Forging Ahead in the Fight for Justice and Equity: TCJE’s First Year

Colorful cupcakes with text reading Celebrating one year as Texas Center for Justice and Equity

One year ago today, our organization launched a new name—and with it, a new vision for what justice can mean in Texas.

After 21 years—during the bulk of which we were called the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition—our staff, board, coalition members, and community came together in an important decision: it was time to change our name.

There were a lot of reasons to make the change, but the biggest was that we wanted our name to reflect who we are and where we’re going. Instead of defining ourselves by the cruelty of the “criminal justice” system, we wanted to emphasize the just and equitable vision that we’re fighting for. (You can read more about our rebrand in our blog post from last September or in the “Our New Name” explainer on our About page.)

It’s been a busy year since our name change, and we have no plans to slow down! Here’s a quick look at what our team has accomplished since last September.

As we changed our name to include the key words “justice and equity,” we also evaluated our own organizational practices for justice and equity. How was our team being supported in this work, which can be personal and even retraumatizing for those who’ve experienced the system firsthand? Were any of our practices perpetuating the harms of the system that we’re fighting to disrupt? To that end, we started a Sustainability and Wellness Initiative. Initial steps from that ongoing effort have included an employee survey and town hall, strategizing around budget transparency and reworked personnel policies, and a shortened work week. We’ve also committed to making our website and other web content more accessible. We’ll share more about this work as it continues! 

Whether you’ve been with us from the very beginning or this is your first time on the TCJE website, we’re thrilled that you’re a part of our community. Be sure to stay tuned, because one year in, TCJE is JUST getting started!