Early 2020 saw the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, both locally and across the country, and a renewed interest in equity issues as a result of the death of George Floyd. In response to the protests, newly elected New Braunfels Mayor Rusty Brockman formed the NB IDEA Forum in May 2020 as a way to begin the conversation about diversity and inclusion in our own community. Mayor Brockman assembled a broad coalition of community leaders and interested citizens to help lead the effort including representatives from religious groups, the non-profit sector, local government, county government, school districts, and other interest groups. The group provided a space for community members to share their experiences and discuss diversity and inclusion issues and ideas in the community.

Today, the NB IDEA Forum has been organized into a member led community group dedicated to creating a community that is welcoming for all. The work of the NB IDEA Forum is a long-term effort that will rely on community-wide support. Mayor Brockman provided the initial spark for the Forum and now it is members’ role to help guide and shape the work of the Forum as it continues to grow.

While we have more work to do to advance equity and inclusion, we’re working to make sure our community continues to move forward for all residents. In New Braunfels, we’re not all the same. And we’re changing rapidly. But that’s one of our greatest strengths.

We can draw on the differences in who we are, what we’ve experienced, and how we think. Because to build a community that serves everyone, we believe in including everyone. We believe that everyone should have access to the opportunities and resources they need to thrive, regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, class, sexual orientation, religion or abilities. By bringing voices to the table, we build the potential to create a stronger community.