Equity Forum 2024: Another World is Possible

Join us for a day of discussion, connection, and action at the Equity Forum 2024: Another World is Possible!

Register for our FREE Equity Forum on Eventbrite!

Date: Saturday, January 27, 2024
Time: 9:30 AM - 4:30pm
Location: Vuka - North Loop, 5540 North Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756 (across from the Half-Priced Books on North Lamar)
Another World is Possible. The City of Austin's Equity Office Presents Equity Forum 2024, Saturday, January 27th, 2024, 9:30am-4:30pm at Vuka North Loop. RSVP and learn more at bit.ly/equityforum2024. Language interpretation will be provided in Spanish and ASL. Request additional language interpretation by calling 3-1-1 no later than five days before the meeting you wish to attend. For questions or additional accessibility needs, please contact Equity and Inclusion Program Coordinator, Ayshea Khan, at ayshea.khan@austintexas.gov. [City of Austin Seal, Equity Office Logo: Critical Love in Practice]. Image by R. Sanchez '24.


Equity Forum Description, Parking, & Accessibility

Equity Forum 2024: Another World is Possible

Let’s struggle together to envision a future where many worlds fit. This free in-person gathering is designed to bring Austin-area community members, organizers and City employees together to share resources and strategies for working toward racial equity in Austin. Attendees will have the opportunity to build relationships, engage with panelists, and cultivate radical hope for the coming year. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Event attendees are encouraged to bring their own personal reusable water bottle, if possible, and are also invited to contribute items such as photos, drawings, or mementos to our community altar in efforts to honor and uplift our ancestors and loved ones.  

Whether you're an organizer, community member, student, or professional, we hope you'll join us. Registration is required, so RSVP now! Together, let's begin to plant the seeds for another world.

To learn more about the speakers, panelists, and the events of the day, see the 'Forum Agenda' and 'Speakers & Panelists' dropdown sections further below on this website.

For questions or additional accessibility needs, please contact Equity & Inclusion Program Coordinator Ayshea Khan at ayshea.khan@austintexas.gov

Foro de Equidad 2024: Otro Mundo es Posible

Acompañemos a un dia de discussions, conexiones, y accion en el Foro de Equidad 2024: Otro Mundo es Posible

Fecha: Sabado, Enero 27, 2024

Hora: 9:30 AM - 4:30pm

Ubicacion: Vuka - North Loop, 5540 North Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78756 (Al otro lado de la calle de Half-Priced Books on North Lamar)

Luchemos juntos para imaginar un futuro en el que quepan muchos mundos. Esta reunión gratuita sera en persona y esta está diseñada para reunir a miembros de la comunidad, organizadores y empleados de la ciudad de Austin para compartir recursos y estrategias para trabajar hacia la equidad racial en Austin. Los participantes tendrán la oportunidad de establecer relaciones, interactuar con los panelistas y cultivar una esperanza radical para el próximo año. Se proveerá desayuno y almuerzo.

Si usted es organizador, miembro de la comunidad, estudiante o profesional, esperamos que se pueda unir a nosotros. Es necesario registrarse, ¡así que confirme su asistencia ahora! Juntos, comencemos a sembrar las semillas de otro mundo.

Se recomienda a los participantes al evento traigan su propia contenedor de agua reutilizable, si es posible, y también se les invita a contribuir con artículos como fotografías, dibujos o recuerdos a nuestro altar comunitario con el proposito de honrar y elevar a nuestros antepasados y seres queridos.

Para obtener más información sobre los presentadores, panelistas y los eventos del día, visit the Equity Office's Equity Forum website at https://www.austintexas.gov/page/equity-forum

Si tiene preguntas o necesidades de accesibilidad adicionales, por favor comuníquese con la coordinadora del programa de equidad e inclusión, Ayshea Khan, al: ayshea.khan@austintexas.gov


  • Spanish and ASL interpretation will be provided.
  • Supervised children's activities will be provided.
  • This is an in-person event and there will not be any live streaming available.
  • The Vuka Space is ADA accessible, with ramps located at the north entrance, which has double doors. While forum activities are taking place on the ground floor, there is an elevator located on the premises.
  • COVID-19 tests, masks, and sanitizer will be available onsite. Wearing masks is highly encouraged in efforts to keep our communities safe.
  • A gender-neutral bathroom is available onsite.
  • Two small quiet rooms are available onsite, which can also function as nursing rooms.
  • Bus stops near VUKA: Capital Metro Bus lines #1 and #481.


