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Brion Oaks

(he/him) Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Operations
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Brion brings over twenty years of experience advancing racial equity at the executive level for both the nonprofit and public sector. Brion was the inaugural Chief Equity Officer for the City of Austin and served as the Vice President of Health Equity for the American Heart Association.

He specializes in working with organizational leadership and local communities to create equity frameworks and facilitate dialogue and organizational practices that support the development and adoption of equity as a shared value. He serves as a technical expert in addressing equity as it is applied to policies, programs, practices, and budget decisions with an overall vision to advance racial equity.

Brion approaches his work with a lens and a belief that the people most impacted by an issue are the ones to provide the best solutions to solving them. During his leadership as the chair of the Austin Homelessness Leadership Council, he advocated and adopted a policy to compensate community members with lived experience and those advocating on behalf of vulnerable populations for their service on the Council and its sanctioned committees.

During his career Brion has not been one to shy away from the difficult conversations and challenges that stand in the way of advancing equity in our community. After the murder of George Floyd, he served as co-chair for Austin’s Reimagining Public Safety Initiative in which he worked with community leaders to shine light on racial disparities in policing and most importantly put forth recommendations to respond to safety in communities with alternatives other than policing.

While much hard work and change is needed to make our community equitable, Brion has had the pleasure and honor to work alongside community members and co-workers to co-create transformational change in many spaces. One of his proudest professional accomplishments is leading Austin’s Equity Office in partnership with community leaders to successfully advocate for the City of Austin to become the first municipality in the state of Texas to publicly fund a guaranteed income program designed to springboard low-income families out of poverty.

Brion earned his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from University of Houston and Master of Public Administration from Texas State University. Prior to his work at the City of Austin and American Heart Association, Brion worked as a legislative assistant for State Representative. Dora Olivo, D-Rosenberg, and as a project coordinator for the Texas Healthy Kids Corporation and the Texas Medical Foundation.Throughout his career, he has focused on improving outcomes for communities of color and addressing disparities in vulnerable populations. He dreams of a community where everyone can achieve their full potential regardless of social identify, ability, and/or life circumstances.