AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin chapter of the NAACP is trying to raise awareness about how publicly-funded hospitals spend tax money, and how it can negatively impact people of color and those who are low-income through their new campaign, "Health Equity First," which will launch at SXSW.

Nelson Linder is the president of the NAACP Austin chapter. Linder will be a speaker at the SXSW panel "Health Equity: Ending Racism in U.S. Health Care," where he will discuss the new campaign.

"Here in Austin and across Texas, voters authorized public hospitals to collect taxes to ensure the health care needs of the poor. But our investigations reveal that a number of these tax-supported institutions are falling short on this responsibility. Many overlook disadvantaged communities for money-making investments and are allocating only a portion of the taxes collected directly to charity care," stated Nelson Linder, president, NAACP Austin.

According to a statement from NAACP Austin, in 2021, Linder also participated in "INQUEST: An Examination of Central Health," a short documentary by Austin filmmaker Steve Mims that questioned why $280 million in taxpayer funds for health care for those with low-income in Travis County were instead going to the Dell Medical School.

"The group [of panelists] will be taking an in-depth look at taxpayer-supported hospital districts’ commitment to caring for the poor," the statement from Health Equity First said.

Other speakers include Tammy Boyd, of the Black Women’s Health Imperative; Amy Hinojosa, of MANA, (A National Latina Organization); and Justin Nelson of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

The panel will take place on March 12, 2022 at 10 a.m. See the SXSW website for more details.

For more information on NAACP Austin, visit their website.