Institute of Urban Policy

Research Library

As a policy research institute, IUPRA has been conducting research on social issues affecting Black communities in Texas since its inception in 2012. Through issues briefs, policy reports, community partner projects, and more, IUPRA diffuses cutting-edge policy research that will change the world, starting here in Texas.

Below, you will find a list of all of our research reports and projects by year, with the most recent reports at the top. You can also look for specific reports by our research areas: criminal justice, education, health, housing, and income and poverty. (Some reports may not fit neatly into one of our categories, but all of our work can be found on this page).

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Jump to year: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018

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2018

Disparate Rates of Black Women Dying: At Birth and Postpartum Period
Michele A Rountree, PhD; Tracie A Lowe, PhD
This policy brief presents and explains the data that shows Black women experiencing negative maternal health outcomes at disproportionate rates, in Texas and throughout the United States. Based on the research done for this brief, there are three key policy recommendations included to help healthcare institutions in Texas better serve and save Black mothers.

Issue Brief - Payday Lending among Communities Impacted by Natural Disaster
Lauren Lluveras, JD
In this issue brief, the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis reviewed the following questions of whether communities recently impacted by a natural disaster (1) are more likely to seek out loans from payday lenders; (2) what the payday lender restrictions landscape looks like among the 44 Texas municipalities who have passed regulatory ordinances regarding these services; and (3) whether these consumers would benefit from an annual interest cap of 36 percent.

The State of Black Lives in Texas: Housing Report
Lauren Lluveras, JD; Susan Phan, MPAff
This report is the second in a series that looks at various policy issues in Texas through a racial equity lens, with the goal of influencing policymakers to improve the lives of Black people in Texas. The housing report takes a look at the impact of the recession, housing segregation and concentrated poverty, the affordable housing crisis, homelessness, and homeownership barriers. The authors provide an analysis of the available data in these areas, followed by key policy recommendations and priorities.

The State of Black Lives in Texas: Education Report
kihana miraya ross, PhD; Kevin Cokley, PhD; Ryan Carlino; Susan Phan; Miranda Badgett; Jacob Hood
This report is the first in a series that looks at various policy issues in Texas through a racial equity lens, with the goal of influencing policymakers to improve the lives of Black people in Texas. The education report takes a look at four key education issues and how current policy and realities in Texas affect Black students: discipline and punishment, charter schools, standardized testing, and the Top Ten Percent Law. The authors provide an analysis of the available data in these areas, followed by key policy recommendations and priorities.

Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 IUPRA Poll: Criminal Justice Report
Richa Gupta, MPH; Lauren Lluveras, JD; Andrea Charles, MSW
This report contains the results of both the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 IUPRA Poll questions on criminal justice issues. The data is presented graphically and analyzed, and the fall and spring data are compared. There are also two discussion pieces, focusing mostly on concealed carry licenses and carrying guns on public university campuses.

Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 IUPRA Poll: Education Report
Richa Gupta, MPH; Kevin Cokley, PhD
This report contains the results of both the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 IUPRA Poll questions on education issues. The data is presented graphically and analyzed, and the fall and spring data are compared. There is also a discussion piece, focusing mostly on ESAs and the 10% rule for Texas colleges.

Those Who Stayed: The Impact of Gentrification on Longstanding Residents of East Austin Residents
Eric Tang, PhD; Bisola Falola, PhD
This report documents the voices of longstanding residents in East Austin on the impact gentrification has had on their neighborhood. 74% had an overall negative perception of the change. Main issues included a loss of sense of community and increasing property taxes. An addendum to this report was released in May 2018. The addendum further explored data about the amount of children vs. the amount of dogs in the neighborhood. You can read the addendum here.

 

2017

Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 IUPRA Poll: Racial Climate Report
Richa Gupta, MPH; Samantha White-Wilson; Naomi Reed, PhD
Results and analysis of results of Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 IUPRA polls on racial climate. The poll was conducted with registered Texas voters, oversampling Black voters to generate more reliable estimates by race. Health care questions looked at voters' attitudes at the overall racial climate in the U.S. The report also compares the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 results.