  • Se proporcionará interpretación en español y ASL.
  • Se proporcionarán actividades infantiles supervisadas.
  • Este es un evento en persona y no habrá transmisión en vivo disponible.
  • El Espacio Vuka es accesible según la ADA, con rampas ubicadas en la entrada norte, que tiene puertas dobles. Las actividades del foro se llevan a cabo en la planta baja, pero hay un ascensor ubicado en el establecimiento.
  • Habrá pruebas de COVID-19, mascarillas y desinfectante disponibles en el lugar. Se recomienda el uso de máscaras en los esfuerzos por mantener seguras a nuestras comunidades.
  • Un baño neutro en cuanto al género está disponible en el sitio.
  • El establecimiento dispone de dos pequeñas y tranquilas habitaciones que también pueden funcionar como enfermería.
  • Paradas de autobús cercanas a VUKA: Líneas de Autobús Capital Metro #1 y #481.


The event is taking place at the Vuka North Lamar/North Loop event space located at 5540 North Lamar Blvd. The main parking entrance is located on North Lamar, with a secondary parking entrance located on Houston Street. 150 free parking spots are available behind Vuka and adjacent businesses in the complex. You can park in spots marked “reserved,” parking attendants will be onsite to assist. Overflow parking is located across the street in the Goodwill/Half Priced Books parking lot.


El evento se llevará a cabo en el espacio para eventos Vuka North Lamar/North Loop ubicado en 5540 North Lamar Blvd. La entrada principal al estacionamiento está ubicada en North Lamar, con una entrada secundaria al estacionamiento ubicada en Houston Street. Hay 150 plazas de aparcamiento gratuitas disponibles detrás de Vuka y las empresas adyacentes del complejo. Puede estacionar en los lugares marcados como "reservados", los asistentes de estacionamiento estarán en el lugar para ayudarlo. El estacionamiento adicional está ubicado al otro lado de la calle en el estacionamiento de Goodwill/Half Priced Books.

Map showing Vuka parking locations and bus stops. Parking entrances are on Lamar Blvd and Houston Blvd. Park in reserved spaces behind Vuka. Overflow parking located across the street. Accessible via bus routes #1 and #481.
Forum Agenda
9:30 AM Arrival, Registration & Light Breakfast
10:00 AM Opening Remarks & Land Acknowledgement by Carmen & Daniel Llanes
10:30 AM  Community Panel: Art as Resistance with Do’wal Sehi, Rhys Caraway, Jae Lin, Rebecca Sanchez
11:30 AM  A Poetry Reading by Amanda Johnston 
12:00 PM  Lunch 
12:45 PM  A Keynote Talk by Alan Pelaez Lopez
2:00 PM  (Re)Imagining Austin: Housing Justice & Land Use, a Teach-In by Community Powered ATX
3:15 PM The Texas Immigration Landscape: from Operation Lone Star to SB4 with Alicia Torres
4:00PM  A Grounding Reflection facilitated by La'arni Ayuma 
Speakers & Panelists


Dr. Alan Pelaez Lopez is a theorist, artist, and writer whose work investigates the legal realities of undocumented migrants in the United States, Black futures, and the complex kinship practices that transgender and nonbinary people build to speak back to power. They're an assistant professor at the University of California, Davis.

Amanda Johnston is a writer, artist, and the 2024 Texas State Poet Laureate. She has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit management and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine. She is the author of two chapbooks, GUAP and Lock & Key, and the full-length collection Another Way to Say Enter. Her work has appeared in numerous online and print publications, among them, Callaloo, Poetry Magazine, The Moth, Puerto del Sol, Muzzle, and the anthologies, Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry and Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. She has received fellowships, grants, and awards from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, Tasajillo, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, The Watermill Center, American Short Fiction, and the Austin International Poetry Festival. She is a former Board President of Cave Canem Foundation, a member of the Affrilachian Poets, cofounder of Black Poets Speak Out, and founder of Torch Literary Arts. 


Do’wal Sehi or Sunshine (in English) is an indigenous educator and resistance artist from the Karankawa Kadla Hawk Clan. She currently works as an Indigenous Educator for a Health and Wellness Resort where she is inspired by Karankawa spirituality and ideology to hold space for and educate others to reconnect to the natural world, undo harmful colonial rhetoric, and find peace within themselves and the Mother Earth. Her goal is to protect and serve her people, the original land stewards, and to educate those who are seeking it. On this journey she has organized protests for her people, spoken at call to actions advocating for repatriation, reparations, and basic human rights, designed and offered classes and lectures, as well as shown in gallery spaces across Austin, TX. Her most recent goal is to inspire resistance, decolonization, and education through her art and lectures.


