A misdemeanor charge.
Rocha also reports on Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s final push in Iowa before Monday’s Caucuses and a UT Austin professor who says it’s within his rights to ban guns in his classroom.
Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace closes January 31. A number of Austin-area nonprofit groups are busy signing up as many people as possible before the deadline, especially people who are not native English speakers or who are low income.
The Center for Healthy Communities is one of those groups. Isabel Lopez spends her days crisscrossing Austin, dropping off information at elementary schools and doing Spanish-language presentations and TV interviews. Her goal is to reach an often under-served, and therefore often misinformed, community.
“Misconceptions are that everybody will be fined if they don’t have health insurance,” Lopez says. “The other thing is that it’s really expensive and I don’t think they understand how big the subsidy can be.”
She says there is also a lot of fear, especially from documented immigrants who may have family members who are undocumented.
“There is a lot of fear of deportation and because of the immigration status, but a lot of these families do qualify,” Lopez explains. “I think we need to do way more outreach to the hard to reach populations. Not only Spanish speaking, but we have a big population of Arab-speaking, Vietnamese, Burmese.”
To qualify for Obamacare you must be a U.S. citizen, or have legal status, such as legal residents or registered aliens.
In Washington this week the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge from Texas, and 25 other states, to President Obama’s 2014 executive order on immigration. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, has been on hold for nearly a year after a Texas-based federal judge blocked the measure.
DAPA would allow more than four million undocumented immigrants to apply for a renewable work permit and avoid deportation. The case is expected to go before the court in April, with its decision issued in June. Our weekly Texas Political Roundup comes from Alana Rocha with our reporting partner The Texas Tribune.
January marks one year since Austin’s first 10-1 City Council was sworn into office. For the first time Austin voters elected a council member to represent each of the 10 new geographic districts, and elected new Mayor Steve Adler to represent the city as a whole.
Many hoped the historic election would be a watershed moment, inspiring more people to get involved in city politics. More than 70 people ran for office and 8 of the 10 new council members have never held public office before. But, Austin’s voter turnout is still dismally low and very few residents engage regularly in city issues.
CIVIC SUMMIT, in partnership with Leadership Austin, will convene a community conversation to discuss this transformative time in Austin’s city government, and look ahead to Austin’s future.
Join host Judy Maggio and panelists Mayor Steve Adler, Council Member Ora Houston, EngageATX’s Annie Dlugokecki, and AISD Trustee Paul Saldaña
CIVIC SUMMIT airs on KLRU January 22 at 8:30pm, immediately following 10-WON, a documentary following the seismic shift in Austin’s political landscape, from the time the 78 candidates signed up to the swearing-in ceremony. The film will be screened prior to taping the Civic Summit.
November is Native American Heritage Month, and to celebrate Great Promise for American Indians held its 24th annual Powwow and American Indian Heritage Festival on November 7th. While the Powwow has wrapped up, the goal of it’s organizers is ongoing. Great Promise is working to educate youth both in and out of their culture on Native American heritage and traditions.
Self-Defense Class Fights for SAFE Austin
This is the fifth year that the Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy has offered self defense classes for women, but this year they’re doing something a little different. The entry fee for the class is a donation to SAFE Austin, an organization dedicated to ending cycles of abuse and violence.
KLRU News Briefs air locally during PBS NewsHour Weekend, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 6pm.