Fall 2016 & Spring 2017 IUPRA Poll: Health Report
Richa Gupta, MPH; Samantha White-Wilson; Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD
Results and analysis of results of Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 IUPRA polls on health care. The poll was conducted with registered Texas voters, oversampling Black voters to generate more reliable estimates by race. Health care questions looked at voters' attitudes regarding their own health care experiences as well as their understanding of the Family and Medical Leave Act. The report also compares the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 results.

 

2016

Eliminating Hate Incidence on the University of Texas at Austin Campus
Loyce Gayo; Jonathan Lin Davis; Amanda Woog, JD; Naomi Reed, PhD; Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD
This report puts forward the proposed hate crime policy, including specific recommendations on reporting, response, and student needs. This policy grew out of work done in two previous IUPRA reports, found below.

Designing an Effective Hate Crime/Bias Tolerance Policy: Identifying Critical Success Factors
Jonathan Lin Davis; Loyce Gayo; Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD
This methods report outlines critical success indicators used to evaluate existing hate crime/bias tolerance policies within several peer institutions in order to next draft a potential hate crime policy (see above). The indicators were incorporation, language, sanction, placement, dissemination and reporting, education, and update.

Critical Race Analysis of Student Policy on Race Relations
Loyce Gayo; Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD; Naomi Reed, PhD; Jonathan Lin Davis
After a hate crime to a Black student took place near the University of Texas at Austin campus, IUPRA conducted a policy analysis to offer insight on how racist actions are dealt with at the University. The research found that UT had limited relevant policies and was the only institution among its National Comparison Group with no official hate crime or bias tolerance policy. This report also analyzes the Student Policy on Race Relations policy that does exist.

Those Who Left: Austin's Declining African American Population
Eric Tang, PhD; Bisola Falola, PhD
Following the 2014 Outlier report that showed African American population decline in Austin for two decades, this report explores gentrification that happened and is happening in East Austin specifically by interviewing displaced African American families. Through these interviews, two major forces came up: unaffordable housing and dissatisfaction with Austin's public schools.

Texas Custodial Death Report: Police, Jail, and Prison Deaths, 2005-2015
Amanda Woog, JD
This Texas Justice Initiative report introduces the project's database of custodial deaths reported in Texas from 2005-2015, giving a high-level view and drawing out significant data points and observations. The main observations include: Disparities in Texas' criminal justice system translate into racial disparities in custodial deaths; Current pre-trial and bail practices keep thousands of people in jails without conviction of a crime, meaning 76% of those who died in jail had not been convicted of a crime; 41% of people who died in jail were reported to have appeared intoxicated, exhibited mental health problems, or exhibited medical problems upon entry into the facility.

Are You Listening? Community Impact Statement: Volume 1
Leonie Jones
In the U.S., Black women are more likely to experience premature birth or loss of a newborn than any other race or ethnicity, and studies have shown that stress and racism do have a negative effect on birth oucomes. This report interviews Black women in Austin who are pregnant or have recently given birth across a range of socio-economic backgrounds, sharing their views on community, prenatal care, childcare, unique challenges Black women face, and Austin's needs.

IUPRA Poll: Texas Voters' Attitudes about Health Care
These are results of a statewide poll about Texans' attitudes toward health care. The poll looked at registered voters' views on and access to mental health care and dental care.
DOWNLOAD: Summary | Graphs | Memo

IUPRA Poll: Texas Voters' Attitudes about Education
These are results of a statewide poll about Texans' attitudes toward education. The poll looked at registered voters' views on the quality of schools, Common Core, religious-based explanations discussed in public education, discussing race in public education, formation of charter schools, tax credits for scholarship donations to send children of low-income parents to private schools, and policies that prevent racially disproportionate school suspensions.
DOWNLOAD: Summary | Graphs | Memo

IUPRA Poll: Texas Voters' Attitudes about Police and Criminal Justice
These are results of a statewide poll about Texans' attitudes toward police and criminal justice. The poll looked at registered voters' views on institutional racism among police, mandatory diversity training for police officers, collecting and separating statistics of police killings by race, and the investigation of officer involved killings. The data compares the views of different racial/ethnic groups as well as different political affiliations.
DOWNLOAD: Summary | Graphs | Memo

