A Path Forward: How Arts Education Helps Student Learning and Well-Being

The 2021–22 school year has reamplified public concerns regarding COVID-19’s continued impact on our children, including its toll on their mental and emotional wellbeing as well as lost learning opportunities. Addressing these needs will necessitate holistic, comprehensive approaches that require our community to reexamine children’s educational priorities, needs and resources. While many of these strategies …

Hispanic Heritage Month: Celebrating a rich past, present, and future

As the largest ethnic group in the region, Houston’s Hispanic community has left an indelible impression in our communities — both past and present. From indigenous roots spanning the Americas and those with African ancestry, to early Spanish-speaking settlers and present-day community pillars, Houstonians who identify as Hispanic/Latino have shaped our region in fundamental and …

COVID-19’s ongoing effect on students in Greater Houston

A data-driven look into how the pandemic has affected students in Greater Houston  Since March 2020, the world has been coping with the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many students, the classroom suddenly became the kitchen table. Their teachers were now little squares on a screen. The learning experience that most students were …

Out and Proud for Science

The first PRIDE was a riot. No glitter, parades or corporations eager to release their brand-new shiny rainbow collections. The Stonewall uprising was ignited by constant police harassment and discrimination toward LGBTQ folx at the time. June 1969 was a turning point to state that we are here, we are queer, and we are not …

Caring for Teachers is Caring for Students

After a year of teaching and living through a pandemic, educator mental health is at risk and yet, at the same time, we desperately need to avoid further school disruptions. Teacher burnout and turnover — already cause for concern long before pandemic life — have increased. An additional 11 percent of teachers say they may …

How community gardens support the fight against food insecurity in Greater Houston

Houston ranks among the top 50 cities with the highest obesity rates in the U.S., with 34% of Houston children now struggling with obesity. At the same time, Feeding America reports that Harris County has the second-highest number of food insecure individuals across all US counties, with 869,000 individuals not knowing when or where their …

The Great She-cession: How COVID-19 is impacting women in the workforce

America is facing an unprecedented exodus of women from the workforce. The hard-fought gains women have made over the past 40 years are at risk of being wiped out by the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of March 2021, more than 1.8 million women have left the workforce since the pandemic started. …

The Costliest Problem We Know How to Fix

In Houston, Black and Hispanic students on average lag between 3.0 and 3.6 years behind white students, as if they were absent for a quarter of their K-12 schooling.1 Pause here, re-read the previous sentence, and let that sink in for a moment. This problem is compounded by the fact that the groups that lag …

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: 9 Leaders Making A Difference

From advocating for children and immigrants to creating businesses to expanding access to the arts and community services and beyond, these Houstonians are creating a better future for our region Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month was initially established as AAPI Heritage Week to last the first 10 days of May. This timeframe …

What we heard during our second Nonprofit Disaster Data Dive + Workshop

On May 4, 2021, Understanding Houston held its second Data Dive + Workshop (DDW) with United Way of Greater Houston on Vulnerabilities to and Impacts of Disasters. The second session in our three-part series brought together nonprofit organizations to examine the disaster data through interactive and engaging discussion. We started off with a review of …