Austin Woman Founder Melinda Garvey announces plans for a council of ethnically and culturally diverse women to broaden community connections and lend perspective to our editorial plans.

Photo by Korey Howell

Melinda Garvey - Austin Woman Magazine - Rudy Arocha

Black History Month is a time when cities throughout the United States celebrate the many contributions of black Americans. It is also a time when we take a hard look at difficult parts of our history and the impacts of institutionalized racism and legal segregation, which divided and damaged our country. In Austin, our story is no different. We have much to celebrate and plenty of challenging history to reflect upon and to grow from. The actions of our past impact our present.

Today, the city of Austin is undergoing efforts to heal racial wounds and connect our community. Austin Woman wants to help lead efforts to make Austin an inclusive city that reflects the diverse experiences and the faces of Austin. We want to help share the diverse images of our energetic, thriving city and have it reflect the fabric of the people, businesses and experiences that make up our community.

This issue, which is devoted largely to black women and diversity practices, is just the beginning of our own journey of growth and deliberate action on inclusion. We want every issue of Austin Woman to represent this community. We want to reflect and champion this community in the women we profile and the women who support our events and business as writers, photographers, vendors and advertisers. We want to be an engine for other organizations that are advancing women of color in this city.

But commitments need accountability, and to that end, we are excited to announce we will form a council of ethnically and culturally diverse women to help us broaden our connections in our community and lend perspective to our editorial plans throughout the year. It is often quoted that “it takes a village” and we could not be prouder to work with our community to lead the way for more comprehensive coverage in all Austin media.

We’re thrilled to share the story of our cover woman, Virginia Cumberbatch, as well as the stories of the many women featured here. We asked 50 local black women to share their vision for Austin in 2020 and what living in this city looks and feels like for them. We are proud to highlight their perspectives here.

As you read the stories of the incredible women in this issue, I hope you’ll reflect on how you’re advocating for and supporting all women in Austin and how you can do more to lift up other women. It takes a village to build, grow and nurture an inclusive community.



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