IUPRA Poll: Texas Voters' Attitudee about Gun Laws
These are results of a statewide poll about Texans' attitudes toward gun laws. The poll looked at registered voters views on laws preventing those with mental illnesses from purchasing guns, views on licensed open carry of handguns and open carry of handguns in holsters, and handguns on public university campuses. The data compares the views of different racial/ethnic groups as well as different political affiliations.
DOWNLOAD: Summary | Graphs | Memo

Discipline Disparities for Black Girls with Disabilities in TX Schools
Karen Moran Jackson, PhD; Leonie Jones
There is even less data about discipline rates for Black girls with disabilities than discipline rates for Black girls in general. The data in this report show that Black girls with disabilities are more likely to be served under IDEA than Section 504, and that students under IDEA are less likely to participate and more likely to be segregated. Additionally, discipline data under IDEA showed Black girls overrepresented in most discipline categories.

Officer-Involved Shootings Report #3 - Update: Developments in HB 1036 Implementation and Reporting
Amanda Woog, JD
This report was an update on the initial 2015 reports covering HB 1036. There were 94 reports submitted in 2015, documeting 69 injuries or deaths, of which 65 involved an individual being shot by a peace officer, with 24 deaths. This report analyzes those incidents more closely as well as covering continued compliance issues. 

 

2015

Officer-Involved Shootings Report #2 - Update: Developments in HB 1036 Implementation and Reporting
Amanda R. Woog, JD
This report is an update on the initial report introducing HB 1036 (see below). From the start of implementation to the publishing of this report, there were 36 reported incidents and 12 deaths. The report also briefly reviewed some ongoing compliance issues with the bill.

Implementation of the New Officer-Involved Shooting Reporting Requirements
Amanda R. Woog, JD
This report explains HB 1036, a bill requiring law enforcement agencies to report shooting incidents involving peace officers. The report goes over initial issues of implementation and explained the public spreadsheet tracking these reports maintained by IUPRA.

Black Girls Face Disproptionate Discipline in Texas Schools
Karen Moran Jackson PhD; Renée Hatcher, JD; Leonie Jones
Nationally, Black girls are suspended six times the rate of white girls. Disproportionate school discipline leads to less instructional time for Black girls, increasing the risk of dropping out of school. Texas studies of the five largest school districts showed similar disproportionalities. This brief shows this Texas data and gives some general recommendations.

Texas School Financing Continues a Regressive Trend
Karen Moran Jackson, PhD; Victor O. Obaseki, JD
This brief explains and analyzes CSHB1759, an attempt to improve equity and increase funding in schools, after the state school finance system was found unconstitutional. However, the bill eliminated the Cost of Education Index instead of updating it, and failed to increase special allotments for students with exceptional needs or otherwise increase educational fairness. This anlaysis shows that while all district types would have seen an increase in revenue, the pattern of high and low districts would remain the same, with districts in central cities and major urban areas receiving the least funding even though they have the highest student poverty rates.

Documenting Racial Disparities and Disproportionality
Jonathan L. Davis, MPAff; Karen Moran Jackson, PhD
Recent race-related events show racial disparity and injustice in our country, but many whites don't acknowledge that racial disparities are caused by racial bias; even though the Department of Justice found that racial disparity in Ferguson was caused by racial bias and discrimination. This brief argues that governement and societal systems have been discrimantory, disproportionally affecting African Americans. This argument is supported by documented discrimination within education, economic, legal, and health care systems.

Post-Legislative Session Report: Primary and Secondary Education
Dongmei Li, PhD; Victor O. Obaseki, JD; Karen Moran Jackson, PhD
This report explores two bills: HB 4, which passed, and SB 4, which didn't, and how students of color will fare under HB 4 and may fare under lesislation similar to SB 4. HB 4 provides additional funding to prekindergardent programs that meet certain requirements, and SB 4 would have used tax incentives to coax private donors into funding scholarships for students trying to leave failing public schools.

