Women's Justice

Fair Hiring, Unfair Housing

Screengrab from Texas Observer website with headline and illustration of chain with house on lock and key with worker on it

When Jennifer Toon arrived at yet another prospective Austin rental in November 2021, she was welcomed by a dead rat. Its tail, curled limply on the duplex parking lot, was thicker than her cat’s. While the rat seemed welcome, Toon soon learned that she was not. As one of nearly 70 million Americans with criminal records, Toon continues to face “collateral consequences,” including housing and employment obstacles, over a decade after her conviction—even in a “Fair Chance” haven like Austin.

This popular TikTok chef left his prosecutor job after old, racist tweets resurfaced

Hand of a person at a protest holding a sign reading protect Black women

Waymond Wesley, aka “Chef Way” on TikTok, was known for his food content — but after Twitter users unearthed posts where he made misogynistic, colorist, and body-shaming comments about Black women, things pretty quickly went downhill. On Jan.

Texas’ First Family Reunification Cases Move Forward

Screengrab of press release PDF

Soon, two Texas families will be reunited with their children after regaining custody this fall. The reunification is possible thanks to HB 2926, a bipartisan bill signed into law following the 87th(R) Texas Legislative Session, which created a pathway for parents who have lost their parental rights to petition the court to reinstate them.

Read the rest of this press release here.

Formerly Incarcerated Leaders to Gather for Community-Building Event in Austin

Screengrab of press release PDF

On December 3, a group of formerly incarcerated and justice system-impacted Texans will convene in Austin. The event, “From Prison to Power: Finding Your Voice After Incarceration,” is organized by the Texas Center for Justice and Equity’s Statewide Leadership Council (SLC) and partners.

Second annual “Power to the People” discusses the intersection of race, incarceration

A group of people sit behind a table on a panel in front of a classroom of students

St. Edward’s University’s Black Student Alliance held its second annual “Power to the People” event, with this year’s focus on the intersection of race and incarceration. The main topic was “Justice for Us” and revolved around a panel of experts on the incarceration system.

Read the rest of this article from Hilltop Views.

Course Corrections: The Return of Prison Education

Screengrab of Observer headline, "Federal grants are rebooting higher education behind bars, but the benefits aren't evenly distributed to all of the incarcerated. by Michelle Pitcher

On a lower level of the Wynne Unit, a state prison in Huntsville, about 20 men in white jumpsuits and matching white sneakers sit around the perimeter of a room. Their attention is focused on Paul Allen, who stands in front of them. He’s a familiar face in the unit of about 3,000 male prisoners: He’s been teaching there for years. Today, he’s leading the men through their capstone business course, for many the final step on the path to getting their associate of applied science degrees in business.

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