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4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

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The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

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Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Texas Diversity Council remains steadfast in face of adversity

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Thursday, April 11, 2024   

Since 2004, April has been designated "Celebrate Diversity Month," a time to recognize, understand and honor the differences between people.

One Texas organization said the mission is now more important than ever. In a state which lately has been known for not welcoming some people, the Texas Diversity Council has been at the forefront of promoting diversity, equity and inclusion for two decades.

Angeles Valenciano, CEO of the council, said they offer training and consulting at businesses and schools, to help everyone see the benefits of a diverse environment.

"Those organizations that really focus on DEI programs are outpacing and growing at a much faster rate than those that do not have programs," Valenciano observed.

Last year, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 17, banning DEI programs on public college campuses. The University of Texas in Austin has fired around 60 employees who worked in DEI programs.

Valenciano emphasized the ban will not stop their work and they will find different ways to partner with the universities.

The council holds its annual Diversity and Leadership Conference in Dallas, April 15-18. Speakers include Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, basketball great Magic Johnson, and former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Valenciano acknowledged legislation statewide and nationally has created challenges, and even though the council is nonpartisan, it will stand by candidates who support the mission.

"As much as we feel that the playing field is changing and that things are in a way kind of going backwards in the progress that we have made, we are still committed," Valenciano stressed.

She added ways to observe Celebrate Diversity Month include being considerate to everyone, listening to people from other cultures and learning more about different cultures and lifestyles.


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