Post-Legislative Session Report: Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Victor O. Obaseki, JD; Leonie Jones, BA; Karen Moran Jackson, PhD
This report analyzes three bills passed that should help reduce problems that disproportinally affect Black or African American communities: HB 2398, which decriminalized truancy offenses for juveniles, replaced criminal truancy penalties with civil penalties for minors, and established judicial donation trust funds; HB 2684, which establishes a curriculum and required training for school district peace officers and school resource officers; and HB 1036, to comprehensively track shootings involving Texas pace officers.

Examining the Texas Prison Reform Model: How Texas is Maintaining Racial Disparity and Mass Incarceration
Caitlin M. Dunklee, MPAff; Rebecca A. Larsen, MSSW, MPAff
The Texas model is often seen as a good example of prison reform, showing that the growth of incarceration in Texas slowed. This study analyzes findings that Texas failed to reduce the number of people incarcerated per year or decrease racial disproportionality. Texas still incarcerates more people than any state. Additionally, a Pew study found that states that reduced incarceration the most experience the greatest decline of crime rate.

The Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities: Spearheading Texas's Ongoing Fight Against Institutional Racism and Other Causes of Inequity
Victor O. Obaseki, JD; Renée Hatcher, JD
This brief examines the Center for Elimination of Disproportionality and Disparities (CEDD) and institutional racism, looking at the history of CEDD and its work in relation to institutional racism. It also uses research and data to show that institutional racism exists in Texas state agencies, though it is not the only cause of disproportionalities and disparities.

Single-Sex Public Education and African American Males: A Response to Racial and Gender Inequity
Kevin Cokley, PhD; Steven Stone, MEd
Black male students are disproportionately suspended, expelled from school, tracked into less challenging courses, and more likely placed into classes for students with intellectual and learning disabilities than in classes for gifted and talented students. Single-sex schools have been proposed as one solution to improving these outcomes for Black male students. This paper examines research and arguments for and against this option, concluding that this does seem to be a viable option.

Southeast Gerogetown Needs Assessment: Documenting Resident Stories and Community Conditions
Georgetown Health Foundation and The Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis
This needs assessment was commissioned by the Georgetown Health Foundation in the face of unprecedented population growth and demographic changes in Georgetown. It was conducted in Southeast Georgetown, focusing on the low-income community and their voices. Critical needs that came out of this included public transportation, affordable housing, access to health foods and nutrition programs, language access in schools, mental health and bullying, reframing of power differentials in services, and access to parks and after school programs.

The Campus Climate for University of Texas at Austin Faculty
Germine Awad, PhD; Erin Reilly, MEd; Richard Reddick, EdD; Kevin Cokley, PhD
This project was commissioned by the Office of the President at The University of Texas at Austin to examine faculty and staff experiences and perception of campus climate. This report covers the faculty analysis only. Overall perceptions were found to be moderate to positive, though differences in perceptions were found when data disaggregated by race/ethnicity, gender, and appointment status; women and minorities reported less satisfaction on many indicators.

 

2014

A Stagnant Minimum Wage: A Form of Modern-Day Slavery?
Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD; Kathryn A. Freeman, JD
A raised minimum wage would affect 1 in 3 Texas workers, as the state with the largest share of hourly paid workers. The minimum wage has been stagnant since 2009, while costs of living have not, increasing income gap and dependency on government services. This pattern can be traced back to the earliest form of wage policy, slavery; though workers are now paid, they are forced to live in substandard conditions. Many states have raised the minimum wage, and so far data shows improved economic conditions as a result.

Outlier: The Case of Austin's Declining African-American Population
Eric Tang, PhD; Chunhui Ren, PhD
Of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., Austin, TX is only city experiencing net loss in African American population. In fact, from 2000-2010, it was the only major U.S. city to experience a double digit rate of general population growth coincident with African American population decline. And, African Americans did not choose to leave Austin so much as they were compelled to leave by structural forces creating inequalities. This report delves into the background of why and how this is happening. It is the first in a series on gentrification in East Austin.

 

2013

Mental Health Education in African American Divinity/Theology Schools
Albert Thompkins, PhD; King Davis, PhD
In times of mental health issues or crises, 75% African Americans rely on clergy rather than psychiatric help or medication; but this study finds that almost all African American divinity/theology schools, and most divinity/theology schools in general, are seriously lacking or fragmented in mental health education and consider it secondary. Read the report for policy recommendations to improve mental health education in African American divinity schools.

