Equality and inclusion officer to address CAUSA meeting

Kiran Bains, the City of San Antonio's diversity and inclusion officer. (Courtesy photo)

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The city’s diversity and inclusion officer will be the guest speaker at a community meeting organized by CAUSA (Community Alliance for a United San Antonio) on February 1 at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center.

The Diversity and Inclusion Office was created last May when the City Council approved the new department as part of the city budget. Kiran Bains was hired in August to administer and manage the office. At the time, the mayor’s spokesperson said, “This office will be a central point of contact for all protected classes covered under the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.”

According to the Facebook event page, Bains will offer an update on the office’s plans for the future.

Shortly after she was hired, Bains told Out In SA she was researching the idea of creating a human rights commission:

“I can say right now, that one of the priorities over the next couple of months is to look at other cities in Texas that have human rights commissions. We’ll look at their best practices, what is the history of those cities leading up to having those human rights commissions and what does that mean for San Antonio? Right now, that’s a matter of gathering information about what it looks like in other cities and what it could it could look like here,” she said.

Continuing the work of equality

CAUSA was formed in the summer of 2011 when community activists including Randy Bear, Richard Farias, Dan Graney and others began meeting to explore the possibility of changing the city code to include protections for LGBT citizens.

Two years later, under the leadership of Dan Graney and Dee Dee Belmares, CAUSA’s dream came to fruition when the City Council passed the nondiscrimination ordinance that amends sections of the city code covering public accommodations, fair housing, city employment, city contracts and appointments to city boards and commissions.

Since that time, CAUSA has not been as publicly active, meeting intermittently, yet continuing to work behind the scenes through a series of committees each focused on different civic institutions.

The February 1 meeting appears to be CAUSA’s bid to reignite the community’s enthusiasm. CAUSA’s chair, Andrea Figueroa, recently sent out an email encouraging everyone to come to the meeting and sign up to lend a hand.

“You aren’t part of a committee yet? Come to the next meeting and join one. With all of us doing a piece of the work, we can move true equality forward for all of us!” she wrote.

CAUSA community meeting featuring Kiran Bains, diversity and inclusion officer for the City of San Antonio. On February 1, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro Ave.

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