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An investment in Austin’s Black Community

Diane Land and Mayor Steve Adler call on Central Texans to make an investment in Austin’s Black community by supporting Huston-Tillotson University.

In response to the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Michael Ramos and the racial justice movement taking place in Austin and around the U.S., Diane contemplated her role in making real change in our community. “I don’t want to be someone that sits on the sidelines and does nothing, but what can I do?”Mayor Steve Adler and Diane Land

On advice from her friend, who says that education is the great equalizer, she decided to take action by investing in the education of Austin’s Black community and making a charitable gift to Huston-Tillotson University, Austin’s only Historically Black College and University. Huston-Tillotson is a nonprofit, private university that relies on tuition and private funding. Most of its student body are first generation college students and 99% are on some form of financial aid.

Due to COVID-19, the university is facing a $1.6 million shortfall as a result of having to quickly pivot to provide online learning and equipment to approximately 1,100 students. Technology that many take for granted is not the case for first-generation students with high levels of financial need.

Through a donor advised fund at Austin Community Foundation, Diane and Mayor Steve Adler made a $50,000 donation — a significant gift for the couple — to the Huston-Tillotson University COVID-19 Support Fund. The fund will be used to help purchase technology necessary for students and faculty and cover operational needs as a result of the pandemic.

Diane and Mayor Adler have leveraged their donation and their network to help Huston-Tillotson close this funding gap. They are calling on individuals, businesses and foundations to step up and invest in Austin’s Black students. You can follow their lead, by making a gift today at htu.edu/covid-19-support-fund.