Jae Lin is an artist and community organizer in Austin, TX. With buoyant artwork and hand lettering, their work as Doodle Me Alive focuses on trans liberation, loving affirmations, and the possibilities of healing. Jae is the executive director of Gender Unbound, which uplifts trans and intersex artists in central Texas, and they also host biweekly Queer Art Nights in Austin. They believe art and belonging are critical pathways towards building our shared vision of collective liberation.
Rebecca Sanchez is an artist, educator, community advocate and organizer with a passion for building collaborative learning spaces. Her knowledge is derived from her teaching experience, organizing around immigration and criminal justice issues, and community-focused leadership development with an emphasis on using art as a tool for social change. Rebecca provides facilitation, curriculum development and teaching guides to support in building processes and community focused resources. As an artist, her mission is to transform communities through creativity, to build healing spaces filled with art, and facilitate the vessels for intergenerational joy and play. 
Rhys Caraway is a creative, cultural curator, advocate and Associate Director of allgo, a statewide queer people of color organization. Rhys Caraway was born and raised in Houston’s Third Ward and is a graduate of Jack Yates High School and attended Prairie View A&M University. Rhys started his career in HIV outreach and sexual health education with the Houston Health Department before entering the non-profit sector. Rhys now resides in Austin, TX where he serves in the role of Associate Director at allgo, a community based organization that nurtures the experiences of queer and trans people of color through programming rooted in social justice, health and wellness and cultural arts. In addition to his professional work, Rhys is a community organizer, activist, consultant and cultural curator. He has done work within the movement for Black Lives, commonly referred to as the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically having done work in Waller County around the Sandra Bland case as well as worked alongside BLMHTX, a collective of activists, artists and educators. He is the founder of Saint Noir, a creative agency dedicated to uplifting black LGBTQ+ identified lives through art and creativity. Rhys is currently featured in the “Declaration of Independence" exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Rhys has also formerly served as the inaugural Director of Advocacy for Impulse Group Houston and a CDC Stop HIV Together Campaign Ambassador.
Community Powered ATX is a coalition of young Black, Indigenous, and People of Color organizers, East Austin community members, and allies. We fight for housing justice while uplifting intersectional issues that disproportionately impact low-income communities of color. We fight against displacement, gentrification, the ongoing affordable housing crisis, and the land use policies that continue to harm and displace our communities. Our goal is to mobilize people through grassroots organizing for real community led solutions and build people power to shift the public narrative on housing/land use.
Alicia Torres is an Immigration Campaigns Consultant with Grassroots Leadership. Grassroots Leadership is a nationally recognized civil and human rights organization based in Austin and Houston, Texas, fighting to end prison profiteering and reduce reliance on criminalization through direct action, organizing, research, and public education.
La'arni Ayuma descends from a family of traditional Filipina/o healers. She integrates the ancient healing arts with other somatic/energy healing techniques to promote well-being in her communities. As a queer holistic practitioner, she facilitates spaces that encourage transformational shifts, conscious of culture and traditional practices and is rooted in spiritual integrity, empowering community members in their self-care, healing and transformation. She came to this work from her lineage and from a belief and knowing that we have the ability to heal ourselves by creating the change we need to see. To manifest this, we must turn to our spirit, our ancestral knowing and memory to understand the parts of us that have been wounded and suppressed. Ayuma is also a proud mother and student to a 25 year old musician, a 12 year old artist and a 8 year old warrior healer. 
  Carmen Llanes is a native of Austin, TX and second-generation community organizer working with neighborhoods and organizations in Austin’s Eastern Crescent for the last 15 years. She studied environmental sciences and free trade policy at the University of Chicago (A.B. ’07) and has been back home organizing with communities around the root causes of health disparities since. Carmen is Go! Austin/¡Vamos! Austin (GAVA)’s first Executive Director but has been involved since its inception in 2012. Carmen cares deeply about community relationships and intergenerational organizing, and participates in public health, anti-racist and anti-displacement networks in Central Texas and across the country. She chaired the City of Austin’s Hispanic/Latino Quality of Life Commission until July 2019 when she joined the City’s Planning Commission during a once-in-a-generation Land Development Code rewrite, and is an inaugural member of Austin’s first Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission which created single-member city council districts in 2014. She was also part of the inaugural Community Strategy Team at the Department of Population Health at the University of Texas - Dell Medical School, and is a 2019-20 Fulcrum Fellow with the Center for Community Investment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
  Daniel Llanes is an Austin based performance artist, arts educator, and organizer specializing in dance, music & poetry. A prolific writer, choreographer and composer, his original offerings are produced live in a variety of venues ranging from one man shows and exhibits to ensemble, multi disciplinary productions. Mr. Llanes is also a practitioner of traditional Aztec folk medicine, Reiki and laying of hands. He is also a Hatha yoga instructor, a father and a community organizer who uses his art to inspire people to appreciate life, one another and to find the fun in life each and every day. As a community organizer, Mr. Llanes is the Chair of River Bluff Neighborhood Association and is a member of the Austin Neighborhoods Council Executive Committee. He is a PODERista, an active member of the Raza Roundtable and the Undoing Racism Austin Collective. Mr. Llanes was declared “Activist of the Year” by NOKOA newspaper in 1991, and in 2007 was one of the first in Austin to receive the Cesar Chavez “Si se Puede” Award.