The Lives of Blacks in Texas: Income and Poverty
Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD; Jemel Aguilar, PhD; Chunhui Ren, PhD; Jennifer Alexander
Major findings discussed included: 2000 & 2010 African Americans had lowest overall median income of Texas major racial groups; 5 Texas counties with 5000+ African American population experience income decline; African Americans and Hispanics overrepresented in Texas poor population; 2000 & 2010 more than 70% of African American female-headed households in poverty.

The Lives of Blacks in Texas: Housing Conditions
Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD; Seth A. Kessler, MPA; Chunhui Ren, PhD; Jennifer Alexander; Jemel Aguilar, PhD
Housing insecurity has impacted all Texans, but with a marked decline in African American population. This brief explores homeownership rates and housing tenure; home values of Afrian American homeowners; and housing cost burdens.

Post-Legislative Session Report: Primary and Secondary Education
Victor O. Obaseki, JD; Seth A. Kessler, MPA; Kathryn A. Freeman, JD
This report explores two bills: HB 5 which changed high school graduation requirements and reduced number of required state secondary school exams; and SB 2 which increased number of contracts for charter schools. These bills led to questions of how students will deal with new curriculum requirements and whether Texas charter schools are better than traditional schools.

Post-Legislative Session Report: Health and Human Services
Victor O. Obaseki, JD; Seth A. Kessler, MPA; Kathryn A. Freeman, JD
The major health and human services issues in the 83rd session were Medicaid expansion and abortion. Gov. Rick Perry and many legislators are against Medicaid expansion and it will not likely happen. Additionally, abortions may become more difficult to receive.

Post-Legislative Session Report: Personal Finance
Kathryn A. Freeman, JD; Victor O. Obaseki, JD; Seth A. Kessler, MPA
This report looks at finance bills filed or pass in 83rd legislative session, considering Texas performs well financially based on unemployment rate, but not by many other indicators that affect low-income Texans. Bills were passed giving tax relief to businesses, but measures to improve financial stability of low-income Texans didn't gain widespread support or were vetoed.

 

2012

Do Vouchers Create More Inequality? Lessons from Universal Implementation in Chile
Jaime Portales, PhD; Julian Vasquez Heilig PhD
Vouchers are gaining promience in Texas and U.S. education policy discourse. In other countries, it has exacerbated segregation, showed varied achievement results (U.S. programs failed to increase achievement), and decreased public school enrollment paired with increased negative image.

The Lives of Blacks in Texas: Demographic Trends in the African American Population, 1950-2010
Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD; Jemel P. Aguilar, PhD; Jennifer Alexander; Chunhui Ren, PhD
The African American population in Texas has changed significantly from 1950-2010. Looking at these changes through a racial lens can help inform future policy in Texas. This report analyzes and compares U.S. census and ACS data.

Women of Color and Minimum Wage: A Policy of Racial, Gender, and Economic Discrimination
Shetal Vohra-Gupta, PhD
African American and Hispanic single mothers working full-time, low-wage jobs experience consistent poverty or threat of poverty. U.S. minimum wage policy disproportionately affects women, especially women of color. Texas has the most low-wage workers in the country and ranks sixth in people living in poverty.

HIV Testing in State Prisons: A Call for Provider-Initiated Routine HIV Screening Policy
Jemel P. Aguilar, PhD
HIV is four times more prevalent in incarcerated populations, so to decrease the spread of HIV, policy should focus on that population. The WHO and CDC recommend routine testing and early treatment, but U.S. healthcare doesn't effectively help incarcerated populations.

Is Texas Leading Its Peers and the Nation? A Decadal Analysis of Educational Data
Julian Vasquez Heilig, PhD; Su Jin Jez, PhD; Richard J. Reddick, EdD
The Texas education system is often touted as a miracle in regard to test-based accountability based on national measures, but evidence actually shows trends of decline or stasis relative to all states. The student achievement gap is closing, but overall performance lags.