About Us

Who We Are

Community Resilience Trust (CRT) is a collaborative initiated by Austin community leaders Rubén Cantú and Janis Bookout in March of 2020. CRT is a collective of people from diverse backgrounds working together to think, plan, and act strategically and in cooperation to ensure that the Austin/Central Texas response to COVID-19 is equitable, effective, and sustainable. CRT aims to build trust and partnership among a variety of people, organizations, businesses, and community-based groups, creating a foundation for a connected and resilient community that puts equity first.

Our Purpose

As a collective, we ask “How can we use our group intelligence and our networks to make Austin and Central Texas more equitable for everyone, starting with our response to the COVID-19 pandemic?” We provide a community-centered, holistic, strategic, and systemic response to this pandemic in the short term, and we build equity as a resilient community in the long term.

Our Objectives

Collectively identify who and what is missing from Austin’s and Central Texas’ responses to COVID-19.

Create and support cross-sector projects that address current and emerging needs to ensure an equitable response to COVID-19.

Work collaboratively to ensure that community engagement occurs through an inclusive lens.

Advocate for the needs of communities underserved and marginalized by systems to city and county representatives.

Create and distribute communication that is culturally appropriate, relevant, locally applicable, and actionable.

Apply our COVID-19 response work towards the long-term goal of building a just and equitable Austin and Central Texas.

Our Values and Practices

  • Action

    CRT is committed to deliberate action that makes time for the voices of our communities of interest and prioritizes action based on the urgency raised in the community.

  • Amplification

    CRT aims to amplify grassroots-led and community-led efforts, providing support to existing endeavors that honor existing community leadership.

  • Collaboration

    CRT values projects and processes based on broad cross-sector collaborations.

  • Community

    CRT prioritizes the perspectives, needs, and group intelligence of those who self-identify as Black, Latinx, Asian, multiracial, indigenous, undocumented, non-citizens, formerly involved in the justice system, lower income, people without homes, living with a disability, and LGBTQIA+

  • Equity

    CRT envisions equity as the society-wide, long-term transformation required to dismantle the legacy of individual and systemic racism and discrimination.

  • Healing

    CRT values a healing-centered approach that promotes individual and collective healing and reflection.

  • Integrity

    CRT will always evaluate our own practices, impact, and results with the same rigor and lenses we apply to outside organizations.

  • Mutual Support

    CRT is committed to assisting each other individually and organizationally for mutual growth and benefit.

  • Systems Thinking

    CRT approaches problems and solutions with an appreciation of the full micro- to macro- landscape surrounding the issue in question.

  • Transparency

    CRT is committed to transparency of our practices and results so that we can hold ourselves accountable to the communities we represent.

  • Transformative Practices

    CRT seeks to transform institutional racist and inequitable structures by modeling this transformation within our own collective.

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